Transforming and reimagining urban spaces through “tactical urbanism” will be the subject of the next GAINS (Greater Akron Innovation Network for Sustainability) meeting Aug. 10 at Musica, in Akron. Doors open at 5:30 p.m. and the free program begins at 6:15 p.m.
The evening’s discussion will focus on creative popup and semi-permanent placemaking strategies such as Better Block and City Repair being used in the Greater Akron area to inspire and influence the development of more permanent sustainable neighborhoods.
Speakers for the evening will include: Marissa Blewitt, community organizer for the Neighborhood Network of University Park; Kyle Julien, director of Urban Planning for the East Akron Neighborhood Development Corporation; and Tina and John Ughrin, community organizers for the 2015 inaugural Better Block in North Hill.
Blewitt and Julien will speak about the recent Middlebury Better Block and what they hope will result from this quick transformation of a blighted urban business district into a walkable, bikeable neighborhood at the intersection of South Arlington and East Exchange Streets. The Ughrin’s will update us on the positive impacts resulting from last year’s North Hill event. In addition, updates on current City Repair projects taking place in September and a hands-on exercise in “tactical urbanism” will be given.
Additional Better Block events are being held this year in Copley on the weekend of Sept. 9 through 11, organized by the Copley Circle Advisory Board (CCAB) to re-imagine Copley Circle and Cuyahoga Falls on the weekend of Aug. 26 and 27 on the North end of the Falls Riverfront Pedestrian Mall.
The mission of Neighborhood Network of University Park is to create a unified voice to renew the University Park community. East Akron Neighborhood Development Corporation works to improve communities by providing quality and affordable housing, comprehensive homeownership services and economic development opportunities. The Better Block Foundation is a nonprofit dedicated to empowering and equipping communities to affect positive, sustainable change in their cities.
GAINS is a local gathering of sustainability practitioners who focus on advancing sustainable values and practices in the marketplace. The salon style meetings, held the second Wednesday of the month are free and interactive and open to anyone interested in learning about and engaging with community partners on the leading edge of innovations in sustainability.
For more information go to: www.facebook.com/GAIN4Sustainability.