Welcome!

The Community Design Center organizes collaborative interdisciplinary community/university partnerships for the research and design of physical improvements which serve the University’s urban area. The Community Design Center is a part of the College of Design, Architecture, Art, and Planning (DAAP) at the University of Cincinnati. The Center provides assistance to community groups, non-profit organizations, and City departments that are representing under-served areas and underfunded projects within the area.

The Community Design Center is administered by a registered Architect with assistance from co-op students and graduate assistants from the disciplines of Architecture, Planning, Graphic Design, and Industrial Design. Faculty from these schools are involved as advisors and designers on individual projects.

The Niehoff Urban Studio is a unique interdisciplinary academic initiative undertaken to address urban issues that challenge the quality of life in Cincinnati. The studio endeavors to engage the community in an urban problem solving effort. The studio is located on Short Vine in Corryville and includes classroom, meeting, and exhibit areas. Since its inception in 2002 more than 800 students in urban planning, engineering,  architecture, design, anthropology, business, nursing, political science, urban geography and others have participated and partnered with more than 100 community based organizations on projects intended to make Cincinnati more sustainable. The Niehoff Studio is administered by the Community Design Center.

See our annual reports: 2011 Annual Report, 2012 Annual Report, 2013 Annual Report, and 2014 Annual Report.



News and Upcoming Events

Niehoff Urban Studio's in the press

The Niehoff Urban Studio has recently been featured in UrbanCincy's website for the release of its 2014 Annual Report and mentioned in Cincinnati Magazine's article "The Future of Transportation: Are We There Yet?"

Filling In: The Challenge of Merging New with Old in one of America's Most Inspired

Districts | Niehoff Urban Studio and the Over-the-Rhine Foundation

The Niehoff Urban Studio combined efforts with the Over-the-Rhine Foundation this Spring to bring Ellen Harris, the Director of the Urban Planning and Historic Preservation Chatham County-Savannah Metropolitan Planning Commission, to talk about Savannah's best practices in implementing guidelines for infill development on its historic disctrict. Under the name: The Challenge of Merging New with the Old in One of America's Most Inspired Districts, Ellen worked with local stakeholders and guided the conversation on infill guidelines in Over-the-Rhine. This open to the public lecture happened on March 27th, in the Venue 222 (222 E 14th St) from 5:30 to 7:30pm. The next day, on March 28th, the Niehoff Urban Studio hosted the OTR Foundation Infill Committee workshop which gave start to the outline of the document, under Ellen's guidance. Thanks for the great turnout for the begining of this great discussion!

Niehoff Alum Series - Young Urbanists and their Mentors

The Niehoff Urban Studio has the pleasure to highlight the inspiring work of Niehoff Studio Alums and their key collaborators as they build our city together. This event inaugurated a series for the recognition of young urbanists and experienced local leaders in developing our community in innovative and effective ways. The mentoring program/talk aims to inspire other urbanists while touching upon relevant urban topics, and promoting the exchange of ideas. This first edition was hosted at the Niehoff Urban Studio on March 25th, with Matt Anthony | Faculty Alum and Cincinnati Made, his collaborator Eric Avner | Haile Foundation; Kevin Wright | Alum and Walnut Hills Redevelopment Foundation, and his collaborator Kathy Schwab | LISC.

ULI Hines Competition Cincinnati Team

Another of the fruitful results of our partnership with ULI Cincinnati resulted in the National Recognition for the ULI Hines Competition of our student team composed by Neda Mohsenianrad, Adam Raynes, Amy Morgan and Maliheh Aghanasiri with the mentorship of ULI members: Dan McCarthy, Steve Kenat, Phil Denning, David Neyer and Leah Hollstein. Congratulations to the team!

Final board and Narrative

 

Tastes Great, Boosts the Economy! Forum on Craft Beer as Community Development

Soapbox is partnering again with the University of Cincinnati's Niehoff Urban Studio to host a forum on urban development trends, this time centering on neighborhood beer entrepreneurs, who will be bringing samples of their newest products.

Wednesday, March 11, 2015
5:30-7:30 p.m.
Niehoff Urban Studio, 2728 Vine St., Corryville
Discussion and beer sampling

For more info and registration. Click here. Craft & Community Development on WVXU.

AIA Cincinnati - Advocating for Your Profession

The AIA Cincinnati Advocacy Committee organized a panel at the Niehoff Urban Studio on Thursday February 19 to discuss the profession's influence over zoning and building code and how it is administered. Zoning and building codes, while often the least understood of the regulatory frameworks, has a profound impact on the form of the built environment. A panel moderated by AIA Managing Director Andrew Goldberg outlined best practices in the process of building plan review and progressive strategies for advocacy with state and federal policy makers. Panelists included Bruce Sekanick - AIA Ohio Valley Regional Director, David Miller - Chief of Staff, Office of Cincinnati City Councilmember Amy Murray, Amit Ghosh - Chief Building Official City of Cincinnati, and Maury Wyckoff - Chief Building Official Montgomery County, OH

Flood Resilient Infill Housing Competition at the East End

This Spring 2015 class concept came from the East End Community who has been working with the Niehoff Urban Studio/Community Design Center on a district urban design plan intended to repopulate this flood prone neighborhood. Students designed infill housing on specified locations throughout the district to help the community identity best practice models to address flood threats and community context. Modeled after the Katrina Competition, competing students interacted with the East End Community Council Leadership along with Faculty member Frank Russell. 1st place, 2nd place, Recognitions.

Lessons from a Groundbreaking Interdisciplinary Design Laboratory at the University

of Cincinnati

The recognized planning website Planetizen dedicated an article on the University of Cincinnati's Niehoff Urban Studio for bridging the gap between UC and the neighborhoods around it, involving students from different fields and community stakeholders. Read more.

The Niehoff Studio recognized for education innovation

UC's Niehoff Urban Studio was cited as a best practice in Santa Ono's recent chapter of the "Presidential Perspectives: Inspirational Leadership" entitled "COOP 2.0." Read more.

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Mayor cites two of Niehoff Urban Studio's projects

Mayor Cranley features two Niehoff Urban Studio projects - Wasson Way and Burnet Woods - in his state of the city address. Read more.

Recent Events and Projects

Dance Draw

Modern Makers presents the third annual Dance/Draw at the Niehoff Urban Studio: 

Experience + Draw dancers moving through space in your media of choice. All levels are welcome, from children to professional artists. Featuring the movements of Karen Wissel Shiote + Ian Timothy Forsgren + Sidney Cherie Hilley and many others.

Bring your own supplies (some art materials provided).

Entire evening is FREE + open to the public.

Fall 2014 - Niehoff Urban Studio Open House

On December 4th, 2014, the Niehoff Urban Studio hosted another successful end of the Semester Open House for all of our students, community and friends. The three classes offered at this Niehoff Studio during the Fall Semester focused on analyzing and improving Burnet Woods, also marking the beginning of a new study/work cycle: "Building Healthy and Resilient Places." Although Burnet Woods has been of great interest to the general public, we have been lucky to count with great attendance in all of our Fall 2014 events! Thanks to all of you who want to help build healthy and resilient communities around us! We have 5 more classes occurring in the Spring Semester that will include: Urban Planning, Engineering, Architecture and Horticulture. Cheers and stay tuned for more great events in the Spring!

See event photos

Eyes on the Street | Panel discussion at the Niehoff Urban Studio | November 5th, 2014

Inspired by the Cincinnati Art Museum exhibition “Eyes on the Street,” this lively panel discussion took place at the Niehoff Urban Studio, on November 5th, and focused on the ways cameras and imaging technology influence our understanding of urban space and civil rights in the United States and Europe. The participants Stan Corkin (History | UC), Todd Herzog (German Studies |  UC), Stephanie Sadre-Orafai (Anthropology and Critical Visions | UC), Brian Sholis (Cincinnati Art Museum), and Jordan Tate ( Art | UC) considered surveillance footage, the pervasiveness of camera phones, the shifting border between public and private, the creative use of cameras by artists, and the roles race and class play in the use and abuse of these technologies. These issues are of pressing concern: consider the roles played by cameras in the Arab Spring; the controversies about police behavior in Staten Island, New York, and Ferguson, Missouri; and the leaking of celebrities’ private photographs. More info.

Celebrating a Urban Visionary - The Niehoff Urban Studio invites you to honor Tom Humes

The Niehoff Urban Studio was pleased to honor Cincinnati Developer Tom Humes at the 2014 Annual Studio Fundraiser, on November 20.Tom Humes is an urban visionary and city builder who has sought to renew our region’s vitality and reshape our city center through his civic contributions and business endeavors. Twenty-eight years ago, Tom serves as President of Great Traditions Land & Development Company, a real estate development firm that specializes in creating “lifestyle oriented, master planned communities”. Great Tradition’s Village at Stetson Square in Corryville was named “Community of the Year” by the Cincinnati Homebuilder’s Association for 2006. This landmark achievement proved that risks taken to invest in the center city could be viable. Indeed, its success may be credited for attracting much of the private investment in development that we see sprouting up today around Uptown to strengthen our urban core. We celebrate Tom Humes by highlighting The Village at Stetson Square, for it represents, in both concept and form, the highest values in visionary thinking and aspirational urban development.

Watch video.

ULI Studio Competition at the Niehoff Urban Studio - Fall 2014

The Niehoff Urban Studio, the UC School of Businness, the Urban Land Institute Cincinnati and the Walnut Hills Redevelopment Foundation have partnered in giving UC students with a great professional experience while providing "an inside view" and a $5,000 prize for a final design for a new development in Walnut Hills this Fall. Not only has Urban Land Institute put up the cash prize, they have also organized professional mentors, providing meetings at professional offices allowing professional’s workplace exposure and hopefully coop/internship opportunities and future job recruitment, while also encouraging interdisciplinary mix, community stakeholder engagement, real world site development scenarios, and neighborhood impact.

Among 17 students divided into 4 teams from the Real Estate, Architecture and Urban Planning fields, the winning team composed by Kyle Zook (SAID-DAAP), Bahareh Rezaee (SOP-DAAP), Yue Yan (SOP-DAAP) and Rocky Grewal (Finance-College of Business) was awarded with the $5,000 prize during the Final Judging, reception, and award announcement on the evening of Monday October 27th. See images, ULI Press, UrbanCincy, Collaborators and Winning design

"Growing Cities" at the Niehoff Urban Studio - October 24th, 2014

The Niehoff Urban Studio will be hosting on October 24th, 2014, the National Food Day, the showing of the movie "Growing Cities." This event is organized by Planning student Mark Carper, the Enright Ridge Urban Ecovillage, This Land, Waterfields, Green Umbrella Regional Sustainability Alliance and Price Hill Will. The movie documents the increasing need and trend of cities in accommodating urban farming amenities and efforts.

Please join us on Friday, October 24th for a movie night and light refreshments.

Tiny Living Event - Friday, September 19, 2014

Tiny Living was indeed huge! The event hosted by the Niehoff Urban Studio in collaboration with DPMT7, PAR-Projects, UrbanCincy, and DAAP received around 150 people among professionals and students from the fields of art, architecture and urban planning, but also community members active or interested in the tiny living movement. The evening started withthe exhibit of pieces by the sophomore students of the SAID, DPTM7 and Par-Projects and it was followed by small presentations and an interesting panel discussion mediated by John Young (UrbanCincy), with Prof. Leah Hollstein (SOP-DAAP), John Hedges (NKU), Natalie Hendricks (owner of a tiny house) and Brad Cooper (UrbanCincy), navigating through the process of construction of tiny spaces, the implications in the urban environment, and the change of paradigm in current lifestyles. The Niehoff Urban Studio thanks everyone that was able to come and be part of this amazing and exciting event!

Read UrbanCincy's article here.

Autumn Equinox with nourish cincinnati - Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Experience food as art + discover recipes.Celebrate the Equinox with Modern Makers + nourish cincinnati. Enjoy a 100% plant-based menu in a 5 couse tasting. Serving deliciously healthy food in a loving way. Proceeds benefit nourish cincinnati.

Tickets:  $25/adult     $15/student + seniors

www.nourishcincinnati.com

www.modernmakers.org

Movement x 3 - Friday, August 28, 2014

Join us for an evening of motion explored via dance, projection and puppetry. Featuring a dance workshop with Heather Britt of DANCEFIX fame joined by the puppetry of Pam Kravetz. Projections created by Cincinnati based artists + designers will also fill the space. Learn dance moves + feel the energy!

FREE + Open to the public.

Modern Makers

www.modernmakers.org

Rothenberg Academy in OTR Rooftop Teaching Garden

The Rothenberg Academy rooftop teaching garden is finally open! Read more

The garden, for students, combines two ongoing interests of the CDC, the OTR neighborhood and food based community development. Stemming from the vision of Pope Colman, board-member of the the Over-the-Rhine (OTR) Foundation, the Community Design Center (CDC) collaborated with Pope and the OTR Foundation to make the rooftop teaching garden vision into a reality. In the summer of 2013 the CDC provided technical services and renderings to make this project a reality and the project was constructed in the summer of 2014. For more, read the Rothenberg Brochure.

Niehoff Urban Studio Spring Open House, April 17th 2014

On Thursday April 17th the Niehoff Urban Studio hosted an open house to showcase the spring semester student work on the proposed Wasson Way bicycle trail and light rail corridor. This Capstone Studio, a continuation of fall semester research and the Wasson Way Community Planning Workshop in October, promoted interdisciplinary collaboration and exchange among urban planning, civil engineering, real estate, urban studies, and urban geography students and faculty. A panel discussion moderated by UrbanCincy was conducted with representatives from City departments, Queen City Bike, and the Rails to Trails Conservancy. See UrbanCincy coverage and video. In addition to the primary studio, associated courses included a seminar on Landscape Infrastructure in the East End Neighborhood and Masters of Community Planning Capstone Projects in Transportation were also exhibited.

West Fork Creek - Design Workshop, March 8th Chase Elementary

The Niehoff Urban Studio partnered with Northside Community Council, Groundwork Cincinnati/ Mill Creek to facilitate a workshop and discuss the community's long-term vision for the West Fork Creek corridor. The workshop included a briefing on existing conditions and brainstorming on future improvements.

TAKE A SEAT! Film Screening of People's Park Friday, February 21st

The Niehoff Urban Studio partners with Modern Makers for this educational event on Friday, February 21st. The event included a screening of People's Park: a single-shot film by Libbie D.Cohn & J.P. Sniadecki, kids activities included building a group model of an ideal public space and a discussion on Public Space/ Art in Cincinnati and abroad. peoplesparklm.com



Metrofitting Workshop with Tony Fry - February 7-8th

DAAP and the Niehoff studio hosted the two day Metrofitting Workshop led by Tony Fry. Fry a visiting scholar is head of the Design Futures Department at Griffith University in Queensland Australia. The workshop was developed in response to a challenge by Fry from his lecture at DAAP during the fall 2013 semester. The challenge was to put the desire for resiliency planning into tangible action. The workshop gathered city officials as well as faculty and planners from UC to map risks the city faces from climate change and discuss how the City of Cincinnati can reach toward a more resilient future



Second Annual Vacant Lots: Occupied Workshop January 17th-19th

The Niehoff Urban Studio and The Community Design Center are hosting the second annual Vacant Lots: Occupied workshop. The workshop is organized through University of Cincinnati, DAAP Horticulture Program, Keep Cincinnati Beautiful, City of Cincinnati Department of Community Development, and Building Value. The program challenges students and community representatives to think about long term solutions to vacancy in the City of Cincinnati. The complete work of the Vacant Lots: Occupied efforts is available online at vacantlotsoccupied.com.


AIA Vision Lecture Series: "Citizen Architect Roundtable Discussion: Advocacy"

The Niehoff Urban Studio hosted the AIA Vision Lecture Series on January 16, 2014. The lecture was followed by a round table discussion on how Architects can engage with and help guide the local political discussions that affect our everyday activities.

Roundtable panelists will include:
– Eric Kearney, Ohio Senate Minority Leader, District 9
– Denise Driehaus, Ohio Representative, District 31, Economic Development
– Charles Winburn, Cincinnati City Council, Budget and Finance Committee Chair
– Wendell Young, Cincinnati City Council



Niehoff Urban Studio Fall Semester Open house December 6th 2013



The fall open house brought the Niehoff Studio students and community stakeholders together to celebrate the accomplishments of the busy but productive semester. Three courses were held at the Niehoff Urban Studio in the fall 2013 semester. The courses included a Master of City Planning plan making workshop that focused on the Fairmont Neighborhoods in Cincinnati, a freshman seminar examined urban innovation, and a civil engineering capstone researched opportunities for the Wasson Way project. Additionally, independent study students working with the Community Design Center helped facilitate the community design workshop and organize the corresponding work for Wasson Way.

Wasson Way Community Reveal Party and Design Workshop October 12-18th 2013

The Wasson Way corridor is a proposed 6.5 mile bike and light rail connection beginning at the Little Miami Bike Trail and stretching west to Xavier University. The CDC first became involved in the Wasson Way corridor planning process through the spring 2013 Niehoff Studio "Movement in the City" that worked with the Wasson Way Organization (WWO).

In October the CDC continued this partnership and joined with AIA to lead a Community Design Workshop for Wasson Way. In addition to AIA and the WWO, the workshop partners included volunteers from APA and ASLA. After community participation at the Workshop, professional volunteers continued to work with the CDC's student staff to develop the designs presented at the Wasson Way community reveal party on October 18th. Click here to see the web view of the posters presented at the reveal party or download full size posters.

Click here for more information on Wasson Way

The Niehoff Urban Studio's first fundraising event on October 1st was a great success.

On October 1st The Niehoff Urban Studio held its first fund raiser event to honor the accomplishments and vision of Bill Butler, who has proved himself as an urban visionary and city builder. Over 130 guests, including UC President Santa Ono, enjoyed the evening at the studio on Short Vine. All proceeds of the fund raiser benefit student assistantships and programing. We are grateful for all contributions and continued support from the community. For additional contributions, click here.




Artbeat on Short Vine - First Friday of Every Month

The Niehoff Urban Studio will be opening its gallery space along with other businesses and pop-up galleries on Short Vine as a part of the Artbeat on Short Vine. Artbeat will be hosted on the first Friday of every month and is organized by the Short Vine Business Associations. The first exhibit, in September, featured the photography of artist Garry Glenn and sculpture of DAAP student Mackinley Motzer. Check back throughout the fall as the Niehoff Studio will be featuring both local artists and urban design work from the Niehoff Urban Studio courses.

Healthy Corner Stores - Cincinnati

The Healthy Corner Store program is a partnership between The CDC and the Center for Closing the Health Gap, a non-profit based in Avondale. The CDC is providing technical services to help meet the goals of bolstering the capacity of existing corner stores to provide more healthy food, specifically fresh produce. Parallel to the architectural updates to the corner stores, the program also promotes the advantages of healthy eating to neighborhood residents. Throughout the multi-year project, the CDC will continue to provide documentation of existing corner store conditions, research of best practices for healthy corner stores, as well as design and programming proposals for making these stores more functional and effective in providing healthy eating options. The program plans to include more than a dozen stores over a three year period with capital financing provided by the City of Cincinnati Fresh Food Financing Initiative.

East End Area Study: Community Based Urban Design

The Community Design Center collaborated with LISC and the East End Area council in addition to local stake holders to develop an urban design concept for an area in the East End. The efforts build from previously completed analysis and responds directly to the East End Area Council’s vision for developing a business district along Riverside Dr. The Community Design Center, aims to synthesize previous findings, and give physical form to the East End Area Council’s vision through the development of The East End Area Study.

 

 

 


See All Projects


Recent Press

  • March 31, 2015  Report Quantifies Growing Influence of UC's Niehoff Urban Studio and Community Design Center Read More
     
  • March 26, 2015   Are we there yet? Three transportation projects that will keep us trucking, rolling, and railing along. Read More
     
  • November 20, 2014    Healthier Community builds innovative economy Read More
     
  • October 24, 2014    UC students present final cases in the UC-ULI Urban Development Competition Read More
     
  • July 9, 2014    Old-time shopkeepers corner market on loyalty Read More
     
  • November, 2012    Good Ideas for Cities - The Toolkit Read More
     
  • May 19, 2014    The State of Local Food Report Read More
     
  • May 8, 2014    Lessons from Niehoff Urban Studio at the University of Cincinnati Read More
     
  • May 7, 2014    UC Students and Transportation Experts Pitch Their Ideas for the Wasson Corridor Read More
     
  • February 22, 2014    Seeds of success starting to grow in the East End Read More
     
  • October 30, 2013    City council candidates debate on issues of urbanism at the Niehoff Urban Studio Read More
     
  • October, 2013    CDC Student is featured for his work with the East End Neighborhood Read More
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  • September 25, 2013   Hyde Park residents can weigh in on trail design Read More
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  • September 23, 2013   Wasson Way Trail could be hub of activities and economic growth Read More
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  • March 12, 2013    River access means money for West Side, NKY Read More


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    Contact the CDC

    Community Design Center
    University of Cincinnati
    PO Box 210016
    Cincinnati, OH 45221-0016
    tel. 513.556.3282
    fax. 513.556.3283
    email. frank.russell@uc.edu
    Off Campus Location

    UC Community Design Center
    UC Niehoff Urban Studio
    The Turner Center
    2728 (Short) Vine Street
    Corryville
    Cincinnati, Ohio 45219

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