Ohio Map

Akron Zoological Park- This Akron, Ohio zoo features a large assortment of animals, from lions to lemurs. The zoo also offers a range of unique experiences like playing veterinarian for a day or taking a behind the scenes tour. The zoo’s newest exhibit- Grizzly Ridge- will open in July 2013.

Canton Classic Car Museum- This Canton, Ohio museum features nearly 50 classic automobiles in addition to historic memorabilia like movie posters, photos, and vintage toys. The gift shop offers model cars as well as an assortment of other souvenirs.

A quality public realm with equitable, convenient access promotes a high quality of life in any community. Connected places must promote a mix of housing, jobs, and services. Developers must have incentives to address social equity concerns, encourage local community spaces and work centers, and incorporate retail centers to cater to all segments of society. These should ideally be within walking distance of mass transit. A mixed-income community is essential to provide the taxation base to subsidize affordable housing. Careful planning can desegregate society, add diversity of experiences, promote tolerance for social and political differences, and enhance democratic practices.

Accessibility improvements around transit points through place making can connect people to places. Successful place making encourages people-to-people connectivity and the accumulation of social capital. However, local residents’ disapproval of components of accessibility improvements like high density and social diversity has led to a NIMBY attitude that can hinder development that is meant to benefit all sections of society. There is an urgent need for the developing agencies to conduct public outreach and make the community aware of the pros and cons of development options, thus enabling people to make informed choices. It is critical to engage with all sections of the community and hear the voices of marginalized groups, such as immigrants, the economically weak, people of different ethnic origins, the elderly, and the physically challenged. Engaging constructively with diverse groups in the decision-making process is essential for creating a sense of ownership of new proposals. The heightened sense of community can be considered the software for creating better communities and can only run on the hardware of a high-quality public realm and sustainable infrastructure-hardware that urgently needs reconfiguration.

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The character of a city is most revealed by those elements that do not belong to the citizens yet are most frequented by them. These elements include streets, corridors, and transport hubs. These spaces are neither origins nor destinations. They are recognized as intermediate or in-between spaces. The functional character of these spaces can invite users to interact and get a feel of the place or the neighborhood, and even of the mobility priorities of the city. The qualitative interactions can reveal how ‘friendly’ or otherwise the city is. The anatomy of such spaces is therefore crucial. As they are an integral part of a city’s mobility network or movement system, their design can significantly assist or hinder the creation of connected places.

The twentieth-century movement system was a response to powered movement. Conventional road design practice attempted to accommodate the ‘average user’. For decades, the average user was assumed to be a motorist. This assumption has governed the composition of intermediate spaces, with the largest share of the space devoted to carriageways and parking lots.

Hierarchical road design, implemented in new post-war towns, produced movement systems that separated strolling pedestrians from speeding cars. This was in response to the assumption that drivers behind the wheel became more aggressive and foolhardy, and less sociable, rational, or kind. As segregation of motorized and nonmotorized transport became the only acceptable basis for urban reform, a law of inverse correlation of access and movement developed,1 which persisted until recent decades. This practice exacerbated the carbon footprint of motorized transport, supported by a generous supply of roadways and parking. A study conducted by Brown et al. on the 100 largest metropolitan areas of the US revealed that, in 2005, transportation was responsible for 33 percent of the US’ carbon footprint, and road transport accounted for almost 80 percent of that.

By the end of the twentieth century, the philosophy of segregation was replaced by the concept of ‘social inclusion’. Reviving the quality of life in physically isolated environments became an urban concern that demanded rearrangement of intermediate spaces. Post-modern global competition also impelled cities to the realization that the public realm had become a wasted asset and had the potential to become safe and attractive for everyone. The turn of the twenty-first century saw the advent of the boulevard, as cities across the world rediscovered major roads as complex urban spaces rather than mere traffic conduits. The pavement along the Champs Elysees in Paris, for example, was widened from 12 to 24 meters. Through considerable reordering, pedestrians gained a clear line of vision. Since then, the imperative of equitable access to places has been recognized as one of the primary objectives in the design of movement systems.

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