The American Planning Association, Ohio Chapter, presented the 2023 Ohio Student Planning Showcase Award to the 2022 CSU Maxine Goodman Levin School of Urban Affairs’ graduate Planning Capstone class at the annual APAOH conference in Columbus on September 29, 2023.
The project, “Balancing Broadway,” is a comprehensive planning process focusing on the historic downtown district of Lorain, Ohio. The project was a partnership between the City of Lorain and capstone students, envisioning a vibrant downtown that balances the city’s rich history with its environmental assets. The team collected and analyzed the city’s history and market data, culminating in a comprehensive Current Conditions report and Market Study. Building on this, an extensive public engagement process was undertaken, including tabling at the Lorain Public Library, a survey that gained 481 responses, and a series of interviews with key community leaders and officials. The awards jury commented that the robust community engagement process was impressive, especially for a project with a short four-month timeline. For many of the 10-student team, this was their first real-world experience with a planning project. Since the plan’s conclusion, the City of Lorain has implemented several of the recommended actions.
The project planning team members included Erica Tinnirello, Shneur Kushner, Greta Thomas, Paul Triolo, Katherine Priebe, Jimmie Hicks, Keenan Fentress, Patrick Arthofer, Anthony DiVencenzo, and Samuel Schweikert. The professors who guided the project were Dr. Thomas Hilde and Mr. James Kastelic.