Posted in Cities

Cleveland, OH: a history, and a modern day EcoVillage

This analysis will discuss Cleveland, OH in brief detail. The basics of Cleveland’s history, the geography, demographics, city planning, public health, safety, and education will be covered in this analysis. In addition, The Detroit Shoreway neighborhood will be looked at; with particular focus on the EcoVillage that has been founded there. Lastly this analysis of Cleveland will address how it relates to readings that were completed as a part of MURP 4200 at the University of New Orleans.


Screen Shot 2017-04-11 at 7.57.22 PM

Figure 1,

Cleveland became the county seat of Ohio in 1807 (Ohio History Connection) and by 1809 Cleveland had it’s first black settler, George Peake (Kusmer, 1997). However, Cleveland lacked real population growth until 1812, primarily due to the Indian threat and the lack of money to invest in roads (Ohio History Connection). By 1820 Cleveland had accumulated only 606 residents, after 1820 until 1860 Cleveland’s population only grew to be 1,000. This was primarily due to the building of the Erie Canal, which connected Lake Erie to the Ohio river, but also to the addition of rail lines in the area (Ohio History Connection). After the 1860s Cleveland grew to be 43,000 people strong with an African American population of 799 (Kusmer, 1997). During the early 1900s, black and white families in Cleveland were interspersed even as late as the 1840s. Between 1890 and 1915 the Black population increased in Cleveland due to migration from the south (Kusmer, 1997). 1916 also saw a large increase of black migrants due to a decline in immigration from abroad during WWI and due to a large increase of industrial demand. By 1930 there were 72,000 African Americans in Cleveland (Ohio History Connection). In 1950, Cleveland’s population peaked at 1 million, after this peak Cleveland’s population slowly declined reaching only 500,000 in 2000 (Ohio History Connection).


Cleveland is 31 miles long along the south shore of Lake Erie (figure 2) with a total of 82.42 square miles and rises to an elevation of 60 to 80 feet above Lake Erie. The city has generally level terrain, except a 500foot ridge on the eastern shore of the city. Cleveland is bisected by north/south by the Cuyahoga River (figure 3). The location of Cleveland gives it a humid and warm summer and a cold cloudy winter (Advameg, Inc., 2009).

Screen Shot 2017-04-11 at 7.57.32 PM

Figure 2,

Screen Shot 2017-04-11 at 7.57.40 PM

Figure 3,


As depicted in the below charts, Cleveland has a total population of 396, 815. In Cleveland 24.6% of the residents are below 18, while only 12% are of 65. Like many cities Cleveland’s Population is primarily black and white. The Black holds the majority of the population with a percentage of 53.3%. The white, alone percentage is 37.3%. The remaining percentages are significantly less. The highest is the Hispanic or Latino Population with 10%. The next highest is those who identify as two or more races, at 2.8%. Asian, alone is identified as being 1,8%, American Indian and Alaskan Native .3%, and Native Hawaiian and Other Pacific Islander as less than a half unit of the measurement used (United States Census Bureau, 2010).

Ages in Cleveland:

Population in 2010: 396,815

People Under 18: 97,616.49; 24.6%

People between 18 and 65: 251,580.71; 63.4%

People over 65: 47,617.8; 12%

Races in Cleveland:

White, Alone: 148,011.995; 37.3%

Black, Alone: 211,502.395; 53.3%

American Indian and Alaskan Native, Alone: 1,190.445; .3%

Asian, Alone: 7,142.67; 1.8%

Two or More races: 11,110.82; 2.8%

Native Hawaiian & Other Pacific Islander: Value greater than zero but less than half unit of measurement used

Hispanic or Latino: 29,681.5, 10%

Planning in Cleveland

Planning in Cleveland started with its first land survey by Augustus Porter in 1796. He planned Cleveland in a simple grid pattern on the New England Model. He

ignored Lake Erie and the Cuyahoga River but the plan still came out near and orderly. Due to population increases further land use planning took a back burner to deal with other pressing issues such as: congestion, sanitation, crime, disease but also in capital improvements such as roads, bridges, and sewers. (Krumholz & Forester, 1990, p. 4). In 1903 the city cleared 40 acres of downtown that was previous small businesses, shops and homes and replaced it with a formal mall that was modeled after the Place de la Concorde in Paris (Krumholz & Forester, 1990, pp. 4-5). It wasn’t until 1915 that Cleveland had an official planning commission. This commission includes 11 people who oversaw art, public works, and preparing the city plan. However, due to the fact that they were unpaid the plan took 34 years and appeared in 1949 (Krumholz & Forester, 1990, pp. 4-5). Part of the reason it finally appeared in 1949 was due to the introduction of a budget in 1942. The budget of $26,000 was allotted to them and was to cover a staff of 7 (Krumholz & Forester, 1990, p. 5). Cleveland has a unique monetary set up. City Council Controls all the money so that no money can be spent without their permission. Any expenditure of more than $3,500 requires a new ordinance. In addition, any department operating with federal monies must get permission to accept and use the money. This means that any project is lengthy and the city council can use each step as a bargaining tool (Krumholz & Forester, 1990, p. 7).

Public Health

The Cleveland Department of Public Health (CDPH) runs Cleveland’s public health. The CDPH created the Healthy Cleveland Initiative whose vision is to give people access to preventative care, give the, resources to fight and prevent chronic illnesses (such as diabetes and heart disease), help with drug addiction and mental health issues, to initiate the implementation of walkable neighborhoods, provide green space and local foods, and to build on a neighborhoods strengths while addressing their weaknesses (Cleveland Department of Public Health, 2015). The Mission statement for the Healthy Cleveland Initiative is to address social determinants that impact people where they live, work and play through policy and programs in the communities (Cleveland Department of Public Health, 2015). The CDPH is rooted in policy but has a heart for the people. Their motto is, “ Your health matters. A healthy you makes a Healthier Cleveland.” To address the needs of the people is to address the needs of Cleveland. The CDPH does this with 7 sub-committees: Active Living, Behavorial Health, Breather Free, Health Literacy, Healthy Eating, Healthy Neighborhoods, and Violence Prevention (Cleveland Department of Public Health). All seven of these committees are in place to address the Healthy Cleveland Initiative’s vision.

Safety and Education

As mentioned in the previous section the Cleveland Department of Public Health (CDPH) is in responsible for the health of Clevelanders. Health is not limited to what physically can ail the body but also social ailments. That’s why safety and education are also the responsibility of the CDPH. In trerms of safety they specifically mention the following quote on their website: “Facilitating collaborative partnerships to prevent violence in Cleveland (Cleveland Department of Health, John James).” This implies that the Violence Prevention Committee wants to work with the citizens to fulfill their vision for safety in Cleveland. The goal of the Violence Prevention Committee is to prevent violence in Cleveland through Public health. They will do this by facilitating collaborative partnerships with the people of Cleveland using prevention education and preventative health (Cleveland Department of Health, John James). They have five steps they plan to use to achieve their goals. One, participate in community discussions on violence prevention to make the community aware of the ways prevention is currently taking place. The second goal is to use media and social media to promote social education on violence prevention from a public health perspective. They will also leverage the use of City Channel TV 20 (Cleveland Department of Health, John James). The Third step in the process to achieve the vision of the Violence Prevention Committee is to facilitate more collaborative partnership with Cleveland’s neighborhoods, school districts, community development organizations, non-profits, academia, the corporate sector, and local/county government to promote policies and programs that address violence through a comprehensive public health approach. As a fourth method to goal attainment the Violence Prevention Committee will work with the other 6 committees of the CDPH to promote a stronger public health awareness. Lastly, use the “take the show on the road approach” to effectively communicate the impact that violenence has on the health of a community, as well as its residents (Cleveland Department of Health, John James). Each of the five steps that the Violence Prevention Committee will use is designed to facilitate, engage and encourage violence prevention and education through the format of public health.

Education in Cleveland is managed by the Cleveland Metropolitan School District (CMSD). They have a plan for transforming their schools which involves attracting and developing great teachers, Inspiring and sustaining great leaders, and innovating, expanding, and cultivating great schools (Clevland Metropolitan School District, 2000-2015). To attract and develop great teachers Cleveland will “… supplement its current highest performing educators with a newly recruited corps of exemplary principals and teachers to lead and teach in district and charter schools. Partnerships with external talent pipeline organizations will be coupled with rigorous development of internal talent to identify educators who can positively change the trajectory of children’s lives. (Clevland Metropolitan School District, 2000-2015).” By creating an environment that empowers and values principals as professionals and making sure that the students are held to the highest standards the Cleveland Metropolitan School District will inspire and sustain great leaders, which is their second step in their plan to transforms schools. In order to effectively innovate, expand, and cultivate great schools the CMSD will provide modern, vibrant and inspirational learning environments that prepare students for the globalization and technology required in the 21st century but also to provide them the know and skills to operate in a multicultural and multidisciplinary world (Clevland Metropolitan School District, 2000-2015).


Cleveland had a thriving industrial economy after the 1860s due to iron ore and coal deposits discovered in the 1800s and due to its strategic location along transportation routes. Due to these factors JD Rockefeller founded the Standard Oil Company here in the 1860s. Cleveland also had thriving steel production industry in the 1860s (Ohio History Connection). By 1880, 28% of the workforce was in the steel mills, however, by the third year of the great depression (1933) 1/3 of workers were laid off (Ohio History Connection). By 1978 Cleveland’s financial situation had taken a dire turn. They became the first city since The Great Depression to default on its more than 30 million dollars in loans (Ohio History Connection).


Types of Jobs

Screen Shot 2017-04-11 at 7.55.29 PM


Types of Occupations

Screen Shot 2017-04-11 at 7.55.37 PM

Screen Shot 2017-04-11 at 7.55.46 PM

Household Incomes


Detroit Shoreway, EcoVillage

An EcoVillage is a community of people creating a way of life that sustains healthy ecological relationships. Due to our current living patterns we consume a vast quantity of resources and disregard the creation of waste and the tremendous ecological, social, and economic cost of the waste. The worldwide EcoVillage movement offers an alternative that strives to replace consumption and waste with preservation and regeneration. (The Detroit Shoreway Community Development Organization). This directly relates to the Cleveland 2020 plan which states, “The Connecting Cleveland 2020 Citywide plan seeks to re-create Cleveland as a city that meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs. In other words, the plan seeks to create a “sustainable” Cleveland (Connecting Cleveland 2020 Citywide plan).” The plan has five goals; to create high-density, mixed use districts that promote travel by transit, amend building and zoning codes and add incentives to encourage green building, design safe routes for walking and bicycling that are accessible to all residents, reduce the use of energy and water by City owned facilities and vehicles, and finally clean contaminated brownfield sites and promote beneficial reuse (Connecting Cleveland 2020 Citywide plan). The Detroit Shoreway EcoVillage has seven focus areas to address the 2020 plan and to also further the principles of the EcoVillage, which will be further expanded on.

The Cleveland Detroit Shoreway EcoVillage was created in response to continued urban sprawl, disinvestment in the urban core and resulting environmental degradation within and outside the City of Cleveland. Using sustainability as an organizing principle, and transit-oriented development as a planning strategy, the EcoVillage seeks to retain urban dwellers while attracting people back into the urban core (The Detroit Shoreway Community Development Organization). The Cleveland EcoVillage centers around the W.65th/Lorain Avenue RTA Rapid Station in the Detroit Shoreway neighborhood, two miles west of Downtown Cleveland. The EcoVillage neighborhood area is defined as within a quarter mile walk of the rapid station, just minutes away from the shores of Lake Erie, the banks of the Cuyahoga River, the Ohio & Lake Erie Towpath Trail and the nationally celebrated Gordon Square Arts District (The Detroit Shoreway Community Development Organization). The Detroit Shoreway neighborhood is one of Cleveland’s coolest, most diverse neighborhoods along the North Coast. New residents are moving in, businesses are setting up shop, theatres are opening, the EcoVillage is blossoming, block clubs are growing and visitors are arriving. Less than two miles west from Downtown, this neighborhood is quickly becoming the place to live, work and play (The Detroit Shoreway Community Development Organization).

The first of the seven focus areas, that was previously mentioned, is sustainable mobility, which says, “Transportation alternatives play a big role in the EcoVillage’s sustainability and livability benefits, but just as important is the neighborhood’s location efficiency, which lessens the need for transportation altogether (The Detroit Shoreway Community Development Organization).” Only 56% of the EcoVillage’s residents drive to work compared to 72% in the rest of Cleveland. 30% of EcoVillage residents take transit to work, 11% citywide. The W. 65th – Lorain Red Line rapid stop is the hub of the EcoVillage and links the neighborhood with the region. 5 percent of EcoVillage commuters bicycle to work, compared to 1 percent in Cleveland. Bike racks and bike boxes throughout the neighborhood support ridership by providing safe places to lock up bikes (Center for Neighborhood Technology).

The second focus area, neighborhood vitality, is focused on the people. They do this through; Public Art, Community & personal gardens, Hosts local events; such as Dyngus Day, which is a Polish-American holiday that is held the day after Easter and sports an accordion parade and polka concerts. They also have the Bridge Brigade Block Club that uses CB radios and resident patrols to track and report criminal activity. They also promote the increased reporting of blighted properties. In addition, many homes have no garages, and those that do often have them set back from the street so walkers pass by front porches rather than garage doors. On nice days neighbors can be found working in their gardens or sitting on their porches chatting. This promotes neighborhood vitality because it encourages people to be invested in the neighborhood (Center for Neighborhood Technology).

The third focus area is energy and green building. This is central to the EcoVillage philosophy. The Detroit Shoreway EcoVillage promotes this in many ways. One of them is that when the transit line station at W. 65th and Loraine was rebuilt it was rebuilt green because of its location near to the EcoVillage. In the actual EcoVillage they middle school, Joseph Gallagher Middle School, installed a solar electric system to reduce its carbon footprint. Green building doesn’t end there; other buildings are also green through the reuse and recycling of building materials (Center for Neighborhood Technology).

The fourth focus area that the EcoVillage uses to fulfill the goals of the 2020 plan and to further the principals of the EcoVillage is to zero in on the people and the institutions in the area. The EcoVillage boasts a diverse group of people in terms of income. Of the 1,656 people and 691 households 39% are below poverty level. This is higher than that of the Cleveland as a whole whose poverty level is at 33%. However the income median is higher in the EcoVillage than in the rest of Cleveland. Household incomes in the EcoVillage are at a median of $55,119. This is higher than Cleveland’s median income of $34,589. The goal is to have a diverse but provided for people (Center for Neighborhood Technology). Their goal is to have a lower rate of poverty in the area while remaining affordable.

The fifth of the seven focuses is waste reduction and resources. The Detroit Shoreway EcoVillage is a pilot cite for Cleveland’s citywide recycling program that is initiated by the 2020 plan. The building reuses and recycles building materials into the new buildings. They also compost at the community gardens; Composting is a greenhouse gas reduction technique that breaks down organic waste to be used as fertilizer.

Access to local food is the sixth focus area. The EcoVillage provides access to several locally owned and operated shopping marts such as the Grace Brothers, Maggie’s Farm, EcoVillage Produce, LLC., Produce Prescription Program, Spice, the Ithaca Refugee Garden, and the Liberian Refugee Garden. The Grace Brothers, EcoVillage Produce, LLC and Maggie’s Farm are shopping stores that provide access to locally grown organic food and other locally produced goods. The Produce Prescription Program allows the elderly and disabled to get a prescription from their doctor to get fresh produce from participating produce markets. Spice is a restaurant in the EcoVillage that uses onsite gardens and hoop houses to grow produce for use in its dishes. The Refugee Gardens are locations where residents can grow their own produce even if they don’t have a yard.

Finally, the seventh way the EcoVillage will work with the Cleveland 2020 plan is to provide access to public health. They do this through encouraging mobility through walking and bicycling but also through recreation facilities and gardening. They also promote community interdependence, which research shows plays a huge role in health and wellness. Lastly, they offer quick access to health and wellness resources through easy access to transit but also in the presence of a Neighborhood Family Practice that is located in the EcoVillage community.

Connection to Reading

The Priority project, The Detroit Shoreway EcoVillage, directly relates to Making Equity Planning Work: Leadership in the Private Sector in several ways. Beginning with Krumholz’ statement, “Planners going back to Ebenezer Howard had emphasized the importance of the neighborhood unit (Krumholz & Forester, 1990, p. 169)” which he says before he introduces his planning commission’s strategy for helping neighborhood organizations and by proxy the neighborhoods themselves. The planning commission has six ways in which in plans to help neighborhood organizations:

1. Serve black or racially integrated neighborhoods representing the poor first. In an effort to assist those lacking access to normal channels first

2. Planners should volunteer for assignments instead of being ordered to serve a certain neighborhood

3. Work assignments were determined by the neighborhood organization NOT the planner. They could suggest and work on it but only in the neighborhoods leadership approved.

4. Planners who were residents would get priority on assignments their but were urged to be involved with the neighborhood association as well.

5. Planner could provide direct technical assistance. Surveys, complaints, requests. Broker/facilitate functions that fell outside of the scope of the CPC. Relations with public agencies, lenders, insurers, developers, and teaching/training institutions.

6. Neighborhood based planners could act as advocates for the capital spending needs of their turf as opposed to focusing on city wide spending.

(Krumholz & Forester, 1990, pp. 172-173).

Using the above guidelines the planning commission was able to help the Detroit Shoreway buy and rehabilitate the Gordon Arcade using the Urban Development Action Grant. The Gordon Arcade was the centerpiece of the neighborhoods commercial strip. The planning commissions part of this was the Urban Development Action Grant and prepared the small business administration 503 low-interest loans. The Gordon Arcade was a community building that opened in 1921 and contained a 75-room hotel, a seventy-five stall market, a pool, a billiards room, the Capital Theatre, seventy offices, 31 stores, a barber shop and a restaurant (Raponi). Until the 1950s the Gordon Arcade was an integral part of the neighborhood but WWII and highways caused a mass exodus of residents causing a decline of importance in the Gordon Arcade. Then in 1978, the parapet of the building collapsed causing further loss to the area in terms of importance (Raponi). The Detroit Shoreway Community Development Organization in conjunction with the city planning commission saved it from demolition and rehabilitated it. They were able to make it a centerpiece in the area again and it has become a model for revitalization (Raponi). Making equity planning work details the ways the planning commission was able to use its resources to facilitate the revitalization of an important landmark.

Screen Shot 2017-04-11 at 7.58.38 PM

Figure 4,
Screen Shot 2017-04-11 at 7.58.46 PM
Figure 5,


In conclusion, this analysis discussed Cleveland, OH in brief detail. It covered the basics of Cleveland’s history, an overview of geography, a brief look at the demographics, how city planning developed in Cleveland, how the Cleveland Department of Public Health plans to increase the overall level of health and safety, and how the Cleveland Metropolitan School District will increase the positive educational experience of students and teachers in Cleveland. The analysis showed how the Detroit Shoreway neighborhood EcoVillage is making a positive impact on Cleveland. Lastly this analysis of Cleveland address how the EcoVillage relates to the book, Making Equity Planning Work, which we read in class.

Works Cited

Advameg, Inc. (2009). Cleveland: Geography and Climate. Retrieved November 24, 2015, from


Center for Neighborhood Technology. (n.d.). Climate and Sustainability Action in the Detroit Shoreway EcoVillage. Retrieved November 16, 2015, from


Cleveland Department of Health, John James. (n.d.). Violence Prevention. Retrieved November 24, 2015, from


Cleveland Department of Public Health. (n.d.). Healthy Cleveland. Retrieved November 24, 2015, from


Cleveland Department of Public Health. (2015). Healthy Cleveland Initiative. Retrieved November 24, 2015, from


Clevland Metropolitan School District. (2000-2015). Cleveland’s Plan for Transforming Schools. Retrieved November 24, 2015, from


Connecting Cleveland 2020 Citywide plan. (n.d.). Retrieved October 30, 2015, from


Department of Economic Development. (2015). Department of Economic Development: Report to Council 2015. Retrieved November 24, 2015, from


Krumholz, N., & Forester, J. (1990). Making Equity Plannign Work: leadership in the public sector. Philadelphia, PA, USA: Temple University Press.


Kusmer, K. (1997, July 21). African American – The Encyclopedia of Cleveland History. Retrieved November 17, 2015, from The Encyclopedia of Cleveland History:


Ohio History Connection. (n.d.). Ohio History Central; Cleveland, Ohio. Retrieved November 17, 2015, from,_Ohio?rec=687


Raponi, R. (n.d.). Gordon Square Arcade. Retrieved November 26, 2015, from http://WWW.Cleveland Historical:


The Detroit Shoreway Community Development Organization. (n.d.). EcoVillage. Retrieved October 30, 2015, from


United States Census Bureau. (2010). Quick Facts Beta: Cleveland City, Ohio. Retrieved November 24, 2015, from,00


United States Census Bureau, (n.d.). Economic Statistics. Retrieved from






23. “The question isn’t who’s going to let me; it’s who is going to stop me.” – Ayn Rand 💜#intersectionalfeminist #BrainyBeauty #DZalum #BLM #animallover #reformedcoffeeaddict

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s