David Beach | 11/14/07 @ 6:45pm
Yes, it's true. After 15 successful years of promoting the design of ecological cities, EcoCity Cleveland is merging with the Cleveland Museum of Natural History. This is a fantastic opportunity to align the resources of two strong and respected organizations - and accelerate the transformation of Northeast Ohio toward greater sustainability.
In the next month, I will become the director of a new Center for Regional Sustainability at the Museum. Other core EcoCity staff members also will transfer to the Museum. Our work and key projects, including this GreenCityBlueLake site, will continue. And, drawing upon the scientific expertise of the Museum, we will be launching a new climate change project to help reduce the region's carbon footprint.
Organizationally, the merger makes perfect sense. EcoCity Cleveland's work will gain a more secure organizational home with the prestige and administrative support of a world-class institution. The Museum will gain expertise that will help it engage the public about how human beings can live sustainably on planet Earth in the 21st century. And Northeast Ohio will gain a prominent center of sustainability thought and practice that will help make the region more competitive.
We are very excited about this opportunity. The staff and Boards of the two organizations worked very hard over many months to make it happen. Thanks to everyone who has supported us over the years - the best is yet to come! Go here for more details on the merger, and here for a Plain Dealer story.
From the Museum's executive director
In a recent letter to supporters of the Natural History Museum, executive director Bruce Latimer talked about the Museum's increasing focus on sustainability - and the need for natural history museums to help people understand the impact of humans on the natural world. He said:
I am pleased to say that David Beach and EcoCity Cleveland will become part of our Museum on July 15. David is one of the region's most noted authorities on urban sustainability, bringing a significant body of knowledge to the Museum. His work in promoting the environmentally friendly redevelopment of the city and on land-use planning and transportation policy issues to create a smarter balance of growth in the metropolitan area is a natural complement to our long-standing work to protect the region's biodiversity. We believe that efforts to create a more livable city, especially one that leads the way in environmentally responsible growth, will help reduce the pressure to develop the outlying areas that are home to rare and endangered natural habitats.