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Natural Cleveland: May

Marc Lefkowitz  |  05/16/16 @ 11:00am  |  Posted in Natural Cleveland

May is the perfect month to take your lunch to a park bench and admire the city.

<br /><br />Yellow warbler<br />Woodcock<br /><br />

As Cleveland considers transit oriented development, parking reqs could be its biggest barrier

Marc Lefkowitz  |  05/13/16 @ 10:00am  |  Posted in Vibrant cities

At a recent meeting focused on raising the bar for transit-oriented development (TOD) in Greater Cleveland, good suggestions were made to improve conditions around transit stations for development.

<br />Uptown Cleveland won a transit oriented development award for adhering to TOD guidelines that encourage walking and the presence of transit.<br />The Mayfield Road Rapid Station could spur efforts for more transit oriented development in Little Italy and University Circle. <br />A vintage photo of the surface parking lots in downtown Cleveland between Public Square and The Warehouse District.

Over BUILT - Northeast Ohio is maxed out and teetering

Marc Lefkowitz  |  05/06/16 @ 9:00am  |  Posted in NEO Sustainable Communities

This week, we take a second look at the Center for Neighborhood Technology’s 2011 “Broadening Urban Investment to Leverage Transit (BUILT) in Ohio” report. In it, CNT explains how Greater Cleveland over build its infrastructure, which led to across-the-board vulnerabilities during the Recession. CNT’s plan, which still holds, is to kick start the moribund real estate market by turning from expansion...

Maxed out<br />In many outlying areas in Greater Cleveland, three in ten properties have either a second mortgage or home equity loan. Should some of these homeowners fall behind on payments because of job loss or higher fuel costs, another round of home foreclosures could unfold.Blind faith<br />Sprawl without growth has left Greater Cleveland with a legacy of vacant units, mounting transportation costs, government debt, and tens of thousands of excess properties. Perversely, these development trends hurt municipal revenues and cripple local capacity to regulate land use development and transportation
investments. Nevertheless, the Ohio Department of Development and NOACA project these trends to continue through 2030.Road to ruin<br />Only four out of ten Greater Cleveland households live in neighborhoods where the combined cost of housing and transportation is at or below the H+T affordability benchmark of 45 percent of Area Median Income.

Eco book club: Why we need Terra Nova

Marc Lefkowitz  |  05/04/16 @ 10:00am  |  Posted in Transform

The appeal of Eric Sanderson’s book Terra Nova is how he peels back the layers of a brave new world “After Oil, Cars and Suburbs.”

<br />Buildable land, New York City. All images: Eric Sanderson (Terra Nova) 2013.Capacity benefits<br />The same amount of road space can hold many more people than cars.<br />Sanderson calculates the ecological use fees of a lot pre and post development.

Who will (and won't) pay for their water-polluting lots

Marc Lefkowitz  |  04/28/16 @ 9:00am  |  Posted in Clean water

In late 2015, the Ohio Supreme Court sided with the Northeast Ohio Regional Sewer District and re-instated its Stormwater Management Program. NEORSD will soon start charging fees to property owners based on how much hard or paved surface they build. Stormwater can make pollution and damage from water flooding off pavement and rooftops into rivers, streams and Lake Erie worse. The Court...

A city unto itself<br />SouthPark Mall in Strongsville will get a free pass on thousands in stormwater fees (that other mall owners would surely covet).<br />Arcelor Mittal will pay one of the largest stormwater fees in Northeast Ohio unless it brings in a green infrastructure solution.<br />Eaton Corporation will pay $6,000 more per quarter than its former headquarters for stormwater running off its new campus.Tip of the iceberg<br />The Cleveland Clinic will pay tens of thousands of dollars for its stormwater runoff unless it stops building so much parking and starts aggressively pursuing green infrastructure. Here is the south east corner of the Clinic main campus.<br />When Severance Town Center comes out of receivership perhaps its new owners can figure out how to reduce their $10,000 a quarter stormwater fee with a green town center.<br />RTA will pay thousands in stormwater fees for its E 55 rail yard.
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