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Can cities be self-reliant? Will Ohio require green buildings?

Marc Lefkowitz  |  08/11/11 @ 2:40pm

· OSU professor Parwinder Grewal publishes a study, "Can cities become self-reliant in food?" where he asserts that Cleveland can be, if it reuses 80% of its 20,000 vacant lots. City residents can generate between 22% and 48% their own fresh vegetables and fruits (depending on the vegetable production practice used-conventional gardening, intensive gardening, or hydroponics), he writes, and 25% of both poultry and shell eggs, and 100% of honey. Cleveland City Planner Kim Scott groundtruths this aggressive scenario in a Wired Magazine article, saying that no where near the urban farmers are ready (thousands would need to be trained if the interest is there, and may not be until there's a culture shift toward wanting fresh food).

· The Ohio House of Representatives introduced a bill that would require all buildings that receive state capital funding to meet certain energy efficiency and building standards and to encourage the use of Ohio-produced products. See HB 306 for details.

· Pennsylvania Governor's Marcellus Shale Advisory Commission and Transportation Funding Advisory Commission recommends creating an "Intermodal Transportation Fund" for rail freight, aviation, passenger rail and ports to serve the expanding natural gas drilling across the state. All Aboard Ohio wonders if Ohio needs to start a "complementary effort, especially if we seek to further nurture the Cleveland - Pittsburgh Tech Belt and the Utica shale regions."

· Governor Kasich is bringing together stakeholders from industry, academia, and environmental-conservation sectors to discuss Ohio's energy future on Sept. 21 and 22. Battelle Memorial Institute is hosting the summit at the Ohio Union at Ohio State University. Because the summit is expected to be oversubscribed, attendance is by invitation only. However, the two-day program (which overlaps Cleveland's 2019 Sustainability Summit) will be available via live webcast.

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