Reserve Your Spot at the 2016 Sustainable Cleveland Summit

Time still remains to reserve your spot at the 2016 Sustainable Cleveland Summit to be held at Cleveland Public Auditorium on Wednesday, September 21st from 3:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m. and continuing through Thursday, September 22 from 8:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.


Every year since 2009, Mayor Jackson convenes over 500 local business leaders, government officials, non-profit leaders, students, educators and residents around a central topic fundamental to a sustainable city. The theme for this year’s summit is sustainable transportation.

Summit participants will hear about this year’s sustainable transportation initiatives, including the Commuter Choice Challenge, the #imoveCLE selfie contest, ciCLEvia open streets events, the UHBikes bike share system, and much more.

Along with celebrating our accomplishments, the Summit will be an opportunity to recognize and address transportation challenges as a community.

This year the City of Cleveland is pleased to announce that the Cleveland Foundation will serve as a presenting sponsor and the Summit’s keynote speaker will be Gil Penalosa. Gil Penalosa is the founder of the internationally recognized non-profit organization, “8 80 Cities”. Mr. Penalosa advises decision makers and communities on how to create vibrant cities and healthy communities for everyone regardless of age, gender, social, economic, or ethnic background. The keynote address on Day one of the Summit will focus on the design and use of parks and streets as public places and sustainable mobility.

Day two of the Summit will be a full day of visioning, design, and action planning centered on:

  • The current and upcoming celebration year topics of Sustainable Transportation and Vibrant Green Space.
  • Advancing the Cleveland Climate Action Plan, which incorporates the topics of: Energy, Local Foods, Waste, Clean Water, Vital Neighborhoods, and Engaged People.

To register for this year’s Summit, visit Participants may register for single or both days of the Summit. Registration ends on September 17, 2016.

Cleveland’s Public Square Renovated and Reopened to the Public

Cleveland’s Public Square is once again open to the public. It has been closed since the reconstruction began in March 2015. The new design by internationally renowned landscape architecture firm James Corner Field Operations, has transformed The Square from four separate quadrants into a unified public space in the heart of Downtown Cleveland.

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The Square is a welcoming space that invites people in, encourages them to stay and will be used throughout the year for a wide range of programs and events.

The Square includes pedestrian pathways, green spaces for concerts and events, areas to sit and lounge, a café, a new public restroom and a water feature, which was ceremonially activated during today’s rededication.

The Soldiers and Sailors Monument remains as an integral feature of the park and will become more accessible to the public.

“The new Public Square moves us closer to a pedestrian, cycling, and public transportation friendly downtown,” said Mayor Frank G. Jackson. “It would not have happened without the support of the public, private, and philanthropic communities, or the vision of Tony Coyne and the Group Plan Commission.”

On April 30, 2010, Mayor Jackson met with Cleveland City Planning Commission Chairman, Anthony “Tony” Coyne, who proposed a renewed Group Plan Commission based on the original 1903 Group Plan for Cleveland’s malls and adjoining buildings. Mayor Jackson agreed and appointed the Group Plan Commission members in June of  2010. He charged the Commission with improving public spaces and connecting nearby projects such as Flats East Bank, the new casino, the new convention center, and the Global Center for Health Innovation. By May of  2011, The Commission presented a bold vision for Public Square, the Malls, and the lakefront.

Since tasked, the non-profit Group Plan Commission has been working in partnership with the City of Cleveland and Cuyahoga County, along with other stakeholders, to finance and deliver this project.

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After viewing public spaces during trade missions to European cities—Paris and Rouen, France, Vicenza, Italy, and Lubijana, Slovenia—Mayor Jackson urged Commission Chair Coyne to think boldly about a unified Public Square achieved by closure of Ontario Street and a less intensive Superior Avenue crossing.

By April, 2013, the Commission and its landscape architect James Corner had proposed the design for Public Square that you see today.

While the on-time completion of the $50-million reconstruction of Public Square is a milestone for the GPC, and its civic partners, LAND Studio, the Downtown Cleveland Alliance, and the Greater Cleveland Partnership, the GPC is looking forward to how The Square will be used by Clevelanders and visitors.

“As excited as we are to have people come and experience the world-class design and craftsmanship that went into the transformation of Public Square, we are equally focused on how The Square will be maintained and programmed for years to come,” said Anthony Coyne, GPC Chairman. “GPC’s focus on ensuring that The Square will be used by the whole community was an important driver of Public Square’s transformation.”

The Group Plan Commission has formed a partnership with the City of Cleveland to help take care of and activate The Square with a variety of year-round programming, and has brought on Sanaa Julien as a loaned executive from the Cleveland Metroparks to serve as CEO for Programming and Operations.

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City of Cleveland Launches Cleveland Tree Plan to Rebuild Urban Forest

The City of Cleveland Office of Sustainability announced today a new community-wide collaboration to reverse an annual trend of tree canopy loss in the City of Cleveland that totals more than 97 acres.


The new initiative known as the Cleveland Tree Plan was created as a partnership between five organizations including the City of Cleveland, Cleveland Neighborhood Progress, Holden Arboretum, LAND Studio, and Western Reserve Land Conservancy. The plan is a comprehensive assessment of the city’s current urban forest and a unified strategy to reclaim the city’s lost canopy.

View the Cleveland Tree Plan here.

“Cleveland was once nicknamed The Forest City, but we have lost about 100,000 public trees since 1940,” said City of Cleveland Chief of Sustainability Jenita McGowan. “With this tree plan and the input of our invaluable community partners, this plan will recognize tress as a critical community infrastructure, reverse the trend of canopy loss, and assume full stewardship for the tree infrastructure.”

The City of Cleveland’s urban forest intercepts 21 billion gallons of rainwater every year, removes 42,000 tons of air pollution every year, and increases property values by an estimated annual $4.5 million. In addition, the urban forest helps maintain a habitat for wildlife, improves business districts, and blocks noise and pollution by almost 50% for those living near highways.

Reclamation of the city’s tree canopy is crucial as further loss will have significant negative impacts on the city and its inhabitants. As the canopy continues to decrease, so do the benefits they provide, with lower canopy neighborhoods feeling the impacts first.

Mayor Jackson Kicks Off 2015 Sustainability Summit

On Wednesday, September 16 and Thursday, September 17, Mayor Frank G. Jackson will welcome more than 500 local business leaders, government officials, non-profit leaders, students, educators and residents to his seventh annual Sustainability Summit: Sustainable Cleveland 2019. The two day event will be held at Cleveland Public Auditorium from 8:00 am to 5:00 pm both days.

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Sustainable Cleveland 2019 was founded in 2009 by Mayor Jackson to build a thriving “green city on a blue lake”. The initiative creates a framework for Clevelanders from all walks of life to work together to build a robust and resilient region by focusing attention on annual key areas fundamental to a suitable economy – 2015 is the Year of Clean Water.

The City of Cleveland is pleased to welcome two dynamic keynote presenters to this year’s Summit: Naomi Davis, Founder of Blacks in Green, an award-winning economic development organization based in West Woodlawn, Chicago with a national network; and Marcus Eriksen, who embarked on a 2,000-mile, 5-month journey down the Mississippi River on a homemade raft to study the ecological impacts of plastic marine pollution. For more information on the Sustainability Summit and keynote speakers, visit



City Announces Municipal Aggregation Agreement with Constellation Energy Services, Inc

The City of Cleveland has entered into an agreement with Constellation Energy Services, Inc to provide residential and small commercial customers of the Cleveland Electric Illuminating Company (CEI) the opportunity for price protection and rate stability. After researching competitive electricity pricing options, the City has negotiated a competitive price of $0.0701 / kWh. This pricing will be effective beginning with August 2015 meter reads and continue through July 2017.

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CEI customers will be automatically enrolled in the program unless they opt out by July 14, 2015.  To opt out, customers should return the postcard they will receive in the mail to the address provided or by contacting Constellation toll-free at (855) 879-1253 or online at

“Supporting renewable energy through electric aggregation is one of the actions outlined in Cleveland’s Climate Action Plan, released in 2013,” said Chief of Sustainability Jenita McGowan.

“Aggregation provides a unique opportunity to offer price stability for homeowners and small businesses, while also providing customers with the opportunity to get their electricity from renewable energy.”

Through the City of Cleveland’s Municipal Aggregation Program, CEI customers are combined to gain group buying power for the purchase of competitively priced electricity. There is no cost for enrollment, and residents and businesses are not charged a switching fee.  Other than the price and supplier, nothing regarding electricity service will change.  CEI will continue sending monthly bills, responding to outages, and delivering electricity. No representative from the City of Cleveland Aggregation Program will come to your door and ask to switch suppliers.

The standard program provides 50% of energy from renewable sources. This means that half of each participant’s electricity usage will be backed with renewable energy credits (RECs).  RECs reflect the environmental attributes from renewable energy resources, such as wind energy.

CEI customers may also choose to use 100% renewable energy by increasing their electricity price to $0.0708/kWh, costing $0.47 per month for the average resident. Alternatively, customers may decline the 50% REC product and decrease the price to $0.0694/kWh, saving $0.47 per month for the average resident.

If CEI customers prefer either of these options, and would still like to join aggregation, please go to or call (855) 879-1253.

Cleveland Climate Action Fund Awards over $20,000 in Neighborhood Grants

The Cleveland Climate Action Fund (CCAF) announced today that it is awarding over $20,000 to five neighborhood-led projects that will help reduce carbon emissions and encourage collaboration in the community. The CCAF provides free educational climate action workshops that utilize a Neighborhood Climate Action Toolkit and offer competitive grant opportunities for projects that advance neighborhood priorities while also furthering Cleveland’s climate action goals.

Hough Biocellar

Hough Biocellar

“These projects are a great step toward making climate action real and beneficial to Cleveland’s neighborhoods,” said City of Cleveland Chief of Sustainability Jenita McGowan. ”The Mayor’s Office of Sustainability looks forward to continued collaboration with the Cleveland Climate Action Fund in order to support and empower Cleveland residents to lead innovative projects that reduce carbon pollution and build vibrant neighborhoods.”

Grants totaling over $20,000 will be awarded to fund the following five projects:

  • Cleveland Youth Landscaping, Glenville: Cleveland youth will be hired and trained to provide landscaping and snow removal services to the Glenville neighborhood. Funds will be used to purchase landscaping equipment that does not produce emissions, such as non-gasoline mowers, to reduce air pollution and use of fossil fuels.
  • Community Composting, Detroit Shoreway: Pilot project for a comprehensive, community-wide composting initiative with the Gordon Square Farmers Market and Rust Belt Riders. This project will engage business owners and residents to better understand the impact of food waste and provide participation vouchers. Compost will be collected and dropped off via bicycles and will be used in community gardens. Funds will be used for vouchers for businesses and residents as well as additional equipment thereby reducing landfill waste and increasing fertile soil.
  • The Grocery, Ohio City: This project will support monthly educational community workshops, materials for community gardens, purchase of seeds and chickens, and materials for a chicken coop and a hoop-house to enable food to be produced year round to encourage eating local, healthy foods free of packaging and preservatives. Local food reduces the emissions from food transportation and logistics.
  • Hough Biocellar, Hough: This project will fund the installation of a solar panel array to power the Biocellar and vineyard at Chateau Hough. The Biocellar is a learning environment for people interested in crop propagation, local food production and healthy eating in the Hough neighborhood.
  • Urban Community School: Funding for this project will be used to install a set of 10 solar panels that will provide approximately 3,120 kWh/year of energy at the school’s satellite location providing 96% of annual energy costs. UCS will also build a hoop-house to be used as part of its new Learning Garden and Production Farm that is being created in partnership with the Cleveland Botanical Garden and The Refugee Response.
Community Composting in Detroit Shoreway

Community Composting in Detroit Shoreway

The CCAF is a key strategy in advancing the City of Cleveland’s Climate Action Plan, which emphasizes that a citizen-centered approach is needed to align climate action with the assets, capacities and priorities of Cleveland residents. The Mayor’s Office of Sustainability received grants from the Cleveland Foundation, The George Gund Foundation and Partners 4 Places to revitalize, re-brand and align the CCAF with the city’s Climate Action Plan.

 About the Cleveland Climate Action Fund: Founded in 2009 the Cleveland Climate Action Fund is the first community-based carbon reduction fund in the United States. The Cleveland Climate Action Fund invests in local community projects that reduce greenhouse gas emissions and spark community engagement in Cleveland.

The Fund’s Advisory Committee is composed of local community non-profit, corporate, and philanthropic organizations: Arcelor Mittal, BrownFlynn, City of Cleveland, Cleveland Clinic, The Cleveland Foundation, Cleveland Museum of Natural History, Cuyahoga County Land Revitalization Corp., Enterprise Community Partners, the George Gund Foundation, KeyBank, Neighborhood Connections, and Cleveland Neighborhood Progress. For more information about the Cleveland Climate Action Fund, visit






City of Cleveland Asks Residents for “One Simple Act”

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A brand-new education campaign is hitting the streets, thanks to the City of Cleveland and their partnership with The Recycling Partnership, a national nonprofit organization. The campaign, called “One Simple Act,” demonstrates that recycling is one simple act that can unite all Cleveland residents and yield impressive results city-wide.

The City has been hard at work making recycling more convenient for residents. The roll-out of new blue recycling carts for residents is near completion, and now the City wants to encourage and remind everyone to recycle all they can with this new campaign.

“As part of this campaign effort, we have set a goal to double recycling city-wide, from 13 to 26 percent over the next 12 months,” said Jenita McGowan, chief of sustainability. “We need every Cleveland resident to help get us there. This is our community, and we all have a stake in doing what is right for not only our environment, but also our economy and our future.”

Along with the rollout of new recycling carts, the City recently passed a new simplified set of guidelines for recycling at the curb, which includes placing recyclables loose in the recycling cart, not in plastic bags. This new process is easier on residents and the recycling facility; truly one simple act.

“With the roll out of this campaign, and a simple approach to recycling material loose in the large recycling carts, Cleveland has great potential to increase recycling rates,” said Keefe Harrison, Recycling Partnership Executive Director. “We look forward to seeing how this campaign helps foster a culture of recycling in Cleveland.”

The “One Simple Act” campaign is the result of a partnership between the City of Cleveland’s Department of Public Works, Division of Waste Collection, as well as the Mayor’s Office of Sustainability, and The Recycling Partnership, a national non-profit organization designed to increase participation in curbside recycling programs. The Recycling Partnership works directly with community partners to improve their curbside recycling programs.

Cleveland residents will encounter the campaign in a variety of ways, including through print advertisements, recycling truck signage and mailers, at community events and online via social media and a new, dedicated campaign web presence:

“As a community, Cleveland has brought a dedicated passion and enthusiasm to this partnership. We are thrilled to see this campaign launch after months of planning and hard work,” said Megan Daum, The Recycling Partnership Board of Directors Chairman and Vice President of Sustainability at the Can Manufacturer’s Institute. “As the campaign rolls out, we are eager to see how Cleveland residents respond and the ultimate impact this will bring to recycling participation and tonnage rates.”

“The Cleveland/Recycling Partnership collaboration is a true example of successful public-private partnership,” said McGowan. “The City has maximized its education budget because The Recycling Partnership brings national-level recycling and communications expertise to the area at no cost to the City.”

“The ‘One Simple Act’ campaign developed for Cleveland will also serve as a model for other communities that are looking to improve education efforts and increase participation and tonnage in local recycling programs,” said McGowan.

To learn more about the “One Simple Act” campaign and recycling in Cleveland, including a full list of what can and cannot be recycled, visit

See images from the kick-off campaign

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