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Cleveland Heights and Lakewood top national charts for walking; would you trade your car for more living space and $8,000?

Marc Lefkowitz  |  03/02/11 @ 3:19pm

  • Cleveland Heights and Lakewood tie for second behind Athens as Ohio's most walkable cities. They rank in the top 10% nationally. "Walk Score confirms what many of have long known: We have places to go and interesting neighborhoods to see, and walking is a convenient way to get there," Mary Dunbar writes in the Heights Observer. "This new neighborhood-quality metric is commanding the attention of home buyers, according to such influential publications as The Wall Street Journal and The New York Times."
  • Northeast Ohio didn't make the list of NRDC's Smarter Cities study identifying 15 metro regions with the nation's leading transportation policies and practices. The study compares and profiles U.S. regions based on public transit availability, use and cost; household automobile ownership and use; and innovative, sustainable transportation programs.

    "Innovative transit policies not only benefit the environment, but they also add richness to urban life by making city attractions and neighborhoods more accessible," said Paul McRandle, Senior Editor of NRDC's Smarter Cities Project. "By enhancing regional transportation programs we can improve our quality of life, boost our local economies, reduce air pollution and even benefit public health by making biking and walking safer and more enjoyable for commuters."

    See the cities + regions with the most sustainable transportation systems here

  • What you would do with your $8,000 bonus from living in an Intelligent City? That's your average cost to own and operate a car. It could go back into your local economy. It could make life more attractive if, for example, you didn't need a car now that everything is conveniently located (you can walk, bike or take transit where you need to go). You might finally afford that loft space in the city closer to a transit station, writes National Building Museum curator Susan Piedmont-Palladino, which is hosting the Intelligent Cities campaign. (Before you start poo-pooing this as another liberal dream, consider Washington, D.C. an intelligent city that saw a corresponding influx of 15,000 new residents and 15,000 fewer car registrations).
  • What is Cleveland's product differentiation? How does it build on its bones? Should it choose to attract the grit-chic set? Richey Piiparinen writes in national blog Rustwire that vanilla design and big ticket development approach that is being offered again (convention, casino, and aquarium) "hints at elsewhere. It gives the message that: 'you really don't want to be here. You'd rather be somewhere else.' This kind of aesthetic, it dilutes your brand."
  • Rust Belt reinvention is the topic of Governance magazine's feature on Youngstown Business Incubator, which has poured millions from Third Frontier into a tech incubator "campus", a mix of renovated historic structures and a modern glass addition in a downtown with massive vacancy. The YBI now boasts eight onsite companies with a total of 320 employees, many in highly skilled technical jobs.
  • The Ohio House introduced a bill this week to allow private contractors to drill for oil and gas in state parks.

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