Robert N. Brown, Director of the Cleveland City Planning Commission, has been elected to the College of Fellows of the American Institute of Certified Planners. The induction ceremony will take place on April 27, 2014 in Atlanta, Georgia.
Brown has been active in the field of city planning for more than 40 years, first as a student, then as a practitioner and, most recently, as an adjunct professor. Throughout his career, the consistent focus of Brown’s work has been on improving the built environment and the quality of life in urban communities.
Since joining the City of Cleveland, Brown has worked on major planning efforts that have and continue to have an impact on the City’s neighborhoods and development efforts, including:
- Cleveland Civic Vision 2000 Citywide Plan: Completed in 1990, Brown led a team of planners in updating the City’s land use and development plan for the first time since 1949. This effort included neighborhood-based engagement and the American Planning Association (APA) called it the nation’s most outstanding new comprehensive plan in 1992. Brown led the City’s efforts to update the plan in 2007, resulting in the Connecting Cleveland 2020 Plan.
- Transformative Transportation Planning: During the past 10 years, Brown has managed the City’s planning engagement in three major transportation projects: Lakefront West, a $100 million project that will transform three miles of freeway into a lakefront parkway; Opportunity Corridor, a $330 million project focused on connecting transportation infrastructure with business development and jobs; and, the Innerbelt Bridge, an $850 million project to rebuild the City’s downtown highway network, for which he led the City’s participation in the design and community engagement efforts.
- Reimagining a More Sustainable Cleveland: In partnership with a local university and civic organizations, Brown helped create this project that is working to transform vacant land in the City into productive use, including urban gardens and farms, alternative energy sites and expanded yard areas and greenways. This work included writing and securing adoption of regulations related to urban agriculture. The APA selected this effort to receive a National Planning Excellence Award for Innovation in Sustaining Places in 2012.