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The big issues: Northeast Ohio's sustainability challenges for 2016 and beyond

David Beach  |  01/27/16 @ 10:00am  |  Posted in Transform

If we want to improve our personal and environmental health in 2016 – and make Northeast Ohio a more sustainable place – it’s important to focus on the big, systemic issues that hold our region back. Here are GCBL’s nominations for these key challenges. Let’s all make a New Year’s resolution to address them.

Solar on every roof<br />The transition to clean energy is inevitable. We need to move faster in Ohio. (Photo of solar installation in Cleveland Heights courtesy of AAT Solar)Taking care of existing assets<br />There have been many good recommendations for promoting more sustainable patterns of development in Northeast Ohio, such as the recent scenario-based planning work of the Northeast Ohio Sustainable Communities Consortium. Less cars, more fun<br />It's time to plan and build a multi-modal transportation system that works for all and creates great places.  From fields to lake<br />To protect Lake Erie, we will need a more sustainable agricultural system, not just greater investments in urban sewer infrastructure.

Cleveland awarded $600K to tackle climate vulnerability

Marc Lefkowitz  |  01/14/16 @ 2:00pm  |  Posted in Climate, Transform

“I have to be careful going up hills, because if I stop, the whole thing will tip over,” Nick Rajkovich explains the physics of navigating 40 pounds of air temperature monitors, a camera and a complex steel frame lashed to his black, Surly cargo bike.

<br />Nick Rajkovich on his weather bike in Cuyahoga Valley National Park.<br />Dr. Nicholas Rajkovich, a Brecksville native, built this bike to measure urban heat island effect in Cuyahoga County.<br />Who are the most vulnerable to climate related illness in Cuyahoga County. Dark blue is the most vulnerable based on six social and environmental factors. Data maps from Nicholas Rajkovich.<br />Data maps from Nicholas Rajkovich shows where the highest poverty and paved surfaces from his study of heat island effect in Cuyahoga County. Darker equals a higher concentration of both.

Midwest cities could be first to meet climate pact

Marc Lefkowitz  |  12/15/15 @ 4:00pm  |  Posted in Transform

Cities are on the vanguard of the new global climate pact signed in Paris. More specifically, cities in the Rust Belt have the most to gain from COP21. COP21, the world’s first climate commitment, could turn cities into a platform for ways to meet the immense challenge of what to do, Next City writes in The Urban Planner’s Guide to Living...

<br />Smart Growth America report on rebuilding downtowns highlights Gordon Square in Cleveland.

Forest City's Ron Ratner takes Cleveland's almost-decade old Comprehensive Plan to the mat

Marc Lefkowitz  |  10/29/15 @ 12:00pm  |  Posted in Transform

The last time Cleveland updated its Comprehensive Plan, LeBron hadn’t made The Decision, the subprime lending fiasco hadn’t struck down whole neighborhoods like Slavic Village, downtown’s population was well below 10,000 and 8% of the city’s residents had pulled up stakes and fled (between 2000 and its release in 2007).

Forest city?<br />The Cleveland comprehensive plan hasn't grappled with a city experiencing 20 percent population loss in half of its Census Tracts, says Forest City Enterprises CEO Ron Ratner.<br />An image of Kinsman & Union looking west from the Connecting Cleveland 2020 Citywide Plan.

Youngstown kicks off Better Blocks series

Marc Lefkowitz  |  09/28/15 @ 10:00am  |  Posted in Vibrant cities, Transform

The first Better Block event in Youngstown was held on Saturday, September 26th, on Mahoning Avenue on the West Side. The street was completely transformed for the day with bike lanes, street trees, outdoor seating, live music, a farmer's market, a cafe, and two art galleries.

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