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Electric cars and city dynamics

Marc Lefkowitz  |  04/18/12 @ 10:43am

How should cities prepare for a future where alternative fuel vehicles become an attractive choice? What special design considerations do they need to make for the coming wave of electric vehicles? This Friday, The City of Cleveland, Cuyahoga County and Clean Fuels Ohio will look at how electric cars may one day reshape the urban landscape.

A tie-in to the electric car/urban design talk: First Unitarian Church of Cleveland begins construction this month on a 90kW solar parking canopy with an integrated EV charging station. Each year, the clean solar energy from this array could power a fleet of 20 Chevy Volts or Nissan Leafs for about 15,000 miles.

Neighborhood Progress, Inc.-through its ReImagining Cleveland initiative-is looking for summer interns who want to get their hands dirty helping nine urban farms. To sweeten the deal, they've secured room and board at the soon-to-open Cleveland Hostel in Ohio City.

To pursue its new energy reduction goal of 20% for buildings, Cuyahoga County has signed on to a national network called Emerald Cities. In a press release, Shanelle Smith, Cleveland director of Emerald Cities, pledged to help:

  • Seek financial mechanisms for county-owned buildings and for the Municipal Energy Program (MEP) to make buildings 20 percent more energy efficient by 2020;
  • Create community workforce agreements (CWA) for retrofit projects financed through the MEP. CWAs will ensure equity in public investments for the entire community and through contracting, subcontracting, training and employment policies;
  • Actively participate in the Better Buildings Challenge, a challenge committing large institutions to lead in saving energy, saving money, and showcasing the best energy saving strategies and their results.

Emerald Cities will support the county's MEP with technical assistance on project operations and design, marketing and communications, policy guidance and advocacy. In addition, Cuyahoga County will join a national ECC network that provides mutual assistance and shared learning.

A related issue that needs to be sorted: Who is leading the charge on the county's sustainability initiatives in the wake of Sustainability Manager Joyce-Burke Jones' departure?

Localfoodcleveland has compiled a list of the region's Community Supported Agriculture (CSAs are a local food business model where you buy shares that support area farmers who deliver bags of fresh food weekly to a central pick-up spot).

News from Sustainable Cleveland 2019:

?May is National Bike Month. Are you ready to take the Cleveland Bike Challenge? Get real fit all the while logging your miles traveled, carbon emissions reduced and calories burned with a pretty incredible calculator that lets teams and cities compete. Let's show the world that Cleveland is an emerging bike city! Read more and be one of 5,000 riders already participating from across the country with the goal of uniting 50,000 people to bike 10 million miles. (as an aside, I downloaded the app and used it for a walk commute...it's very easy to understand; linking with GPS to provide insights like distance, speed and elevation change).

?The Cleveland Energy $aver Pilot Program allows qualified Cleveland homeowners to save up to $3,750 on home energy efficiency improvements. If you are a Cleveland homeowner interested in participating, call 216-672-3535 or visit www.ClevelandEnergySaver.com.

?The Cleveland Indians install a wind turbine and test pilot amplification system designed by CSU Engineering professor Majid Rashidi.

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