Cleveland’s got more to celebrate than its underdog baseball team. The midwestern city is receiving a surprising amount of attention after the U.N.’s Conference on Housing and Sustainable Urban Development brought together urbanists and planners in an effort to harness best practices for building the cities of tomorrow.
Apparently, Cleveland’s economy, climate, rich soil, and ample water supply make it a prime test bed for next-generation initiatives focused on expanding urban areas while protecting and conserving their environmental assets. Southwestern cities are too hot and dry. Northern regions don’t have such fertile soil. In short: Cleveland’s the “just right” porridge for an urbanism-friendly Goldilocks city.
The key is crafting holistic plans taking climate change, sustainability, economic shifts, and immigration all into account to build vibrant communities that don’t put a strain on the environment.
“Cleveland could play a significant role in the fight against climate change by developing a strategy for more compact communities and with a more open and encouraging immigration policy,” writes Marc Lefkowitz over at GreenCityBlueLake.
The city is already making a comeback, shedding its dingy rust-belt reputation with the help of a slew of historic preservation tax credits. The city’s downtown population increased 79 percent between 2000 and 2016, and is projected to top 18,000 by the end of 2018. Stay tuned.