By Katherine Buckingham. I just attended the Great Lakes Cities Urban Laboratories Conference in Cleveland, Ohio hosted by GLUE (Great Lakes Urban Exchange). Over eighty people from across the Great Lakes region attended this exciting event. It was three days of Cleveland tours and field trips, inspired speakers, brainstorming, and problem solving dedicated to the cause of renovating our rust belt cities throughout the region. It was great to see so many young people committed to the revitalization of their cities.
The conference was themed around the Re-imagine a More Sustainable Cleveland plan which is an innovative strategy to put vacant land in Cleveland back into productive use. Neighborhood Progress, Inc is working with the Cleveland Urban Design Collaborative at Kent State on this effort. Bobbie Reichtell of NPI and Terry Schwarz of the Cleveland Urban Design Collaborative gave an excellent presentation to frame the project. Participants then worked in groups throughout the conference to think of signature projects for Re-imagining Cleveland 2.0. This new version of the project is called Re-imagining a Greater Cleveland, and it is a county-wide framework for the use of vacant land.
Some of the suggestions for signature projects included variations of the “Mini-Emerald Necklace” plan to create off-road biked and pedestrian greenway. Another idea was to use materials from deconstructed buildings to create an inter-generational playground placed on vacant land. Other suggestions included urban agriculture related projects. Do you have any ideas for Re-imagining Cleveland signature projects?