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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Restoring Prosperity: Transforming Ohio’s Communities for the Next Economy

If you haven’t yet read the Restoring Prosperity Report produced by the Greater Ohio Policy Center and the Brookings Institution Metropolitan Policy Program, I highly recommend that you do.

Photo from the Restoring Prosperity Report

It provides, based on a massive community engagement campaign that I was lucky enough to take part in, policy recommendations to transform Ohio’s economy in a way that is both environmentally and socially just.

The short-, medium-, and long-term recommendations cover innovation, human capital, infrastructure, quality places, educational spending, local government collaboration, state programs and investments, and competition for Federal funding.

But how do we go from holding a report of quality policy recommendations to catalyzing implementation?

We might learn from what Pennsylvania has accomplished since the publishing of their “Back to Prosperity” Report (also done in collaboration with Brookings).

At the recent Rebuilding the Cities that Built America conference in Youngstown, Joanne Denworth of Gov. Edward Rendell’s Office of Policy in Pennsylvania noted that although they have made great progress in PA since the publishing of their smart growth report, there were also set-backs.

Of them, she recalled the push-back from rural communities that made policy implementation on behalf of city improvement difficult.  She also informed conference-goers that PA now faces the impending environmental degradation associated with the exploration of oil sands, which could set them back significantly from environmental progress made since the height of industry in the area.

These are not easy issues to solve.  But by exploring them and thinking through potential solutions, we may come closer to successful implementation of necessary policies in order to make our region more socially, environmentally, and economically sustainable.

The Strength that Will Carry Momentum Forward

The following video by Graham Veysey summarizes the proceedings of the Sustainable Cleveland 2019 Summit hosted by Mayor Jackson.

I have heard multiple Clevelanders state their frustration about the lack of visible results that have come out of the Sustainable Cleveland 2019 Summit so far.  But what I say to them each time is that this is a 10 year project.  And we are responsible for the results.
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Innerbelt Bridge Access for Everyone

A message brought to you from GreenCityBlueLake, Ohio City Bicycle Co-op, Cleveland Bikes and Cleveland Urban Design Collaborative:

“The Ohio Department of Transportation plans to build a new, $450 million I-90 bridge through downtown Cleveland.  Although all of us should be able to use it, the existing plans do not include pedestrian and cyclist access.  We need your help to change this.”

“Thirty highway bridges across the U.S. have safe and attractive bike and pedestrian amenities on them.  It can happen in Cleveland with your input.”

Let your public officials know you support access for all on the new bridge.  Here are three ways you can help:

  1. Learn more about the issue, including important public hearings and who to contact, by logging on to www.gcbl.org/innerbelt
  2. Send your comments in support to bridge@greencitybluelake.org and we’ll forward them to decision makers.
  3. Or call ODOT Innerbelt Project Manager Craig Hebebrand at (216) 581-2100.

This is not just another road building project, this is an urban redevelopment.  To read more about why bicyclist and pedestrian access to this bridge is critical for creating a more sustainable Cleveland, and for a history of the Ohio Department of Transportation’s fight against the community’s request for a separated bike/pedestrian lane on the bridge, I highly recommend that you read GreenCityBlueLake’s articles on the subject.

We need your help to support this once-in-a-generation opportunity to improve Cleveland’s inner city quality of life and sustainability.
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“I will stay if…”

Share your ideas for a better Cleveland this Wednesday, Nov. 18th, from 5:30-8:30pm at the Speakeasy below Bier Markt (1948 W. 25th St. in Ohio City).

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The event is hosted by the Great Lakes Urban Exchange (GLUE) and will include special presentations from:

  • Matt Zone, Ward 17 Councilman
  • Randell McShepard, Policy Bridge Board Chairman
  • Lillian Kuri, Program Director for Architecture, Urban Design and Sustainable Development at The Cleveland Foundation

For more information on the Cleveland edition of GLUE’s “I will stay if…”, click here.

Raise your voice and let the city know what it must do to keep you.

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Bioneers 2009

This past weekend, Bioneers Cleveland showed the national plenary speakers of the 2009 Bioneers Conference, in addition to hosting workshops and tours focused around sustainability and Northeast Ohio’s local food system.

Here are some of the national speakers from the conference…

Michael Pollan, author of Omnivore’s Dilemma and In Defense of Food:

(Watch Part 2 and Part 3 of this lecture)

Annie Leonard, creator of “The Story of Stuff”:

(Watch Part 2 and Part 3 of this lecture)

Jerome Ringo of the Apollo Alliance:

(Watch Part 2 and Part 3 of this lecture)

Want more?  Visit the Bioneers Facebook page to see the other national plenary addresses.

The Vital Center

The Brookings Institution Metropolitan Policy Program wrote a groundbreaking report about the importance of renewing the Great Lakes region, called “The Vital Center: A Federal-State Compact to Renew the Great Lakes Region.”

vital center

Below is the presentation given on March 5, 2007, by Bruce Katz (Vice-President of the Brookings Institution) and John Austin (Non-Resident Senior Fellow) to brief House and Senate staff members invited by the Great Lakes Congressional Caucus Leadership, on the federal policy implications emerging from the Great Lakes Economic Initiative, and the Vital Center Report.

The Vital Center: A Federal State Compact to Renew the Great Lakes Region