Bringing walkable urban thoroughfares to Twinsburg, Ohio

On April 26, CNU hosted a technical assistance workshop aimed at guiding future development and design in the City of Twinsburg, Ohio, and highlighting the Designing Walkable Urban Thoroughfares manual as a tool for achieving that vision.

The workshop was led by CNU President John Norquist, Board Member Marcy McInelly, and transportation engineer Lucy Gibson of Dubois & King in Vermont, and put on with the support of numerous others.

The City of Twinsburg is currently in the process of updating its Comprehensive Plan. The city is seeking recommendations to serve as a basis for redevelopment of its city center and several key corridors, emphasizing walkability and preservation of historic character.

In 2009, the city lost its largest employer — a Chrysler stamping plant — but recently gained a LEED-certified Regional Academic Center for Kent State University. The city continues to see development pressure near its historic center, and has put a number of initiatives in place to ensure that future development is livable, sustainable, and adds value.

Director of Community Planning and Development Larry Finch commented: “[The workshop] was one of timely importance to the city and to others in our region. The CNU staff and their consultants provided a great introduction to the subject and encouraged the attendees to look at streets in a more holistic, inclusive, and context sensitive manner. The afternoon work group sessions encouraged creative ideas that will be considered as we proceed through the process of developing the City’s comprehensive plan.”

The Twinsburg workshop was funded in part by the US EPA’s Building Blocks for Sustainable Communities Program, via a grant to the Project for Public Spaces (PPS). CNU provided assistance as part of their Partnership in Livability Solutions. Materials from the workshop will be made available at www.cnu.org/streets/twinsburg.

Note: This article appears in the June 2013 issue of Better! Cities & Towns.