I think, therefore I DESIGN
Meet urban oasis aficionado Patrick Piuma, who helped turn a 14,000-square-foot, weed-filled parking lot into a dynamic community gathering place, is director of UofL’s Urban Design Studio and co-founder of City Collaborative. He may not be from Louisville, but we’re happy to claim him as our own. In this Q&A, Patrick discusses his desire to turn vacant spaces into vibrant places and how he handles his fear of heights
Department: Urban and Public Affairs, Urban Design Studio
Years at UofL: 7
Degree: Master of Urban Planning from UofL
Research Focus: I am focused on how public and private partnerships can utilize tactical urbanism interventions to activate and catalyze development of vacant and underutilized land in our built environment.
Who had the greatest influence on your career path?
Dr. David Simpson (Urban and Public Affairs Chair at UofL), my colleagues Patrick Smith and Dave Durand, Mike Lydon of StreetPlans, John Belo of Gehl Studio, and Tommy Pacello of Memphis' Mayor's Innovation Team.
What is something your colleagues don’t know about you?
For someone who lives and breathes cities, one of my favorite things to do is fish in the mountain lakes around Jackson, Wyoming.
Who or what inspires you?
Working with civic-minded problem solvers who see issues as challenges to overcome rather than reasons not to continue. I have found that our community is blessed with many such people.
What’s the most thrilling or adventurous thing you’ve ever done?
Skydiving, particularly since I have a fear of heights.
Claim to Fame (among others): ReSurfaced, a Pop-Up Plaza on Main
Resurfaced is a program that resulted from the work of the Urban Design Studio, City Collaborative and Louisville Metro government. It started through looking at the multitude of vacant and underutilized spaces in Louisville, particularly focused on surface parking that has broken up the fabric of our downtown. ReSurfaced was the first project in the program that attempted to activate the previous Museum Plaza site at 615-621 West Main Street. We wanted to draw attention to the space while finding a way to bring people in and create a vibrant place for various community type activities.
The project received the 2015 Honor Award for Design in the Constructed Work category from the Kentucky Chapter of the American Society of Landscape Architects (KY ASLA).
On May 7, the city announced the pop-up plaza will reopen June 4 as ReSurfaced: The Bourbon Edition, with a theme combining bourbon and local food, in conjunction with The Kentucky Bourbon Affair fantasy camp. The space this summer will feature live music, art and local food throughout June, and be open nearly every Thursday, Friday and Saturday.