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RE-IMAGINING A MORE SUSTAINABLE CLEVELAND

Re-imagining a More Sustainable Cleveland is a collaborative effort to address population decline and large-scale urban vacancy in Cleveland. The ongoing initiative is led by Kent State’s Cleveland Urban Design Collaborative (CUDC), the City of ClevelandNeighborhood Progress, Inc. and LANDstudio (formally ParkWorks), along with 30 partner organizations from the Northeast Ohio region. Re-imagining a More Sustainable Cleveland includes a plan, policy recommendations, zoning changes and demonstration projects for sustainable land reuse. The initiative addresses vacancy issues by introducing non-traditional urban land uses to city neighborhoods. The different land uses are divided into three broad categories, including:

  • Treating vacant sites as viable opportunities for future development;
  •  Introducing green infrastructure to expand and connect parks and green spaces using vacant land and to restore the urban tree canopy, manage storm water and reclaim damaged ecosystems; and
  • Creating productive landscapes by using land in a way that brings economic benefits, including agricultural uses and the generation of alternative energy
Re-imagining a More Sustainable Cleveland can be replicated by other cities across the nation, and it has influenced a planning effort in Detroit as well as policy initiatives and funding programs developed by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. The Re-imagining a More Sustainable Cleveland initiative received the American Planning Association’s (APA) 2012 National Planning Excellence Award for Innovation in Best Practices for Sustaining Places, the profession’s highest honor.

RE-IMAGINING A MORE SUSTAINABLE CLEVELAND REPORT

Creating opportunities for all people, fair access to resources, commitment to healthy places for children, and using our ingenuity to capitalize on our assets are the values that are at the core of Re-Imagining a More Sustainable Cleveland. This report summarizes the goals, principles and strategies for returning vacant properties to productive use at the city-wide scale. It iden tifies policy changes that will enable the city to better make use of this growing resource. The report also includes a range of potential pilot projects meant to illustrate and test the principles, and to build capacity for the strategic management of vacant land throughout the city.

The 30-member working group was convened by Cleveland Neighborhood Progress, Inc. in collaboration with the City of Cleveland and Kent State University's Cleveland Urban Design Collaborative with funding from the Surdna Foundation.

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VACANT LAND RE-USE PATTERN BOOK

The pattern book is a companion to the Re-Imagining Cleveland plan and recommendations for vacant land reuse that were adopted by the Cleveland City Planning Commission in December 2008. This book is intended to provide inspiration, guidance and resources for community groups and individuals who want to create productive benefit from vacant land in their neighborhood and begin to restore Cleveland's ecosystem.

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IDEAS TO ACTION RESOURCE BOOK

The purpose of this book is twofold: 1) to put ideas and helpful information into the hands of people who can and will change the city for the better and 2) to introduce you to some local heroes who are leading the way - greening, gardening, and growing produce all over the city. They are young, old, black, white, native Clevelanders, recent immigrants, east siders and west siders. The Ideas to Action resource book is intended to provide guidance for planning and implementing a community land reuse project. This book details numerous ideas for vacant lot reuse and identifies ways to enhance communitity involvement.

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