Made in Cleveland: Sustainability Innovations

Just came across some videos shot and edited by Brad Masi that I’d like to share with you all:

The Urban Lumberjacks are deconstructing houses and using the materials to build greenhouses.

The Central Community Cooperative is especially interesting to me because of its connection to Cuyahoga Community College’s Metropolitan Campus (Tri-C Metro) and Dr. Michael Scope, who also started the Collaborative Campus. The Collaborative Campus Project is an effort to build upon the strengths of the area surrounding Tri-C Metro, making it a safer, more prosperous and sustainable community for all. Tri-C’s efforts to reach out to their surrounding community are truly inspiring and I’m looking forward to seeing how these new projects are implemented, creating results for the neighborhoods within the Campus District.

Click here to watch some more of Brad Masi’s videos!

Re-imagining a More Sustainable Cleveland 2.0

Re-imagining a More Sustainable Cleveland is an initiative that started in 2008 as a pilot program for vacant land reuse. Neighborhood groups, churches, schools and individuals could apply for funding and technical assistance to transform a vacant lot from the Cuyahoga County Land Bank into a community garden, a pocket park, a phytoremediation site, an urban farm, or any number of other green land uses.

In 2010, the leaders* of the initiative decided to tackle more vacancy than could be done on the individual lot level.  Re-imagining a More Sustainable Cleveland 2.0 is a study to identify large-scale catalytic projects in the following categories that could create lasting change in Cleveland: agriculture, alternative energy, contamination remediation, land assembly, neighborhood stabilization, sustainable pattern of development, and stormwater retention.

To learn more about Re-imagining a More Sustainable Cleveland 2.0, take a look at this presentation that was given by Freddy Collier Jr., Citywide Plan Project Manager of the Cleveland City Planning Commission:

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Northeast Ohio’s Notable Nine

What is better than a “Top Ten” or a “Year in Review” list?  The Notable Nine, of course.  A whiz-bang combination of both, and yet unique in number, the Notable Nine have managed to multiple-handedly change the game in Northeast Ohio.

Without further ado, I present…

The Notable Nine

9.  Sustainable Cleveland 2019 Action and Resources Guide: In the second year of its decade-long endeavor, this mayor-led initiative has published a report on how to move forward.

8.  The Restoring Prosperity Report: A collaborative effort between the Greater Ohio Policy Center and the Brookings Institute, this report offers policy recommendations for improving Ohio’s long-term prosperity.

7.  The Northeast Ohio Green Map: You can add sustainable organizations, initiatives and infrastructure to it too!

6.  Water|Craft Urban-Infill Vol. 3: This book by the Cleveland Urban Design Collaborative’s PopUp City is jam-packed with ideas on regional water issues and new urban design approaches to tackle them.

5.  NEORSD Project Clean Lake:  No one likes Combined Sewer Overflows (CSOs), including the US EPA.  CSOs allow untreated sewage to go into our otherwise beautiful watershed and Great Lake.  The NEORSD is now going to do something about it.

4.  Trust for Public Land: Taking the reigns for completing the Towpath Trail and connecting it to Lake Erie, the Trust for Public Land is making it possible to build a greenway through downtown Cleveland.

3.  Flats East Bank Loan Guarantee from HUD: The redevelopment of the Flats East Bank is perhaps not so far off after all.

2.  Reimagining Greater Cleveland: The Cleveland Botanical Garden is using the $167,000 grant they received from the Great Lakes Protection Fund to help transform vacant land in Northeast Ohio into ‘green’ infrastructure.

1.  Northeast Ohio Sustainable Communities Regional Planning Grant and the Regional Prosperity Initiative: There’s nothing quite like getting federal dollars for sustainable community building in Northeast Ohio!

(Continue reading for Honorable Mentions and Maybe Next Times)
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The Launch of the Northeast Ohio Green Map

When I arrived at my desk after the launch party for the Northeast Ohio Green Map, there was a letter waiting for me. I opened it with some degree of excitement (my name and address were handwritten – always a good sign) and found inside a thank you note from one of the attendees of the event that attracted dozens interested in mapping the region’s sustainability assets online.

The note, the turnout and the feedback at the launch party made me feel as though what we are working on here is, in fact, needed and rejoiced as a tool for community asset mapping in Northeast Ohio. What an extraordinary feeling to have after working on something that you believe in.

During the event, the back room of the Treehouse shrank as people continued to pour in during the presentation, and I was relieved that the bar didn’t have as limited a supply of beer as we had of Edison’s pizza.

Click to view the presentation

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The Northeast Ohio Green Map

This summer, I’m working with GreenCityBlueLake to develop the Northeast Ohio Green Map.

This is an open-sourced asset map (read: inventory of our communities’ strengths) of all the sustainability organizations, initiatives and infrastructure in Northeast Ohio, and we need your knowledge and participation in order to make this map the rich community tool that it has the potential to become.

Join us for the launch of the Northeast Ohio Green Map!

5:30-8pm at The Treehouse, 820 College Ave., Tremont

Join us for this Mapping Party to celebrate the launch of the Northeast Ohio Green Map. The Treehouse will supply the beer, we’ll supply the food, and you supply the knowledge of our communities’ assets and opportunities!  Bring your laptop and we’ll start mapping Northeast Ohio’s sustainability organizations, initiatives, and infrastructure together.

Asset mapping could help organizations and individuals of all kinds—including non-profit, for-profit, governmental, academic and public—to find one another, connect and collaborate around regional sustainability.
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Origin and Future of the Collaborative Campus Project

Photo by Mark Duluk

Eleven months ago, over seven hundred people from diverse sectors and industries came together for three days to talk about making Cleveland a more environmentally, socially, and economically sustainable city over the course of the next ten years.  Those three days were named the Sustainable Cleveland 2019 Summit.

During the summit, participants divided into over twenty-one working groups in which they would address vacant land, transportation, local food systems, education, healthcare, renewable energy, business innovation and much more.  One of those working groups came to be known as the Collaborative Campus.

Although almost a year has passed since the original summit, many groups have struggled to find the resources necessary to move toward immediate action.  The Collaborative Campus Project, however, is underway.

The Collaborative Campus Project

The Collaborative Campus Project is a partnership between Cuyahoga Community College (Tri-C), Cleveland State University (CSU), Cleveland Institute of Art (CIA), and Cleveland Metropolitan School District (CMSD) to link the pursuit of “world class sustainability education” to the context of a sustainable neighborhood.  They came to the realization that healthy neighborhoods strengthen institutions as much as institutions strengthen their surrounding communities.
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Baldwin-Wallace Sustainability Symposium

Today and tomorrow Baldwin-Wallace College is hosting their annual Sustainability Symposium on Climate & Carbon.  If you missed the speaker this morning (Senator Sherrod Brown), you can still make it to the Keynote tonight at 8pm from Dr. Susan Solomon, a senior scientist with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s Earth System Research Laboratory.

Solomon was the lead U.S. scientist for the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), and was awarded the 1999 National Medal of Science, the highest scientific award bestowed by the United States government.  You could say that she’s kind of a big deal.  So come hear what she has to say tonight and stick around for the various panels tomorrow.

Baldwin-Wallace is a role model of campus sustainability. They received the Northeast Ohio Environmental Award in 2009, and for good reason.

It was the first college in Ohio to offer a Bachelor’s degree in sustainability, with three tracks of focused concentration within the major:  science, social sciences/humanities and business administration.  They also offer a certificate in sustainability for Adult and Continuing Education students.

Their Institute for Sustainable Business Practice is a resource center offering consulting services for area businesses, peer-to-peer sharing for business managers, and educational programs that can benefit northeast Ohio organizations and the community.

Here’s a video of their food waste composting system:

What else?  Here’s a laundry list of their sustainability efforts to date:

  • Installed a wind turbine on campus to produce clean, renewable energy, making it the first wind turbine in Berea and one of a very few on a college campus
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Brite Winter Festival

Hi.  This Saturday, from 5-10pm, the Brite Winter Festival is taking over Hart Crane Memorial Park and it’s my opinion that you should be there.

Here’s what’s going down:
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The Full (Green) Cleveland

Check out this wonderful article posted on the Urban Gardens blog about sustainable initiatives in Cleveland:

The Full (Green) Cleveland

Here are some of the initiatives mentioned in the article (Stay tuned to Renovating to read about many others):

What’s missing from this list?  Leave a comment to add to it!