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We are all Lake Erie

Marc Lefkowitz  |  08/02/18 @ 11:00am  |  Posted in Climate, Water, Shaping the land

A recent exchange with a colleague about the health of Lake Erie ended in something of a stalemate. We both shared concerns about water quality and environmental degradation and how the lake, our drinking water supply, will be affected by harmful algae blooms, climate change-induced weather, and the creation of artificial reefs off the coast of Cleveland from the soil...

Wild and pristine<br />At its best, as in this view at Mentor Headlands State Park, Lake Erie appears clean and clear and awesome as an ocean. Place of contemplation<br />The sun sets to the northwest  over Lake Erie in the summer.Armored shoreline<br />The Lake Erie coastal zone is a dynamic place where one person's shoreline protection can undermine a neighbor's property.Off limits<br />Northeast Ohioans might have a stronger connection to Lake Erie if public access were not so limited.  Toxic algae returns<br />Algal blooms were thought to be part of Lake Erie's polluted past, but a huge outbreak of the green scum covering much of the western and central basins of the lake in October 2011 was an indication that over-enrichment of nutrients from runoff is still a problem.  (NASA satellite image)

As climate change arrives, five actions Clevelanders can take

Marc Lefkowitz  |  07/31/18 @ 11:00am  |  Posted in Climate

With global warming starting to make its presence felt, we present five important things Clevelanders can do to reduce their environmental impact.

<br /><br />Map of household carbon footprints in Northeast Ohio by zip code (Source: UC Berkeley CoolClimate Network, Average Annual Household Carbon Footprint, 2013, coolclimate.berkeley.edu/maps)<br />

As Cuyahoga acts on climate change, an uncomfortable topic looms

Marc Lefkowitz  |  07/17/18 @ 10:00am  |  Posted in Climate

In her book, The Poisoned City: Flint’s Water and The American Tragedy author Anna Clark recounts how the water supply for an entire city could be contaminated with lead, a neurotoxin that made countless residents very ill. The crisis, unfortunately, was nothing new. Places like Love Canal, and big cities like Cleveland and Washington, D.C. defined massive-scale environmental tragedy. What made...

<br />Bike to School Day in Bay Village.

Exploring the legacy of what makes equity planning work

Marc Lefkowitz  |  06/21/18 @ 11:00am  |  Posted in Transform

In his 2016 book, The Well-Tempered City, socially active developer Jonathan Rose makes a compelling case that cities will survive in our “VUCA times” (volatility, uncertainty, complexity and ambiguity) by tapping the innovation gene that can be found in Johann Sebastian Bach’s The Well-Tempered Clavier which modernized music. Bach’s circle of fifths tuning method is an example for cities.

<br />A bus-rapid transit park in Curitiba, Brazil. Image: Journal of Place Management and Development.<br />Green roof on Via Verde, a mixed-income housing development in the South Bronx. Image: Urban Land Institute.

Local food hub could put Cleveland ahead of the pack

Marc Lefkowitz  |  06/08/18 @ 11:00am  |  Posted in Local food system

Almost a decade on from Northeast Ohio’s food study, the one that made waves because it contained a BHAG (big hairy audacious goal) to shift 25% of the food we eat to local, one of the needs identified—to concentrate the many, small, regional farmers, urban gardeners and flea and farmer’s market purveyors as an entity—is finally being met. Food hubs could...

<br />Image from Oberlin Food Hub

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