Blog 7: Disaster Planning

CRPeppers: Jack Barron, Sam Jallaq, Haley Jaynes, Gabrielle Smith & John Smith  


Hurricane Ike tormented the USA from September 1st 14th in 2008. It was considered a Category 4 at its peak over the Atlantic, but it shrunk to a Category 2 when it made landfall. The majority of the hurricane hit Texas and Louisiana, with winds of 110 mph and 22 ft storm surges covering large portions of the coast and destroying vegetation and uprooting trees. The flooding went as far as 10 miles inland, and was exasperated by 20 in of rainfall in 2 days. The hurricane destruction wasn’t limited to only the coasts however as its winds spawned 29 tornados and the hurricane turned into a Tropical storm over the Midwest and continued to wreak havoc.  In Ohio specifically, 2.6 million people lost electricity from Cincinnati to Columbus. Overall, the hurricane caused 112 deaths directly, but an additional 64 people perished from indirect deaths from electrocution, carbon monoxide poisoning, etc In monetary terms, there was $33.3 billion in damage, $12.5 billion in  Texas, Louisiana and Arkansas, not including flood damage. The hurricane destroyed homes, left people stranded on their homes, forcing some to carry sick relatives up through their attics, and forced relocations to football stadiums to avoid flooding. Many rescuers spent a significant amount of time helping those encompassed by the flood water. Overall, Hurricane Ike cause an immense amount of damage and took many human lives in the span of 14 days



I Found a hurricane Ike archive page, it is an archive of “the Official Page for the Galveston County Office of Emergency Management Announcements”. During Hurricane Ike and the aftermath, the stories change tone and frequency.  On September seventh (2008) to the tenth there were eight updates warning about a storm approaching and not recommending evacuation. On September 11th there were greater than ten postings talking about evacuation and preparation. Then on September 12th mandatory evacuation was ordered. Over ten stories were about preparation and visiting politicians. September 13th to 15th there were over ten stories talking about damages and many interviews politicians and school superintendents. On September 15th there were stories about power being restored and a mandatory curfew. Things seem to be fragile at this point, but improvements are steadily being made. More power is being restored but some water is not safe to drink. September 16th to 17th has many stories about power, road openings, and debris pickup. September 18 the stories shift to trying to return to normalcy. With stories like “Dickinson Municipal Court has advised those with payments or tickets due during the wake of Hurricane Ike contact the court immediately”, “Houston Mayor Bill White today announced that he has established a relief fund for victims of Hurricane Ike”, “The City of West University Place has lifted its Boil Water Notice” and “The Metropolitan Transit Authority of Harris County today announced that its Park and Ride service has returned to operating on its normal schedule”.  On September 21st There are many stories detailing aid services and resources like the red cross. On the 22nd there are still a lot of stories they seem to be more positive “The City of Friendswood has issued an update on its recovery process and announced that less than 10 percent of Friendswood is without power”. From September 23rd to the 26th there is still and high influx of postings. They talk of funding and supplies to people before the focus was cleaning up storm damage. After the 25th only five more stories are posted the final update is given on October 31st.

(Management, Galveston County Office of Emergency. “Hurricane Ike Archive.” Guidry News, )



Over 1.5 million people still didn’t have power on the 16th of September

Evacuation flights were suspended as airports were out of power and there were high winds

Highways were jammed and gas stations were out of service for weeks

Oil boats were stuck in a harbor and destroyed — they crashed into each other

Fires were started with destroyed machinery

There were many mandatory evacuations, but more than 100,000 people in Texas did not

Places in the Midwest weren’t prepared for the high winds and lost power for as long as a week

FEMA aid was late to many people who applied for loans and trailers

Hospitals were impacted and remained closed, so people were sick and many were unable to be treated


Future improvements

Strategies communities can use to prepare/protect themselves from future hazards like Ike are:

1. More storm drains

2. Making buildings and cities above sea level

3. Seawall

4. Reduce wetland degradation

5. Green infrastructure: walls, levees, and pumps

6. Making buildings resistant to high winds


The main barrier to many of the proposed strategies is funding, which is determined by the government. The only way to minimize this barrier is to petition the government to look at the past cost in damages and show them it would be much more cost effective to increase funding now and prevent those costly damages. Another barrier would be that the existing infrastructure sometimes prevents more storm drains, leeves, etc. This also calls back to the funding, because it could be done if there was enough funding. The only way to minimize this would be to increase funding and dedicate more manpower to get it done before another disaster makes all the work useless.

Blog 6: Affordable Housing

Site Characteristics

The area Weinland Park was created in between 1900 and 1920 as a streetcar suburb in close proximity to many middle-class factory jobs, but once the streetcar was removed it started to decline. In the 1980s as the area was destitute, public housing was instituted but failed, and gang activity rose. A majority of the properties were American Foursquare, with brick siding. Additionally, many other properties were one or two-story duplexes and there seemed to be no property higher than 4 stories. The area’s revitalization was funded by grants from the Department of Housing and Windsor Terrace and Low-income Housing Tax Credits and has received support from Weinland Park Civic Association and Weinland Park Collaborative. The population for the area is 5,000 people served by 2,000 households with land use being for many single family homes around 1,500 square feet. In regard to home value, most people are renters but the average rent $637, however its steadily rising.


After visiting Weinland Park Homes, it is comparable to the built environment. The housing is 3/4 bedrooms, however, the houses fit the style of the area except the fact that they are newer. Before the area was developed it was a vacant lot, however. It fits the scale of surrounding housing because the homes only have two floors.  The homes look attractive and quaint. Additionally, the area is maintained in order to attract new people to the neighborhood. Each house has a 1 car garage with more parking spaces, with young vibrant trees keeping the property clean and sleek. The areas proximity to the Short North is also attracting new businesses, with many bars and corner stores on the outskirts. The area also isn’t a food desert as there is a Kroger within a mile. The area also utlizes the COTA bus system with multiple routes such as the 1, 2, 2L, 4, 8, 12, & 22. Also, there are bike paths throughout the area allowing for inexpensive tranportation.

For the Secondary effects of the area, crime and property values have drastically changed. As already discussed before, in the 1980s  there was prominent gang violence, today however even thought crime is 141% higher than the national average, it still is safer than 2/3 of cities in Ohio. For property values, they increase West of High and as you approach Clitonville and Italian Village. The crimes at 500 ft were only 1 theft, within 1000 ft there were 13 crimes including assault, motor vehicle theft, robbery and burglary, .25 miles there were 22 crimes, and 113 total crimes.  Weinland Parks Schools in the area, are not the best (2/10 according to Great Schools), and do not have a lot of students.  Finally, housing as we move further from 500 ft, 1000 ft, .25 miles, and .5 miles the properties slowly increase in value from 25k to 90k and beyond. 

Blog 5 Comprehensive Plan

Names: Jack Barron, Sam Jallaq, Haley Jaynes, Gabrielle Smith & John Smith  

The University District presented an overall succinct plan with many goals, some of which were well detailed and others were to broad. The most prominent issues were: concentrating development around OSU, incorporating more public art, redeveloping green spaces, adding housing and increase parking regulation. In regard to land use, we were impressed that 87% of the district is used for housing and academics, 48% of which is dedicated to housing, which is a necessity for the areas dense population. One of the focuses of the plan was to increase mixed use buildings. Through the addition of Target and Amazon, the planners have addressed the area’s growing population and their mixed building goal. Although new mixed use housing addresses the population density, it fails to address the needs of its demographic. The median income in the University District is $17,927 and 41% of its population makes less than $15,000, both of which are below the poverty line. Pivoting to one success of the district plan is the improvement of pedestrian access. Students are able to live and work in the area without needing access to cars. However, circumstances for transit riders/commuters and bicyclists haven’t improved at the rate promised. Also, the increase of permit parking has reduced the number of spots able to be used by visitors, putting even more strain on all the alternative transit options, further highlighting the need to reach the rate of improvement promised. Finally, no attempt has been made to make the area more environmentally friendly or beautify green spaces, which is disheartening. The University District touched on many of its goals and focuses, however, it needs to invest further in certain areas.

As aspiring planners, we formulated a few ideas of how to improve the district. One of the simpler ideas is to increase the number of recycling bins. Addressing the parking and congestion issue, we would like to see the creation of bus only lanes (alike to those in Europe) and bike lanes. Additionally as highlighted above, the district plan is pushing out lower-income students by not viewing affordable housing as a necessity, which in turn lessens the possibility of academic success. Also, this development is taking away the charm of uniqueness of the area. Local businesses need to be saved. They give students a sense of place, and they have more power to address the needs of the local population. Many of the shortfalls illuminated earlier in the blog were found to have nice solutions from our group’s teamwork.

Blog 4: Arts & Urban Revitalization

Names: Jack Barron, Sam Jallaq, Haley Jaynes, Gabrielle Smith & John Smith  

Over the course of our walk on High Street, we found two lackluster locations. The first location we scouted was the Donato’s Pizza on High and Frambes, jutting out from other buildings.

One of the walls, the large black wall facing North, is misused, wasted, and it could be repurposed into a location for a nice art installation. The best proposal for the wall is a mural projection bulletin board hybrid with a bench in front. Our second idea was for the underground mall.

The mall, as it is underground is already somewhat hidden, in turn, we would like to bring more attention to it by creating a unique, and what can only be described as Narnia-esque area. In turn, the above suggestions will drastically improve these areas on High St.

Returning to the first issue, there are several parts to the Donato’s mural. Firstly, we would use florescent paint in order to ensure the mural is easily differentiable from the wall. Secondly, the mural, Block O, leaves the center unfilled to place the projection inside it, to take a picture frame aesthetic. Additionally, there will be a nice bench in front of the mural for a better photo opportunity. This mural has two different appeals, during the day it will be a great place, as referenced before, for photos however at night, the fluorescent paint will illuminate the O and frame the projection which contains photos, ads, and events. The Donato’s wall is a prime area for new art on High Street.

The other major art installation, the underground mall will be more of an architectural art addition rather than a ‘normal’ art piece. For the outside, as mentioned before, we would like to alter it significantly. The idea set forth, is a deconstructed house, alike to the ruins of reminiscent Ancient Athens, with brick instead of marble. When- walking into the ruins, you are enveloped in light from the bulbs leading the eye naturally to the doors of the mall. Additionally, there are fairy doors in the brick siding to leave positive, encouraging messages for visitors to build neighborhood comradery. The new façade for the underground mall would be amazing for the community and the business.

In regard to policy, we feel as if both installations shouldn’t need any major public policy initiatives. For the bulletin board, we would use local businesses to fund the projection by having paid advertisements. Additionally, you will be able to tag yourself at the Donato’s location, which will provide an incentive to pay for it as its online advertising, for them. Also, the tagged photos will appear on the projection as well. In turn, public policy shouldn’t be a factor as this is a private wall and a private endeavor. For the underground mall, other than maybe a lighting ordinance, it may be necessary to approach town hall in order to find out how bright the lights can be, but the mall should pay for the creation of the new façade. Funding and policy for these tow art pieces should be of little consequence.

Blog 3: Field Assessment

Names: Jack Barron, Sam Jallaq, Haley Jaynes, Gabrielle Smith & John Smith  

For building use Ohio State does an exemplary job of using all of the buildings campuses, however, the buildings on High Street are underutilized and harder to determine if they are in use. Also placing the Towers in the hills increases the aesthetic and allows the Towers to feel in sync with the surrounding area. On High Street especially, the setbacks are more pronounced compared to non-campus areas. The sidewalks on the boundaries of campus were significantly less user-friendly compared to the inner parts of campus and parts of High Street. In reference to street safety, one example we came across was the pedestrian overpass, which leads to the bike path, and by creating an overpass and removing pedestrians from the street it exponentially increases pedestrian and driver safety. For accessibility, The Shoe is a prime example of ensuring everyone has equal an equal ability to reach the love of football. After traversing the terrible sidewalk, the group discovered an awkwardly designed parking lot adjacent to the Towers, which could have had many more parking spaces or even not existed.

Building Use

 Sidewalks (People Path)

 Street Saftey (Propagated People Path)


Parking (Microscopic Automobile Daycare) 


Interpreting The City: Images, Elements & Emotions


Buckeye Donuts represents happiness as it is a neighborhood staple. It is open 24 hours and it offers delicious affordable food, with an authentic local charm.

Target exemplifies gratitude as it is now the most convenient and accessible place to get almost anything a college student could need, such as groceries and clothes.

The above picture is a stand-in for all the new expensive housing on High, creating a feeling of dread. The new housing is pricing out businesses and worrying students as landlords can raise rent insurmountably.

The COTA invokes curiosity as many people are either hesitant to take public transport or see it as extremely convenient after late nights on High. Additionally, it allows people to explore Columbus and reach areas that they would normally not have access too.

When viewing the above sidewalk, contempt is one of the many emotions felt as result of negligence over all the new development happening around campus and yet something as simple as the sidewalk is ignored. Also in the winter, they are almost impossible to traverse as ice sheets form and make it very dangerous.

Team Name and Logo

Our team name is CRPeppers, our team consists of Haley Jaynes, Gabriel Smith, John Smith, Samer Jallaq and myself, Jack Barron. Below is our team logo: