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With form-based code, cities hope to keep all sides happy

Marc Lefkowitz  |  02/07/19 @ 11:00am  |  Posted in Vibrant cities

At last night’s Cleveland Heights Architectural Board of Review, a roomful of residents showed up to lodge complaint against the Top of the Hill development as currently proposed. While local business owners, like Cedar-Fairmount Special Improvement District President, Sal Russo, also appeared, to speak in support, the mainstay of comments seemed to focus on the mass and height of the...

<br />The Top of the Hill development rendering.

Beyond reptilian - freeing parking from cities

Marc Lefkowitz  |  01/03/19 @ 2:00pm  |  Posted in Vibrant cities, Transportation choices

Most urban planners don’t get their own cartoon character or form a following of groupies, but then UCLA Professor Donald Shoup doesn’t think like most planners. When it comes to unpacking parking — and how whole cities and suburbs have been built around it — Shoup isn’t boxed in. Parking is a science, and Shoup's book, The High Cost of Free...

<br />Downtown Cleveland, the Warehouse District, circa 1990, still looks largely the same today because of the surface parking crater.

Four Cleveland suburbs want placemaking not a four-lane highway

Marc Lefkowitz  |  08/07/18 @ 11:00am  |  Posted in Vibrant cities, Transportation choices

“People want amenities,” said Cuyahoga County Planning Director, Glenn Coyne, speaking to attendees of the 2018 Trails and Greenways Conference. “A coffee shop. A trail. Something other than ‘oh my god, we’re declining.’”

<br /><br />A conceptual rendering for a protected bike lane on Mayfield Road in Cleveland Heights.

Ohio is watching a "transit death spiral" unfold

Marc Lefkowitz  |  12/04/17 @ 12:00pm  |  Posted in Transit, Vibrant cities

2017 saw Cleveland transit advocates clash with Mayor Jackson over his decision to close Public Square (then re-open it) to buses. But that tempest played out in a teapot compared to what the State of Ohio is preparing to (not) do this month when a long-awaited medical service sales tax cut is expected to blow a hole in the budgets...

<br />RTA cut service to its suburban trains in 2016<br />Many Clevelanders will be stranded in economic islands of lost opportunity if RTA is forced to shut down 10 percent of its system in 2018<br />Ohio lavishes tens of millions of dollars on highways, like this empty highway which is being decommissioned in Akron, instead of flexing those highway funds to be used on transit.<br />The Public Square closure to buses was a distraction from the real issue facing transit - a state that has historically undervalued and underfunded it.

Trees gain ally: Science and Technology

Marc Lefkowitz  |  11/02/17 @ 11:00am  |  Posted in Vibrant cities, Transform, Plants & animals

“Urban Forests” author Jill Jonnes offered Cleveland an invaluable lesson on how the city earned, and then lost, its moniker ‘the Forest City.’ Speaking at Levin College of Urban Affairs yesterday, Jonnes harkened back to John Davey, the 19th century arborist from Kent, Ohio whose book “The Tree Doctor” inspired today’s 8,000-employee Kent-headquartered tree service company, Davey Tree. In a chapter in...

<br />Science and tech have shown how much street trees add to property value and perform valuable ecological services like cleaning the air and reducing flooding.

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