What Northeast Ohio needs to be more sustainable

Marc Lefkowitz  |  03/31/14 @ 11:00am  |  Posted in Transform

What Cleveland and Northeast Ohio need to be sustainable is a better system than our current one for delivering what I’ll call authentic places. Currently, developers and their agents hold more of the cards than cities and citizens and therefore call more of the shots on how and where to build.

Build it better<br />Koningsplein, Amsterdam. Street nicely accommodates cyclists and mass transit as well as pedestrians. Courtesy of Better Cities & Towns, John Wily & Sons, John Massengale and Victor Dover, Street Design.Mid century legacy<br />Chester Avenue in Cleveland is designed primarily for cars at the exclusion of everyone else like pedestrians, cyclists and transit riders.

Why Northeast Ohio needs to be more VibrantNEO

Marc Lefkowitz  |  03/27/14 @ 9:00am  |  Posted in Vibrant cities, Transportation choices, Land

In the past year, thousands of Northeast Ohioans imagined and sketched up how we want this place to look in the future. We participated in the Northeast Ohio Sustainable Communities Consortium (NEOSCC) in the hope that it would devise a plan for sustainable growth.

California dreaming<br />San Diego has focused on developing in the city surrounding the huge Balboa ParkGreen in the city<br />Balboa Park in San Diego is a hugely popular green space and attractor of developmentPicture this<br />El Paso, Texas draft Thoroughfare Plan maps out the city's goal to become the least car-dependent city in the southwest.NEO carbon footprints<br />Map of household carbon footprints in Northeast Ohio by zip code (Source: UC Berkeley CoolClimate Network, Average Annual Household Carbon Footprint, 2013, http://coolclimate.berkeley.edu/maps)

Oscar Romo turns trash into green infrastructure

Marc Lefkowitz  |  03/26/14 @ 9:00am  |  Posted in Clean water, Plants & animals

Oscar Romo confides that sustainable cities are a dream during an off-air moment to me and Corrie Slawson. We’ve come to the end of our three-week residency at TJinChina, a project space in Tijuana, Mexico where artists and writers from around the globe exchange ideas, dialogue and produce work, and Romo is interviewing us about Cleveland, its history, and our...

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Where the suburbs put you at a disadvantage

Marc Lefkowitz  |  03/20/14 @ 11:00pm

Tijuana and Cleveland share more in common than you might think. Cleveland’s economic boom came early and went by the mid-twentieth century; Tijuana’s manufacturing boom started in 1965, got a boost from NAFTA in 1994, and continues to be the dominant force shaping the city today.

Outward push<br />Tijuana's cinco y diez (five and dime) neighborhood is about an hour ride from the center on the private busThe rural city<br />Tijuana's Florido neighborhood is about an hour bus ride from the city center and still not the end of the line.El Centro<br />The center of Tijuana is Revolution Avenue where storefronts are at a premium and a local cultural scene is emerging.Local color<br />Tijuana is a vibrant colorful city on the move outward but with much energy in the center.

Rivers tie cities like Cleveland and Tijuana closer

Marc Lefkowitz  |  03/17/14 @ 11:00pm  |  Posted in Clean water, Water

Cleveland’s enviable geography as a water abundant place in the Great Lakes basin is on my mind as I’m driven from Tijuana’s center to its sprawling suburban area east of the city at the border between the U.S. and Baja California, Mexico. Armando Ramos, a landscape designer who dabbles in development and environmental activism, is leading me on a quick tour...

Lost highway<br />Tijuana's sprawling east over land that was to be preserved as natural area.Armored<br />The Tijuana River in the city has been buried in concrete. Efforts are underway to reconsider how to invite green back in.Finding a place for trees<br />A street tree in the busy urban Avenida Revolucion in Tijuana, Mexico.

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