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Cleveland ponders smart growth and complete streets as an antidote to abandonment

Marc Lefkowitz  |  05/02/13 @ 4:00pm  |  Posted in Vibrant cities, Transportation choices, NEO Sustainable Communities

Smart Growth America president Geoffrey Anderson assured Cleveland that it can learn from other slow market cities how to reposition itself, and compete for talent, with a focused investment on complete streets. “Market economies will move faster, and laggards will be left behind,” he told a small crowd gathered at Levin College to hear Cuyahoga County’s plans to pursue Complete Streets. Even...

Downtown urban center<br />The centers of Cleveland, Akron and other cities are the vibrant hearts of the region.  Villa Carabelli in Little Italy<br />Infill development is restoring well-designed density to Cleveland neighborhoods. Cyclist at Market Square in Ohio City<br />Cities make low-energy, low-mileage lifestyles possible. Tremont stroll<br />Young families are choosing city life in neighborhoods like Tremont in Cleveland.Historic county seat<br />In rural areas, town centers like Chardon are locations for redevelopment. City and country<br />One of the best ways to conserve farmland and natural areas is to build great cities that attract more people.
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Northern Ohio is drifting into an abandonment crater

Marc Lefkowitz  |  04/30/13 @ 2:15pm  |  Posted in Vibrant cities, Transportation choices, NEO Sustainable Communities

If Northeast Ohio doesn’t correct course soon, its future will be stained with abandonment. Analysis provided by Boston firm Sasaki & Associates for the Northeast Ohio Sustainable Communities show abandoned property in the 12-county region, including Cuyahoga County where it mushrooms from 26,000 today to many multiples of that by 2040.

<br /><br />Abandoned in the city<br />Construction of homes in new communities has outpaced household growth, causing surplus old homes to be abandoned and the region's urban cores to decline.Encouraging, but not enough<br />Walkable, mixed-use redevelopment projects, such as Uptown in Cleveland's University Circle, are encouraging, but they are not happening at a large enough scale to counter-balance the loss of urban population and tax base.

Moving Complete Streets beyond pretty picture

Marc Lefkowitz  |  04/29/13 @ 1:00pm  |  Posted in Transportation choices

Northeast Ohio's contribution to complete streets over the last decade has been anchored by one program at NOACA: The Transportation for Livable Communities Initiative (TLCI). TLCI paid for some nice studies, but, in most cases, is not leading to much transformation of streets as the lifeblood for vibrant cities, a recent evaluation reveals.

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Coming-of-age moment for bike share: Does it fly in the Midwest?

Marc Lefkowitz  |  04/25/13 @ 12:00pm  |  Posted in Transportation choices

The nearly overheated way in which bike share—self-serve, two-wheel public transport—has rolled out in American cities makes even its most ardent supporters a little wary.

Bike share in Miami<br />Don't let the suit fool you, the privately owned and operated Deco Bikes in Miami is geared to the South Beach crowd.Docking station<br />Nice Ride, bike share system in Minneapolis, Minnesota.Bike share here?<br />The city of Cleveland hosted a public meeting in April 2013 to gauge interest in bike share.

Walkable communities? Maybe down the road

Marc Lefkowitz  |  04/23/13 @ 12:00pm  |  Posted in Vibrant cities, Transportation choices

When he looked recently at the long list of roads that NOACA, Northeast Ohio's transportation funder, will dole out to fix, expand or widen, GreenCityBlueLake Director David Beach wondered, what does this seemingly random list of projects add up to? Will it produce a lower-carbon transportation system?

Downtown urban center<br />The centers of Cleveland, Akron and other cities are the vibrant hearts of the region.  Villa Carabelli in Little Italy<br />Infill development is restoring well-designed density to Cleveland neighborhoods. Cyclist at Market Square in Ohio City<br />Cities make low-energy, low-mileage lifestyles possible. Tremont stroll<br />Young families are choosing city life in neighborhoods like Tremont in Cleveland.Historic county seat<br />In rural areas, town centers like Chardon are locations for redevelopment. City and country<br />One of the best ways to conserve farmland and natural areas is to build great cities that attract more people.
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