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Cleveland to fund green urbanism projects

Marc Lefkowitz  |  06/17/09 @ 1:35pm

Would you like to grow sunflowers that can power cars and pull toxins from the soil? Or maybe you've always dreamed of starting a carbon-neutral salsa business.

Neighborhood Progress, Inc. will host a series of public workshops to guide and now fund projects that regenerate vacant land in the city. NPI's Re-Imagining a More Sustainable Cleveland study supplied ideas on how and where to convert abandoned lots into farms to grow healthy food or to grow biofuel crops that remediate the soil. And the city of Cleveland recently announced it will invest $500,000 of its Neighborhood Stabilization Funds in grants for the sustainable city project. The deadline for applications is July 31, 2009. Projects must be on land-banked or lots that the owner is willing to donate to the city, and have had residential use in the past 50 years.

Cleveland currently has 3,300 acres of vacant land and its inventory is growing with every new demolition. Now, you will have resources to address them. The workshops will be held on June 17, 20, 22, 24, 29 and July 2.

NPI, the City of Cleveland, Kent State Urban Design Center and many others, facilitated the development of a vision for a greener, more sustainable city and a pattern book of ideas, sample plans and budgets for vacant land reuse. You can find them on neighborhoodprogress.org. If you would like copies prior to the workshops, feel free to stop in at our office at 1956 West 25th St. #200 and pick up copies. We have printed enough so that we can provide a copy to every block club and citizen group in the city.

NPI also worked with the Trust for Public Land to add relevant data to the Ohio Green Print online database and GIS mapping tool (you don't have to know GIS to use it). We have trained about 40 people on it so far and can hold additional trainings if there is enough interest. You can find the tool at www.ohiogreenprint.org. (Use the username: neighborhood and the password: progress to gain access to it.

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