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Sustainable momentum & artists in the Rust Belt

Marc Lefkowitz  |  08/26/09 @ 10:19am

  • The Sustainable Cleveland 2019 Summit set the stage for a future vision; tonight's Entrepreneurs for Sustainability meeting is about connecting with people already advancing projects or pushing for big changes in their organizations and our region.
  • Gallery spaces and artists working in studios are indicators of a healthy creative economy. Community Partnership for Arts and Culture's Rust Belt to Artist Belt II symposium, Sept. 17-18, will make the case for an artist-driven urban redevelopment agenda in Cleveland (which has one of the largest concentrations of working artists in the country, according to CPAC). Meanwhile, you can participate in "performance" art that calls attention to urban regeneration this Friday at Electric Roller DiscoTech, a Pop-Up City party in the Leff Electric warehouse at 1163 E. 40th Street in the somnolent Midtown area. If you don't get to check out the RetroPop Bar and "wheel-in-theatre", you'll have a second chance to be in a performance project that raises awareness of redesigning cities that are closer to nature on Sept. 18, National Park(ing) Day, when all over the country parking spaces will be converted into temporary urban green spaces. We think a large group of artists should take over parking spaces in front of the Rust Belt to Artist Belt symposium at Gordon Square Arts District.
  • In many ways Pittsburgh's stunning turnaround is a story of where Rust Belt to Artist Belt and sustainability converge. Recently named "Most Livable City" by The Economist, Pittsburgh recognized and drove hard to redevelop its industrial infrastructure for the green economy. According to the report, "Pittsburgh: The Rest of the Story" "(The turnaround) involved public investment in infrastructure, private and government subsidies, and express plans to "pick winners" and support them until they gained a lead. It is a story of industrial planning, a piece that has been missing from our national economic equation for the last 30 years."
  • Cities are the best answer to climate change. Toolkits like Natural Capitalism Solutions' will add to their bench strength. "The Climate Protection Manual for Cities collects the disparate case studies, best practices, cost/benefit analyses, legislation, technical descriptions and contacts to facilitate climate action planning and implementation." It will also take a massive mobilization effort to get cities and their residents to understand their part in the transition.

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