Shrinking Cities

Cleveland Trip 2009

We traveled to Cleveland, Ohio on October 16-18, 2009 to tour neighborhoods and meet with civic and community leaders. We also worked with professors and students from the University of Michigan’s Brownfield’s Studio and Kent State University’s Cleveland Urban Design Collaborative in providing written observations and assessments of the ReImagining Cleveland pilot projects – an effort underway to develop innovative ways to reuse the city’s vacant land.

During the ReImagining Cleveland workshop, graduate students from the University of Michigan and Virginia Tech conducted a charrett evaluating the pilot project applications and selection process. There were 6 teams, and they provided their thoughts on the different aspects of the initiative.  Each team was composed of planning, landscape architecture, business, and environmental justice students.   Here are the PowerPoints from the teams (the rest will be posted soon):
-- Greenspace Expansion and Land Stabilization - Group 1
-- Urban Agriculture - Group 1
-- Environmental Remediation - Group 1
-- Environmental Remediation - Group 2

We would like to thank the following dedicated practitioners for giving us a tour of their city and neighborhoods and  sharing with us the neighborhood revitalization strategies they employ:   Donna N. Brooks, Project Administrator, and Matthew Klesta at the Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland Community Development; Sammy Catania, Executive Director, Tremont West Development Corporation; Peggy Kearsey, Housing Director, Westown CDC; Marie Kittredge, Executive Director, Slavic Village CDC; and Bobbi Reichtell,  Sr. Vice President for Programs, Neighborhood Progress Inc.  We also thank Terry Schwarz at the Cleveland Urban Design Collaborative for organizing the event.

ReImagining Cleveland     Collage above: VT and UMich graduate students in the Re-Imagining Cleveland charrette
    on Friday night and Saturday.  Photos by JBennett.

Re-Imagining Cleveland Sunday     Collage above:   Post-presentation discussion between VT and UMich graduate students,
    professors, and an NPI representative on Sunday.  Photos by OAu-Vang.

The videos that follow are produced by VT MURP students.  Our intent is to share local practitioners, leading academics, and our experience.   To see our interviews with leading researchers in the Shrinking Cities and sustainability (or related) topics, please see our Research page under Learn More!

This video discusses about one CDC's effort to improve the Slavic Village neighborhood.   (Also, check out our Research and Sources by Topics pages (under Community Development) for articles about the effectiveness of CDCs in Cleveland.)

Download this video in the following formats:
< MPEG-4 (.m4v) ~ 117 MB - MPEG-4 (.m4v) ~ 92.7 MB - Flash (.flv) ~ 8 MB >


The video below discusses about Cleveland metropolitan sprawl, land use, and policy trends.  The panal, which met in the Cleveland Law Clinic in 2009, also provided some recommendations.


The following video provides our impressions of the Cleveland trip.  We would like to thank Terry Schwarz at Cleveland Urban Design Center for helping to organize the event and hosting us.