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ReSurfaced Returns With Ambitious East Downtown Project

A rendering of the second phase, which includes a soccer field.
Courtesy City Collaborative
A rendering of the second phase, which includes a soccer field.

ReSurfaced, an initiative designed to breathe life into unused lots, is returning for another year.

Capitalizing on the energy behind NuLu and Liberty Green, the project will concentrate on the three-quarter-acre site at the corner of East Liberty and South Shelby streets.

The folks behind the event, City Collaborative, announced the kickoff would take place on June 2 at 5 p.m., starting a two-week programmed activation of the site.

City Collaborative, an organization that makes quick transformation projects, has held previous iterations of ReSurfaced on West Main Street and in a lot along the Ohio River in West Louisville. The events are intended to show that previously dead spaces can be used to generate community activity and jumpstart entrepreneurship.

The latest incarnation, dubbed “The Liberty Build," is a long-term project that will take place in phases over 18 months. It's the group's most ambitious effort to date.

"We have created an opportunity to build community through this approach, as well as to create a space that will become a standalone asset to the neighborhood," said Patrick Piuma, co-founder of City Collaborative, in a news release.

The first phase in June will be the initial push, aiming to spark activity in the space, test the layout and start engaging the community. Jecory “1200” Arthur, a Hite Elementary music teacher and nationally known hip-hop artist, makes a return as program director and will curate the initial two-week event.

“The first six days are programmed to give the public a glimpse of what is soon to become our biggest ReSurfaced yet," Arthur said. Weekdays will include volunteer and nonprofit nights. The parties — large-scale celebrations with music and art — will be on Saturdays.

Over the next two months, the organization plans to work with civic groups and volunteers on the continued development of the site.

For the second phase in September, City Collaborative has brought on De Montfort University of Leicester, England, as a partner. Students and staff from the university will take part in developing and documenting the project. They will operate from a container studio that will serve as a point of collaboration and engagement between the partners.

The second phase features a five-a-side urban soccer field, a popular form a soccer in Europe making its way stateside. This version of the sport is played on a reduced field of 90 by 60 feet, allowing for quicker, higher-scoring games. Piuma said the group will work with local youth organizations and others to play.

The second phase will also include a community workshop studio, market unit prototype, and studio prototype.

The site is owned by Louisville Metro Housing Authority. They hope to partner with City Collaborative to provide opportunities for youth living in LMHA housing to participate.

For more information, visit www.resurfaced.org.

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