In recent decades, some cities have seen their urban centers lose population density, as residents spread farther out to suburbs and exurbs. Others have kept populous downtowns even as their environs have grown. Population density in general has economic advantages, so one might wonder whether a loss of density, which may be a symptom of negative economic shocks, could amplify those shocks. This paper looks at four decades of census data and show that growing cities have maintained dense urban centers, while shrinking cities have not. There are reasons to think that loss of population density at the core of the city could be particularly damaging to productivity. If this is the case, there could be productivity gains from policies aimed at reversing that trend.
This article presents a case study of the inter-organizational network that formed to produce four housing projects in Cleveland's EcoVillage designed to integrate social equity and ecological stewardship as the basis for neighborhood redevelopment. Our paper builds on concepts of community development and housing production through inter-organizational networks spanning nonprofit, public, and private organizations that developed and supported four green and affordable housing projects. We are interested in understanding how development of the housing projects changed and connected traditional neighborhood development and ecologically-oriented organizations and how their interaction changed the practice of housing production and environmental and sustainability advocacy locally and regionally. The results of the study reveal that the marriage of green and affordable housing in Cleveland, despite some challenges, was viewed as important and beneficial by the organizations…
Re-imagining a More Sustainable Cleveland starts from the premise that the loss of population over the last 60 years is not likely to be reversed in the near term and that Cleveland’s future ability to attract and retain residents depends in large part on how the city adapts to population decline and changing land use patterns. The reuse of vacant land is crucial to Cleveland’s potential to be a “green city on a blue lake.”
There are approximately 3,300 acres of vacant land within city limits, and an estimated 15,000 vacant buildings. Many of these vacant properties are poorly maintained and they diminish the value of the remaining, more viable buildings and neighborhoods in the city.The city demolishes about 1,000 vacant houses per year; private demolitions and fires are also reducing the number of derelict structures in the city. After demolition, surplus land becomes a raw asset for the city–a resource for future development as the city’s population…
The purpose of this report is to provide examples of BRT-based TOD as a resource for policymakers, public agencies, and the development community. The report uses a case-based research methodology, examining four developed country cities characterized by high private car usage and significant TOD around their BRT corridors.
In a proactive planning effort, the Greater Cleveland Regional Transit Authority (RTA) is developing guidelines for Transit Oriented Development (TOD) projects within their service area. The ultimate goal of these guidelines is to promote vibrant and livable station areas that benefit RTA customers and the surrounding community, as well as promote the use of RTA as a primary means of transportation.
This report documents the first task in the process: a survey of best practices for facilitating successful TOD, as employed by other agencies, to be used as a basis for developing guidelines for GCRTA. This “Lessons Learned” methodology offers the opportunity to utilize the most effective guidelines, without repeating the time- and money-consuming processes of attempting all approaches. The TOD practices of the following seven transit agencies were investigated and are documented within this report
When you shop, you may visit a mall, or go to your town’s main street. At the mall, you probably cruise past rows and rows of empty parking, the spaces filled only one day a year. Maybe you head downtown, but can only find vacant storefronts. And where things are bustling, you can’t find convenient parking near the stores you want to visit. All three of these scenarios represent a “parking problem” that has a negative impact on other community goals. At the mall, overbuilt parking consumes land and wastes money. Downtown, storefronts may sit empty because new businesses that would like to move in can’t meet high parking requirements – and too little parking makes good businesses less viable.
This work is intended as a way of recognizing the path-breaking efforts of those in St. Louis, Cleveland, Louisville, Atlanta, Flint, and numerous smaller cities that have done so much in overcoming the barriers to building new communities in the wake of disinvestment. It is also designed to make it possible for other communities across the country to gain inspiration from the dreams and hopes of these urban pioneers, and to build upon their legal, structural, and social reforms.
The study that resulted in this book was initiated in September 2001 to examine how decisions about public transportation, land development and redevelopment, and historic preservation have complemented one another in dozens of communities nationwide. The goal of the study was to demonstrate how transit and historic preservation act as compatible forces to revitalize communities. We set out to illuminate the many ways in which communities of all sizes have restored their urban or suburban cores and made full use of those centers’ capacities to help metropolitan areas grow sustainably. We wanted to find out how historic preservation values are informing community planning for public transit, and how these values are being used in development decisions intended to promote transit use.