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Tours de Cleveland and Philadelphia

Last week, Greater Ohio traveled to Cleveland and Philadelphia both to learn from local experts and to share knowledge. On Monday, Lavea and I took a road trip up to Cleveland. Our first stop was to University Circle, Inc. where we met with UCI President Chris Ronayne. We learned about the great work UCI is doing as part of a unique “anchor district.” In other words, University Circle is a district with a multitude of anchor institutions contributing to its strength. We’re interested in learning more about other anchor districts and how they can support legacy cities and their communities!

Next, Lavea gave a presentation to the Cleveland Metropolitan Bar Association’s Environmental Law Section about the Clean Ohio Fund and the future of the brownfield revitalization program. Click here to view the presentation.

Finally, we went on a tour of Slavic Village and met with some of the partners of Slavic Village Recovery LLC, including representatives from Forest City Enterprises Inc., Safeguard Properties, and Slavic Village Development Corporation. The public-private partnership intends to renovate up to 300 homes within the next three years, which will have a transformative effect on the neighborhood. When asked what he thought of the new developments in the community, a local resident said he thought that it is great for the neighborhood. Another resident even offered to help mow the lawns of the newly renovated homes. Greater Ohio is keenly interested in learning about Slavic Village Recovery’s strategy for helping to stabilize the neighborhood over time.

Lavea traveled to Philadelphia on October 11th to participate on a panel at the University of Pennsylvania’s Legacy and Innovation conference. The interdisciplinary conference was sponsored by the Provost at Penn and hosted in partnership with PennDesign, Initiative for Global Environmental Leadership (IGEL), Penn Institute for Urban Research, PennMedicine, PennLaw, Wharton, PennEngineering, and Next City.

The stated purpose of the conference was to:

“[…] bring together regional and national thought leaders in economic development, urban policy and planning, design, and innovation to discuss a future for the Philadelphia region, with the intention that these lessons learned, new ideas, and identified new frontiers can be applied to other metropolitan areas across the country and the world.”

Lavea participated on a panel titled, “Legacy Cities, Legacy Assets.” Lavea was the co-author of the recently published report “Regenerating America’s Legacy Cities” and was able to add value to the discussion on legacy cities’ assets and how they can influence regional economic performance. The panel was moderated by Diana Lind of Next City , and included John Grady of the Philadelphia Industrial Development Corporation, Patrick Kerkstra of the blog City Junto, and Ted Dahlburg of the Delware Valley Regional Planning Commission.

Coincidentally, Emilie Evans recently wrote an article about the “Regenerating America’s Legacy Cities” report for the National Trust for Historic Preservation, called "Regenerating America’s Legacy Cities: A Review from Detroit." Check it out!