ASSET MAPPING: DOWNTOWN WARREN
WARREN, OH - FEBRUARY 2014
In February 2014, the Integral City Urban Design Studio at Parsons School of Design lead a host of design research activities at the Warren, OH, YWCA in partnership with the Fine Arts Council of Trumbull County's Robins Project, a local redevelopment initiative. Cody designed, facilitated, and analyzed an asset mapping activity with 42 participants that worked to understand how residents of the Warren area interact with the downtown. Using color coded stickers paired with a base map and acetate sheet, participants were asked to plot where they eat, shop, hang out and meet up in the downtown area, as well as trace routes they would travel with friends, family, or for fun, noting methods of transportation.
The results told the story of a shrinking downtown, with few unique points of attraction-- generations old eateries, jogging routs around the history park, the high school football stadium, and favorite ways to drive to the mall populated the maps.
Separating results by age showed that teens and young adults have particularly low levels of engagement within the central city, opting instead for the suburban mall. Based on the maps people in their 30's seem to be leading a downtown Renaissance, many of them living and working within the area, passionately contributing to growing local economic development and land re-use efforts noting art galleries, non-profit offices, and community gardens.