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Sustainability Top 10 of 2008

David Beach  |  09/24/08 @ 5:53pm

Everyday we hear about several more initiatives and events that are making Northeast Ohio more sustainable. From energy to water, food to transportation, economic development to education, and in many other areas of sustainability, the growth of activity is amazing.

What will be the most important sustainability developments of 2008? The year's not over, but below is a preliminary list of the region's Sustainability Top 10. Add your ideas as comments to this post, and we will publish a final Top 10 list at the end of the year.

Neighborhood designGreen building standards are now being created for whole neighorhoods under the U.S. Green Building Council's LEED for Neighborhood Development program, and Northeast Ohio has four projects underway.

Green buildingThe number of individual green buildings is also growing in the region.

Green infrastructureThe "Reimagining a more sustainable Cleveland" project is undertaking some of the most thought-provoking planning we've seen in years-generating ideas for re-purposing vast areas of vacant land in the city.

WaterThe Northeast Ohio Regional Sewer District's plan to establish a stormwater utility will address the new frontier of water quality problems related to how we develop land.

EnergyState policy changes in SB 221 will help to promote a market for renewable energy in Ohio.

TransportationThe Euclid Corridor project will turn the city's main street into an alternative transportation corridor with bike lanes.

Sustainable businessMore businesses are paying attention to the triple bottom line and are participating in groups such as Entrepreneurs for Sustainability, the Corporate Sustainability Network, and CWRU's Business as an Agent for World Benefit.

Land conservationRegional collaborations, such as the Lake Erie Allegheny Partnership for Biodiversity and the Western Reserve Land Conservancy (which protected over 4,100 acres in 2007), are increasing the speed of land protection in Northeast Ohio.

FoodInterest in local and organic food is exploding, with more farmers markets, urban farms, food services featuring local food, and the formation of a local food policy coalition.

EducationNo matter their school colors, local colleges and universities are all going green.

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