The city of Grandview Heights wrapped up a multiday urban design workshop with a meeting last Thursday, April 11, that gave residents the chance to provide input on planned city upgrades.
The workshop is part of an effort to create a "character framework for community investment," which will provide guidelines to help make sure infrastructure projects are designed and completed in a way that improves the aesthetics of the community.
The city is working with ACP Visioning and Planning on the process, which will result in a report with recommendations scheduled to be presented to City Council in mid-May.
The public meeting began with a short presentation by ACP principal Jamie Greene and Sarah Bongiorno, a project coordinator with the firm.
The city has upcoming infrastructure projects stemming from about $9 million in grants and loans it has received and is looking to determine strategies that will help those and future investments to "enhance the physical environment" of the community, Greene said.
Another goal of the character framework will be to help identify opportunities to improve the "quality of place," he said.
"We want to help (the city's) leadership be good stewards of the community's physical attributes," Greene said.
Greene unveiled statements defining what Grandview is today and what the aim is for it to be tomorrow.
Today, the community "is easily walkable with a significant tree canopy and an eclectic mix of historic and contemporary ... buildings and open spaces that, in general, address the streets and encourage social interaction."
Grandview has the physical character that makes it "a quintessential urban small town," the "today" statement concludes.
Grandview "tomorrow will build on today's qualities through strategic investments and stewardship of the public realm," the second statement reads. "Consistency of integrated improvements will strengthen the character without compromising the authentic look and feel of the community."
Several questions will be addressed through the framework process, Bongiorno said.
Those questions relate to issues of the appropriate overall design aesthetics for the community, identifying key entranceways to the city and how they should be treated, as well as how commercial and business districts should be identified, she said.
Other questions relate to how city parks can work as a character-giving system and how the Grandview Yard development can be connected to the surrounding neighborhood.
After the presentation, residents were invited to view exhibits listing character attributes associated with gateways, pedestrian and bicycle networks, parks and open space, intersections and various types of streets.
Current conditions and opportunities also were listed for each topic.
Residents could engage representatives of the consulting firm or the city and write their suggestions on comment cards.
Earlier in the week, input from focus groups composed of local stakeholders and experts in specific field or topic areas and from members of city commissions and boards was gathered.