Transit-oriented development along Cleveland’s HealthTech Corridor featured at summit in South Africa

Cleveland Economic Development Director Tracey Nichols to discuss funding strategies, partnerships

CLEVELAND – Tracey A. Nichols, director of the Cleveland Department of Economic Development, will discuss successful transit-oriented development along the HealthTech Corridor at the Institute for Transportation and Development Policy (ITDP) summit in Johannesburg and Cape Town, South Africa on October 8 and October 11. Nichols will focus on funding and financing projects along Cleveland’s HealthLine, a bus rapid transit system along historic Euclid Avenue.


Director of Economic Development Tracey Nichols

The HealthLine leveraged more transit-oriented development than any other surface transit investment in the United States, with a majority of investment going towards offices, retail, universities, hospitals and cultural buildings. By connecting Cleveland’s employment centers, Downtown and University Circle, the HealthLine has catalyzed a number of new businesses related to healthcare and technology, and has led to the creation of the Health-Tech Corridor.

“The success of Cleveland’s Health-Tech Corridor highlights the work of our anchor institutions and philanthropic community as well as Mayor Jackson’s vision to move Cleveland into the future,” said Nichols.

“It’s time for people to rethink Cleveland, and speaking to an international audience about our successes in transit-oriented development will take the conversation even further.”

Since 2008, the City of Cleveland under Mayor Frank G. Jackson’s leadership has provided more than $77 million in funding for projects along the Health-Tech Corridor. The State of Ohio has contributed $4 million and the federal government has spent $38 million. Today, more than $2.6 billion worth of investment has been leveraged in completed projects along the route, with $770 million currently under construction and another $511 million in projects proposed.

“In Cleveland, we have created mixed use, office, retail, housing, incubators and institutional development,” said Nichols. We have also capitalized on the need for post-incubator space to capture companies emerging from many of the incubators in our world-class medical and educational facilities. The HealthLine and the development it has spurred is truly a successful public-private partnership.”

Nichols plans to educate her audience on productive ways to cultivate and build effective partnerships surrounding transit-oriented development. She joins several Johannesburg City Officials including Yondela Silimela, Executive Director of the Johannesburg Department of Development and Planning, as well as Walter Hook, CEO of ITDP and Annie Weinstock, ITDP Director of US and Africa Programs as featured speakers. The Cape Town event is a roundtable discussion including City of Cape Town officials and Mayoral Committee Member Counselor Brett Herron.

The HealthLine, which opened in October 2008, has been named the most successful Bus Rapid Transit Project in the United States by the Institute for Transportation Development and Policy (ITDP) and was recently featured in  the report, “More Development for Your Transit Dollar: An Analysis of 21 North American Transit Corridors,” published by Walter Hook, Stephanie Lotshaw, and Annie Weinstock, which can be found at

The Institute for Transportation and Development Policy works with cities worldwide to bring about sustainable transport solutions that cut greenhouse gas emissions, reduce poverty and improve the quality of urban life.