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2019 groups moving toward metrics

Marc Lefkowitz  |  04/17/10 @ 11:00am

The Metrics Group-led session on SMART goals was a wake up call to the other 2019 Work Groups who were asked to revise their goals to be Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic and Time-based. In the past week or so, many groups have made SMART goals their focus, and, in the process, revisited what brought them together at the 2009 summit. And while not one group has completed the task– in fact, some have just started -- this week's selection of a firm to conduct a strategic plan for 2019 reminds us of the urgency. We all want the last eight months of 2019 volunteer work to be reflected in the plan. A promised introductory meeting with the strategic plan consultant should light a fire under the Work Group leaders – all are aware and working on the task, many have been distracted planning a day to tell the story of Sustainable Cleveland 2019 to as many as 40,000 people at Earth Fest, this Sunday, April 18.

Let's take a look at how the 2019 groups have been addressing SMART goals and objectives, and, at the same time, working on their existing green initiatives.

The 2019 Sustainable Transportation Action Team (STAT) met on April 14. Co-convener Mike Neundorfer sums up the meeting this way:

We had our smallest turnout ever: Four bicycled to the meeting and the rest of us were envious. Our meeting purpose was: To define foundational pillars for organizing our actions to create a sustainable transportation system. We did this by putting all the projects we have discussed in past meetings as well as new task and project ideas on the wall and organized them into groups. We concluded that transportation modes are our pillars. We are now confident that if our goals cover all of the transportation modes in some way, we can have a comprehensive plan with goals and actions that will help us achieve our 2019 Vision; Building an Economic Engine for a green city on a blue lake.

We talked about the most powerful and universal metric we can use as a measure for our goals. We agreed that mode percentage was this metric. It seems to be the most measurable metric directly tied to transportation. It is the metric that the Federal Government uses in grant evaluation, and it is a metric that has some universal acceptance, which means we can do benchmarking with other regions around the world.

A group of six has agreed to work further on specific goals and to learn more about mode shift metrics before the next meeting. They will present their thoughts and findings in the next meeting.

We were successful pulling back from action to create a structure that will help us create powerful, inspirational, comprehensive SMART goals for our group. Thanks to all who contributed in this conversation that moved us toward accomplishment.

If you're interested in the specifics of the Transportation group's vision and plans, go here.

The 'G5' (five 2019 communications groups) met on April 6 to set plans for a 2019 presence at Earth Fest, where ambassadors from each group will speak about their plans, and where Cleveland filmmaker Graham Veysey will record your sustainable dreams for the region (the group hopes to screen the film at the 2010 sustainability summit). The group will gather for a post-Earth Fest social hour on April 20 at 4:30 p.m. at ABC Tavern (1872 W. 25th Street; before the Entrepreneurs for Sustainability monthly meeting) which is also the site of their April 27, 5:30 p.m. meeting to discuss SMART goals and metrics.

The Vacant Land Reutilization (aka 'Emerald Tapestry) Group met on March 31, and discussed their participation as ambassadors at upcoming community meetings on the "ReImagine a more sustainable Greater Cleveland" project. The group plans to test some ideas at Earth Fest, including an informal 'voting box' where you can choose your favorite option for vacant land in the city and suburbs. Terry Schwarz at the Cleveland Urban Design Collaborative talked about the ReImagine 2.0 planning effort – the city is in the middle of a fact finding mission to identify specific 'catalytic' projects and locations, and the eight committees will wrap their work by May/June. Sonia Jakse, the city's consultant on ReImagine 2.0, mentioned that EPA is interested in connecting their brownfield assessment work with ReImagine's phytoremediation or plant-based alternatives to contaminated soil clean up. The group touched on the need to revisit its goals and objectives, including regional smart growth and linking green spaces with recreation corridors.

The Sustainable Water Group met on April 14, and celebrated the successful kick off to the Drink Local. Drink Tap. Campaign. On World Water Day (March 22) the group hosted concerts by Waterband and led a parade on a rainy day through Cleveland. They continued to spread the word at the Cleveland International Film Festival with an empassioned speech before "The Colony." They will continue their good work at Earth Fest, filling reusable water bottles for participants in the Walk and Bike for the Earth, and handing out fliers about how Cleveland Tap is cleaner and healthier and much cheaper than buying bottled water (which is often just municipal tap water). The group will revisit its goals and objectives at its next meeting.

The Sustainable Design, Materials, and Manufacturing Work Group met on March 29, and discussed revising SMART goals and objectives. The group began to achieve consensus on the task, and has posted their revised goals for consideration. Updates on their existing effort include: "The group decided to aggressively pursue our interviews with 'sustainability leaders' to determine our niche – where our group can do the most good to achieve our goals/objectives. To that end, we compiled a new list of 'sustainability leaders' and each attendee committed to interview them by our next meeting at the end of April." For more information, go here.

On April 8, the Green Building: Retrofit Working Group met to discuss their ambitious plan to provide energy efficiency retrofits to all 190,000 estimated structures in the City of Cleveland. The group recently began drafting the plan, and has so far completed a framework for the document. The meeting focused on reviewing and expounding upon this framework. Many issues were discussed, but the aspects of workforce development, the health benefits of energy efficiency retrofits, and greater policy concerns necessary to implement a plan were particularly emphasized. Members present agreed that the subsequent versions of the plan should include these issues. The group's next meeting will be on May 13 at 6 p.m. in the lower level of the 3500 Lorain Ave. building.

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