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What would a green and complete street in Cleveland look like (and where)?

Marc Lefkowitz  |  08/19/11 @ 12:18pm

· While presenting a glimpse at what a few select Cleveland streets designed under the Complete and Green Streets policy being considered by city council at a hearing this week, Sewer District Stormwater Program Manager Kyle Dreyfus Wells showed the proposed retrofit of a street with bioretention tree lawns and bike lanes in Wilmington, Delaware (pictured right). Start thinking, Cleveland, where in city and the District's priority areas can we pilot a Green and Complete street like this?

· Cleveland Museum of Natural History Executive Director, Evalyn Gates, discusses the importance of beauty and performance embodied in the PNC SmartHome in this Akron-Beacon Journal editorial.

She writes: "SmartHome may be the house of the future in performance and function, but it blends in perfectly with the historic homes in a nearby neighborhood. It provides tangible evidence that we can reduce significantly our dependence on generated energy from any source, without sacrificing comfort, space, beauty or livability - and demonstrates that we can start living in this future today."

· Angie Schmitt blogs in Urbanophile that blind boosterism is not doing Cleveland any favors. She writes: "I don't see what good it does for Clevelanders to shout about how wonderful the city is when anyone who is being honest with themselves can see that Cleveland is a place where something has gone terribly awry. Segregation. Sprawl. Disinvestment. Corruption. Cleveland could be a case study in any of these problems.

These are the issues urban boosters should be focused on in Cleveland. Instead we all seem to be focused on the few glimmers of hope-the cool new coffee shop in the gentrified neighborhood, food trucks and community gardens?"

· The Great Lakes Urban Exchange (GLUE) seems to be interested in the solutions side of what Schmitt writes about. GLUE's network is mostly young urban 'boosters' in Detroit, Cleveland, Youngstown and Pittsburgh, the site of their 4th annual conference (Sept. 15-17) which will "focus largely on neighborhood innovations and neighbor-led solutions."

· For anyone interested in pursuing a career in sustainable agriculture and local food systems, learning how to grow food for your own consumption, or farmers or urban growers looking to transition to sustainable agriculture systems, Lorain County Community College (LCCC) has a new certificate program in sustainable agriculture.

· Clean water advocate Erin Huber, filmmaker Tom Kondilas, Laura Blake of Elbee Studio and Teddy Mwonyonyi, a teacher from Cleveland Municipal School District's Stokes Academy are back from a month in Uganda. Their trip was about raising awareness of clean water, in Northeast Ohio, by telling the story of a village in Uganda without it's own water source. On September 9, they will explain their the Making Waves Project which includes an original film to bring a well to the village.

· Copenhagenize blogs that "The Case for Bicycling Infrastructure" has fueled tremendous growth and safety for even the most inexperienced cyclists in cities around the world (strangely, the U.S. and the U.K are the only countries where a small but vocal minority of transportation cyclists argue that bike lanes are worthless; the point is, they certainly don't represent the majority, so why do they get so much attention?)

· Grist suggests the following remedy to the "conservative white man" who is so effectively blocking progress on climate change adaptation strategies and green economic development: "One sentiment, lately growing in popularity, is that the best way around the CWM climate conundrum is just to stop talking about it. If climate has become divisive and partisan, then drop it; there's plenty of good policy that doesn't require climate as a premise. That's the thrust of the recent "Climate Pragmatism" report and the idea seems to be catching on."

· At a public meeting on Aug. 15, Cleveland Heights City Council voted unanimously to pass an ordinance that amended the zoning code "to adopt regulations for adaptive reuse of existing institutional and other non-residential buildings in residential districts," The Heights Observer reports.

· At least one area cyclist is concerned with a re-surfacing treatment called 'chip seal' which leaves a lot of loose stone on the road, which can cause serious wipe out and road rash if you're not paying attention. In Cleveland Heights, the city plans to resurface the following roads and have a surface treatment of chip seal: Berkshire (Coventry to Norfolk, Norfolk to Euclid Heights), Briarwood (Meadowbrook to Kensington, Cedar to Meadowbrook); Canterbury (Fairmount to Scarborough), Dellwood (Lee to Taylor); Derbyshire (Kenilworth to Edgehill); Edgehill (Washington to Woodward); Grandview (W. St. James to Cedar); Mt. Vernon Blvd. (Forest Hills to Northvale); Newbury (Mayfield to Monticello); Oakridge (Glenwood to Yellowstone, Mayfield to Glenwood); Rumson(Taylor to Forest Hills); Bolton (Lee to Monticello); Chelsea (Blackmore to Newbury, Forest Hills to Blackmore); Dartmoor (E. Monmouth to Fairmount); Elandon (Chestnut Hills to Denton); E. Overlook (Goodnor to Lee); Kew (Rumson to Chelsea); Monmouth (Lee to Arlington); Westover (Rumson to Chelsea).

If you're concerned about chip seal on these or any other road in Cleveland Heights, contact the Cleveland Heights Bicycle Coalition

· This fall, the Conservancy for Cuyahoga Valley National Park, in concert with Hale Farm & Village and the Countryside Conservancy, will be offering two family programs as part of their new Farm School Initiative. The programs will combine experiences in camping, hiking, taking a train, shopping at a farmer's market (and talking to the farmers), learning about growing and preparing fresh local organic food. See more information on The Mother & Daughter Garden Party Overnight and the Stone Soup Mystery Meal.

· With 20% of the world's energy consumed by street lighting, perhaps it is time to rethink our approach to lighting urban areas. This Next American City post looks at some innovations around street lights.

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