Elephants – blog 7

Hurricane Sandy was the deadliest and most destructive hurricane of the 2012 Atlantic Hurricane season. It was also the second costliest hurricane on record in the United States until surpassed by Hurricane Harvey and Maria in 2017. Sandy was a category 3 storm when it reached its peak when hitting landfall in Cuba, overall killing 159 and injuring many, many more while destroying over 650,000 homes and putting 8 million American customers out of power.

Of the articles we’ve read, the theme throughout is hopeless. The statistics from Hurricane Sandy are intimidating and the losses sustained are disastrous. The Atlantic wrote on November 1st (‘Hurricane Sandy: The Aftermath’, 2012) of the number of lives lost, the estimated costs in damages, along with various blurbs of what life is like throughout the city post-storm. There is little mention of positive action being taken, and the outlook looks rather grim. Another article, written by The Guardian is written in 2018 (‘Hurricane Sandy, Five Years Later: “No one was ready for what happened after.’’), analyzing the city five years after the storm. This article takes a much more personal theme, drawing from individuals’ stories of their experience during and after the storm and shares some perspectives on the storm itself, the aftermath, and what’s being done in response. There is little positive throughout this story as well. Damages are still not fixed, and many are wary of the lack of action to prevent further storms from occurring.

The tone of the two articles is eerily similar for being written so far apart. While I’m sure the positive work that came after Hurricane Sandy is being biasedly ignored for the situational exposure the two articles are hoping to achieve, it is still important to note how both articles have a feeling of shock, doom, and tense nervousness to them. Both exert feelings of scared awe in the face of such destructive storms, even with a five-year gap.

Many of the storms attributes such as flooding and heavy winds had devastating impacts on the infrastructures of the cities affected in the mid-Atlantic. Densely populated areas such as New York, New Jersey, and Connecticut were affected by the brunt of the storm.  An article written by the Huffington Post, “Hurricane Sandy Deals Infrastructure a Devastating Blow” describes the excess water to be a major problem for the electrical grid.  The hurricane had, “cut off power to at least 8 million customers” (Sledge Zeller). In New York City, a major electricity provider known as ConEd had left, “780,000 customers without power” after severe flooding damaged many power plants components. Flooding had also impacted public service areas such as a hospital that was temporality without power after their backup generator failed. On Long Island, “83 percent of Long Island Power Authority customers were without power” which took ten days to restore electricity to all 950,000-people affected. Access to work on the grid was limited as the water from the floods prevented repair to the damaged sites. Public transportation methods were also victim to flooding, such as the New York Subway system that had temporality closed because of the storm surge. Poor water runoff from heavy rains contributed to the brutality of the storm.

As of now a lot of new construction currently going on around the city. Many new glass structures are being built by the water, and, as of now, almost none of them have storm proof windows installed. A big factor while dealing with hurricane winds are the aspect of broken glass. To be more prepared for future storms many houses near the water should have some form of protection from strong winds. It’s easier to board up windows on a house but it’s really hard to board up windows on a high rise. So, to protect exterior glass damage and the people in these newer high rises these structures should have these windows installed.

Also having the cities investing in watergates/levees would be a huge factor. Installing these could keep a large amount of rising water out of certain areas prone to flooding. Doing this would make successful flood protection zones around these cities. With these new wall structures, they need to have new sewage systems or tanks that are meant to hold large amounts of water, so the streets don’t flood as much as before.

Updating certain power plants for storms like Sandy would be a huge help. Installing stronger power lines and putting most of the power lines underground will prevent them from getting knocked over by winds or trees. Also, making the plants strong in the way of withstanding high-velocity winds would make the odds of losing a large amount of power much lower.

Even though these storms don’t come a lot, certain communities should really push evacuations when needed. As seen in previous hurricanes, people don’t listen to the evacuation notices and thought they could just wait out the storm. This is a huge factor in safety issues because when you know something is coming you should leave as early as possible. Also, just like how you talk to your family about the scenario of “if there’s a fire in your house” certain communities should have guidelines to what to do when a storm this size is coming. Having a plan ready before a storm hits will make an overall better community recovery.

The most prominent obstacle to implementing any of these precautions would be financing. Reinforced windows and construction of levees would be a cost that the towns hit hardest could not afford. When faced with destruction from a hurricane, reconstruction takes priority over improvement. These costs could be mitigated by community fundraisers. Across the island, communities have been hosting charity events in order to raise money to repair and hopefully reinforce what was lost to Sandy. Communities that weren’t left as damaged could also help out towns that were devastated by the hurricane. Having those who were fortunate help those who weren’t as lucky allow for the revitalization of a community hit with a natural disaster.

        Also, the blackout across Long Island had caused the residents to realize how weak the electric grid truly was. Spending money on strengthening the power grid wasn’t the top priority until Governor Cuomo passed the LIPA Reform Act to requires companies to do so. The legislation was passed quickly after Hurricane Sandy and required companies strengthen power lines to prevent another power loss as severe as it was. This legislation was highly effective as there hasn’t been another outage even remotely as severe as there had been. The laws passed creating storm-focused regulations for Long Island’s power grid forced electric companies LIPA and PSEG Long Island to take new precautions with the power supply.

Blog 6 – Elephants

Site : Creative Living Center – 1531 Perry St. Columbus, OH 43201


Name of the Property: the Creative Learning Center


Owner/Manager: Creative Living Inc.


Type of Funding: ⅓ contributions (donations), ¼ resident rent fees, ⅓ HUD rent subsidy (US department of Housing and Urban Development)


Population Served: 34 disabled individuals


Year Built:N/A


Number of Buildings: One


Number of Units: 18 units


Land Use Classification: Multi- family


Square Footage of Building: N/A


Total Assessed Value: Net assets – $2,003,011


Site Evaluation – Document with Pictures


Examine this property within the built environment.

Does the property:

  •   Match the surrounding architectural style/building materials?
  •   Fit the scale (same height and density) of the surrounding buildings?
  • Is it an apartment building next to single-family homes?
  • Would you consider this to be an attractive or unattractive building?
  • Are surrounding buildings similar or different?



Walk around the property and examine the landscaping and maintenance of the

property. Is the property well maintained or do certain things need to be fixed or

cleaned up? If so, what are they?

Things to examine: Number of spaces and condition of parking lot; landscaping; trees;

streetscape improvements; fencing; signage; lighting; graffiti; trash


Nearby Businesses and Type


What are the nearby land uses?

Research Park ( OSU),Commercial use (west of Olentangy River rd.), Residential (east of campus)


Is it mostly residential or are there businesses?

⅓ split between Collegiate land, Residential, and  Commercial

What types of businesses exist?


How far away is the nearest grocery store?

The Kroger on King ave. is 0.9 miles from the Creative Living Center.




How far is the nearest bus stop?

The closest is a ten minute walk north to Medical Center Dr. and W 9th ave.


What lines are accessible?

Neil ave. & King Ave. (to the east), King Ave. & Olentangy Trail. (west), Medical center Dr. & 9th ave. (north), All within 2 miles.


How well are these stops maintained?

The Neil and King stop as well as the King and Olentangy trail stop both do not have shelter from inclimate weather while the Medical Center Dr. stop does.


Secondary Effects



Set buffer and examine crime analytics at 500ft, 1000ft, .25 miles, and .5 mile. How

many crimes occurred at each distance?

500ft.- none

1000ft.- Robbery Near medical campus

.25 miles-  Robbery (near MC)

.5 miles- 6 counts of misdemeanor thefts, 1 burglary, and 1 Robbery.


When the buffer is set at .5 mile, use the density map to examine crime. Is crime the hottest/most dense (red) around the property, or is it concentrated elsewhere?

  • The most crimes committed around the property are committed elsewhere, moreso allocated towards the west Commercial properties and East in the more dense residential living area.

Look at the density at different levels and see if this changes. What type of crimes are most common?

The most common crime are theft around this area, while burglaries are the second most common. The third ranking crime would be robberies.


Property Values and Education


Zoom in to your property and examine the zestimate values for nearby properties within

500ft, 1000ft, and .25 miles. Do values tend to increase or decrease as you move further

away from your property? Why might this be? Do you think it relates to the affordable


Prices for housing tend to trend higher as the distance increases away from the Living Center. This may relate to other properties not having government subsidised grants and rely more heavily on the income of the residents living there. also , the property location and cost to maintain the respective properties may differ from site to site.


Select schools on the map and determine which nearby schools are located nearby. List

and write what score they received from GreatScores. Make sure your building is in that

school district.

  • Huber Master School (PK-6th grade) scored a 3/10
  • Indianola Informal School (K-8th grade) scored a 4/10
  • (6th-8th grade) scored a 6/10


Final Blog :


Site Characteristics

The site that was selected for our team was the Creative Living Center located at 1531 Perry street in Columbus ohio. This property is owned by the Creative Living Incorporation that specializes in affordable living environments. The company is able to achieve their low cost goal by receiving funding form various amounts of contributors. Looking at the graph below, it is shown th each contributor of all funding to the Living center.Government subsidies from the United States Housing and Urban Development Department (HUD) are responsible for 38.7% of the funding to the site and is the highest revenue source. Second would be contributions from programs such as golf banquets, bouquet of flavors, and the annual campaign income creates 26.9% of the chart. Rent and residential fees make up 17.5% of the revenue and the last portion of the chart is comprised of investment income at 16.6%.

With sustainable funding and multiple sources of revenue the net value for the Creative Living Center is $2,003,011 in total. These revenue resources allow the Creative Living center to create an affordable living space for 34 residents spread across 18 units on the multi-family zoned property.

Site Aesthetics

At this particular location, the Creative Living Center specializes in creating cost effective living conditions for disabled people that require more accomodations for its inhabitants. The building is a single story brick structure built around a small courtyard in the middle, which is great for those unable to walk up stairs. Around the perimeter of the residents apartments the building is hidden behind a tall fence that creates both a border from the building to the street and allows the residents a small lot private greenland. To the north of the building, just across Medical Center Drive,  is the Ohio State Comprehensive Medical Center which is comprised of hospitals and laboratories in towering buildings with brick and glass facades. This location is also beneficial to disabled persons because of its close proximity of a hospital if an emergency were to occur. Surrounding the other directions though is residential land made up of mostly two and three story houses that also have wood and brick motifs. The Buildings placement on the edge of commercial and residential land allows it to blend in with the built environment as it serves as a medium from single family housing to the commercial landscape of the Cancer center. The use of brick and other materials used by both the houses and apartment complex allows the space to fit in with the design characteristics of the surrounding houses.

The complex also seems to share the same age as the surrounding environment. Walking around the structure the pale olive shutters of the windows and almost dirited white paint on the trim looked identical to the upkeep of the surrounding homes. The weathering on the exterior showed its age but the structural integrity seemed strong.Surrounding sidewalks were in great condition with minimal cracking and the back alley way was level with gravel. There was not a lot of litter on the ground and the grass was clean and green. The parking lot on the side allowed for more than enough space for the residents. The paved pathways would allow for easy mobility for those in wheelchairs or other disabilities. Without a car, the 0.9 mile walk/roll to the nearest kroger would be achievable via sidewalks. Overall the condition of the area was accommodating and in great condition.


Transport to and from the Living center are readily available in the surrounding area. The most comfortable and closest one in proximity would be the Medical Center dr. and West 9th ave. bus stop. From there you are able to take it to High street and past King ave. This stop is also the closest one that has a small weather shelter for adverse conditions.


There are also two other bus stops around the building. One of which would be the Neil ave. & King Ave. bus stop to the east  as well as the King Ave. & Olentangy Trail to the west. The drawback to these two spots though is that they do not offer any  shelters while waiting. While the bus stops may be available, the site also has access to a parking lot on the side. Given its location so close to campus, having parking in a dense place is a highly valued commodity for those residents planning on driving for their first mode of transportation.


Traveling may seem dangerous while being in such a populated area, especially at night. The crime reports around the area reflect that the area gets more dangerous the father away someone moves the Apartment complex. Within the immediate surrounding area at 500ft. There had not been any crimes committed. The only crime that had been committed within .25 miles was a robbery near the Medical Campus. As we extended our range farther we found that within .5 miles we found that there were 6 misdemeanor thefts, 1 burglary, and 1 robbery. Utilizing the maps it was shown that the most crime committed was not in the residential area but more localized towards the commercial area such as the Medical Center and area near Olentangy river road. The most common crime was misdemeanor thefts which are localized in high traffic areas.


Like the amount of crime, the property values for the surrounding area also increases with the distance away from the Creative Living Center. As property value increases the school districts also get better, for instance, the closet school to the Living Center is the Huber Master School which had only scored a 3/10 on a school rating scale called GreatScores. The Indianola Informal School was rated a 4/10 but it was father away. Lastly, the Columbus Collegiate Academy scored a 6/10 being the highest ranking, but also the farthest away.

Blog 5 – Elephants

The University District plan has clear and distinct guidelines for the developments within the 2.9 square miles of space. The area is separated into land set aside for “Institutional” use, “Parks and Recreation” use, and residential use. Currently, the plan recommends small pockets of university-owned “Institution” land throughout the more residential areas of the University District, but from observations of developments throughout the history of the Ohio State University, they could rapidly expand in the future. The plan has set a goal to use the land they were given in the most efficient way possible for not only the university but also for the students and other residents within the boundaries of the University District.

The plan presented in the university district plan seems inclusive to everyone within the University district area, whether you’re an Ohio State student, a child attending any of the neighboring schools or just visiting the city. Schools and parks within the Weinland Park neighborhood have been updated along with homes. A new library has been added to High Street, which is beneficial to anyone in the surrounding area. High Street has been revitalized with many new stores, restaurants and the short north is consistently adapting to please its consistent visitors and bring new ones. The plans presented in the University district plan promotes inclusivity by having something for everyone within its 2.9 miles.

One thing you see the most in the district that follows the guidelines are all the new mixed-use residential buildings. Now some things are a little different, but they are moving at a fast rate and you’re able to see that almost daily. You can see from the plan and in person that they are putting the highest densities on High Street between Lane and Fifth, just like the plan. You’re able to see the more walkable stores and fast food restaurants. There are plans to make Columbus a friendlier walking city through more crosswalks and bike lanes and wider sidewalks. Everything is planned within walking distance, so you don’t need to drive from place to place. Columbus is using overall greener spaces or setting goals to use greener ways for transportation.  Columbus is constantly updating and already has very sufficient public transit in the area. Also, one of the goals was to get rid of parking in certain areas and they have done that, but not to the extent they had hoped. In some areas, there is still street parking that causes traffic mostly on High Street. Overall, we believe that most of the goals are being accomplished or within reach.

Blog 4 – Elephants

Countless students, faculty, perspectives, tourists, and Columbus natives utilize this specific pathway that marks the beginning of the eastern edge of campus. Beginning at High Street, it leads to many dorms that thousands of students call home. This walkway is an important gateway to the heart of campus life, but is usually unrecognized due to its simplicity. With the position it is in, being close to the night scene and off campus areas, safety becomes a priority. This walkway offers little in terms of the lighting needed to ensure students safe passage home, especially on weekend nights when many return very late. Implementing artwork could have many positive effects in highlighting this area as the important entrance to campus it is, and making it safer due to more lighting opportunities and increased awareness of the space from people around the area.


UC Berkeley Seal

Boston University Seal

This walkway is used every day by not only students, but professors, alumni, and proud parents every day. It is a gateway for Buckeye fans as they travel to and from the stadium from High Street, but it’s unbelievably boring. It’s not noticeable or distinguishable from any other brick path. Our plan is to place an OSU seal right in the middle of the entrance onto North Campus. Walking around, there isn’t much to distinguish North Campus from any other university. With a seal in the brick, we could definitely call this North walkway our own. We drew our inspiration from the sea on South Campus on the oval. We also noticed seals on other heavily used pathways at other universities, such as Boston University who, like OSU, has a heavy tradition surrounding it. Seeing a seal on the ground would create a space that inspires school spirit and a sense of place.

Fountain Orlando

Purdue Water Fountain

Indiana University fountain

Indiana University Fountain

02 New York Washington Square Park With Washington Arch And Fountain From NYU Kimmel Center

New York University Fountain

We also explored the possibility of adding a water feature to this location. We believe that it would make the whole area look better overall and also provide lighting to an otherwise darker area. Our goal here was to make this location as inviting as possible during the day and at night. One of our ideas is to add lights into the water feature so at night it will add color and light for passersby to enjoy and deter most crime that would possibly take place in a poorly lit area. We got this idea of a water feature because often, big corporations have them around their headquarters creating an inviting, yet powerful presence. There are always people taking pictures or videos of these features, or just hanging out around them. We thought adding features to this area would it recognizable and provide a sense of place. Overall, adding water to this area would create not just a recognizable point of campus, but also a space for both students and visitors alike to enjoy.

Monetary support is necessary to see our ideas become reality. To add visually pleasing and helpful features, we need to be backed by people who understand and support the growth and beautification of the Ohio State University. One of the few people we thought could help finance our project ideas is the university itself. The Ohio State University Campus security should be very supportive of our idea, as it will light the walkway, making students, staff, and community members feel safer while walking at night. Another supporter could be the many clubs around campus. The lights included in the water feature could be multicolored and be set for different events and occasions. Red and white for game days, pink for breast cancer awareness month, and even rainbow for pride month. Finally, we could also ask different fraternities and sororities or even alumni if they would be interested in helping fundraise for the different features. We would offer surrounding bricks where a donor’s name would be stamped in, becoming an important part of the Ohio State University.

Blog 3 – Elephants

Setbacks – The image is a side view of Thompson Library. In this image, you can see the setbacks leading up to the library with lots of space leading up to the library on all sides. I believe this is an appropriate use of setbacks due to the importance and significance Thompson library has on campus. Such a central and historical building should hold value in the eyes of those that use it every day, and the use of setbacks helps create an air of importance around it.

Accessibility – While the oval is undergoing construction for the tunnels, some of the piping is above ground causing several routes to be blocked off. This doesn’t pose an issue for those who can walk over the piping but those who might be in a wheelchair, crutches, etc. would have difficulty. Ohio State/ENGIE built a ramp to make the passage more accessible to all. There is only one ramp but most of the area is gated off so I think it’s as inclusive as it can currently be.

Building use – The Blackwell Hotel is a prominent building on campus. It’s located next to the business school in full view of the stadium. It’s the only hotel located on campus and its booked up for months. It’s rooms host high-class business meetings and boasts rooms at minimum $200 a night. This hotel has unreasonable pricing and holds a monopoly over hotels on campus, being the only option available for parents visiting students. This building doesn’t make sense as it is unreasonably priced and forces most parents to search somewhere else for an overnight stay.

Street Safety – This image is of the crossroads of Tuttle Park and Ives (right by Knowlton). Looking at this picture you can see that at times it does have traffic. During times of heavy congestion, the roads are very unsafe for those trying to cross. There is no traffic crossing light for pedestrians or even a crossing sign to warn drivers. Because a lot of people speed down this street after classes there should be something to give drivers a heads up just in case someone is about to cross. But besides a better crosswalk, the rest of the area is well designed. The sidewalks are wide enough and the roads are spaced out so drivers are not super close to the pedestrians.

Sidewalks – The sidewalks around campus are a telltale sign of where you are. South campus has thinner, winding, sometimes brick paths throughout. This shows how old campus really is and the history of the land. North, being a newer part of campus, is mostly wide cement walkways with some brick laid as a stylistic choice. These wider spaces are more friendly and accommodating to the droves of students on their way to class. The sidewalk in this picture is one on north campus and is wide enough to contain all the Buckeye fans as they pour into the Shoe on game day. The wide sidewalks offer a safe place for pedestrians to walk out of the way of cars in the street.

Blog Post 2 – Elephants

Worry: This picture shows a new apartment building being built on high street and next to it are old buildings that have been on high street for a while. This image represents a worrisome emotion because many of the clubs/ dining options/ etc are being taken away from high street and transformed into apartments which will take a away from the students “college experience”. This also causes a worrisome emotion because many of these apartments are not affordable for students, and these high rents could influence current landlords around campus to increase their rents to maximize their profits.


Pride-Hope- Sadness: This photo of this ATM can show many emotions. In a rare occasion, it can show pride because some students save their money. But if you’re like most college students it can show hope and sadness. It shows hope because after a long spending spree of junk food, alcohol, etc. there’s a hopeful feeling that you still have money in your account. It also shows sadness because after you check your balance it shows that you may have a negative balance.


Frustration: This picture shows someone’s bike that was dismantled by someone else with the intention of stealing their wheel. I choose frustration because this action makes High Street a less than ideal place, and adds a level of worry that all must hold when living on and around the area knowing that unfortunate activities like this and others occur.


Grief. The final resting place of both Too’s and The O, both places where Ohio State students had made lifelong friends and memories, now just an empty pit. What once were rooms filled with students looking for relief after long days of exams, assignments, and grading is now rubble. This image displays grief not only as sadness but also the annoyance and aggravation knowing that this pit, like the others across campus will most likely become the luxury apartments that students cannot afford.


Gratitude- Buckeye donuts provides a feeling of gratitude due to the fact that its open 24/7 and it has donuts that are affordable for students. Studying late at night and having the option to get donuts of so many flavors is something I think all college students can be thankful for. It also provides a feeling of gratitude because it is one of the buildings that have yet to be ripped out and turned into an apartment building.