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The city and corporate productivity; Removing urban highways; fracking protests at Statehouse; a bike bridge to Whiskey Island

Marc Lefkowitz  |  01/11/12 @ 3:00pm  |  Posted in Vibrant cities

· Kaid Benfield blogs that Cleveland and its suburbs will be stronger when our corporate leaders admit that re-investing in the city/a dense urban place benefits their business by helping to retain workers and boost productivity. Benfield writes: "perhaps the strongest potential force for bringing sense to our settlement patterns and strengthening central cities may be the business community." He cites the Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland study that looks at density in relation to productivity. We agree-corporate sprawl the likes of Eaton and UH and American Greetings is sending the wrong signal to our elected officials and policy makers: That there's no problem with business as usual; with MPOS subsidizing low density/high energy development with highway expansions and interchanges; and with cities that refuse to rezone for traditional town centers not cul-de-sac gated communities.

· Removing highways that sap the life out of cities is a hot topic on the national stage. Next American City is hosting a discussion on February 23 that looks at efforts to tear down urban highways in Providence, Milwaukee, Philly and the Bronx (other efforts of note include Buffalo and Seattle). Cleveland's West Shoreway should be included in these national discussions.

· EcoWatch reports that more than 250 Ohioans-led by State Rep. Robert Hagan (D-Youngstown)-assembled on the west lawn of the Ohio Statehouse yesterday to voice their opposition to hydraulic fracturing.

· The story of "Remaking downtown Youngstown" continues-developers are converting warehouses into living spaces.

· LAND Studio, the marriage of Parkworks and Cleveland Public Art, is official. The sustainable design nonprofit is teeing up projects like Wendy Park to enhance its mix of active and natural spaces. LAND notes that Cuyahoga County is about to award a contract for a new bike/ped bridge to Whiskey Island from the Flats West Bank.

· Do you want to help create content for the Cuyahoga Arts and Culture grant-funded "Historic Heights Mobile App Tours" project. The project will add 40 places (sites) to the existing Cleveland Historical mobile app (for iPhone and Android) that correspond to four focal points in Cleveland Heights: Coventry Village, Dugway Brook, Euclid Golf, and Noble Road. Read more.

· The Fowler Center for Sustainable Value at Case Weatherhead School of Business is hanging its shingle out for 10 businesses to join a "professionally designed curriculum to support participants in creating and launching their Sustainability Action Plans, carbon footprint analysis, and initial sustainability projects."

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