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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Sustainable Cleveland 2019 Blog

That’s right.  The Sustainable Cleveland 2019 Summit and related initiatives now have their own blog, and it’s currently hosted by GreenCityBlueLake.

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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Progress since the Sustainable Cleveland 2019 Summit

I just received an exciting email.  Here’s what it said:

Yesterday, Mayor Jackson announced the next steps in working towards building a sustainable economy in Cleveland.

  • The appointment of Andrew Watterson as Chief of Sustainability, the City’s first cabinet level position focusing on sustainability.
  • A strategic plan will be created based on the 28 summit recommendations. The Mayor’s Office of Sustainability will oversee this process, including the issuing of an RFP and the hiring of a consultant to analyze the 28 recommendations and create the plan.
  • The creation of the Sustainable Cleveland 2019 Council – This council will use the strategic plan as a blueprint for advising Mayor Jackson on creating a “green city on a blue lake”.
  • The creation of the steering committee for the 2010 Sustainable Cleveland summit.  This 63-member committee will design the next summit and will be comprised of ’09 summit participants, as well as representatives from local companies and institutions.

Below are the 28 projects that came out of the Sustainable Cleveland 2019 Summit–which the city’s strategic plan will be based on:
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Building Cleveland’s Green Economic Engine

David Cooperrider of CWRU’s Fowler Center for Sustainable Value wrote this article that was published in The Plain Dealer yesterday:

“A green economic engine can drive Cleveland’s future”

Sometime over the next 12 months, we will emerge from the recession. Clearly, it is not too soon, as a city, to aggressively and confidently close the book on what some have called “the quiet crisis.” Our collective attention for at least the next 10 years — our decade of determination — needs to be on building the economic engine of the future.
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Great Lakes Regional Collaboration for Sustainability

For a project that a few friends and I started during the Sustainable Cleveland 2019 Summit, we’re building a social networking site (a Ning) to foster collaboration and partnerships in the Great Lakes region for making our post-industrial cities more sustainable environmentally, socially, and economically.

Imagine: you log in to a gorgeous looking (wink wink) website, you create a profile for yourself that includes what you do and what your interests are in terms of sustainability – and suddenly you’re a part of a regional network of people who are interested in making our cities more sustainable. 

You can join groups depending on your interests and find experts from other Great Lakes cities to help you in your undertakings.  You can even start a project with the people you connect with in the network, attend an event about regional collaboration, or go to a workshop about nearly any topic related to urban sustainability.

This is what we’ve imagined and what we’re working on creating.  I’ll let you know when we launch it, which should be sometime in the coming weeks.

Videos from the Summit

I recently re-found this video that was shown on the first day of the Sustainable Cleveland 2019 Summit:

My mom (Ruth Eppig), my boss (Margie Flynn), and my freelance employer (Terry Schwarz of the Cleveland Urban Design Collaborative) all appear in this video, which I thought was pretty cool.  This was filmed by Gram Vessey, who will also be making a video of the event itself.

Here is another video, filmed by Mark Rabkin on his Flip, of my boss – Margie Flynn of BrownFlynn – speaking at the Summit.