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Ohio City Holiday Festival - Photo Bob Perkoski
Northeast Ohio is known for making things, and we are second to none when it comes to making things better, more efficiently, and more cost effectively. As Greater Cleveland looks ahead, the manufacturing focus needs to be on transforming the industry into a global leader. By adopting the latest innovations, and seizing upon the technology of tomorrow, Cleveland's manufacturing industry stands to remain as powerful a force as it has been for decades.
Arts and Culture
With the Cleveland Museum of Art rubbing shoulders for the past 100 years with the Cleveland Orchestra, not to mention PlayhouseSquare, Cleveland Public Theatre, Museum of Natural History, Cleveland International Film Festival, the Rock Hall, live-music clubs, and funky galleries too numerous to name, it is clear that art and culture live here.
Community Health and Wellness
Cleveland is emerging as a bona fide Medical Capital, but there is more to being a Medical Capital than ably treating the ill. Being a national healthcare leader also means creating an environment that provides access to health, prevention and wellness education and programming for all citizens. To truly thrive, Northeast Ohio must be a healthy region, filled with active bodies, healthful food choices, and supportive organizations for those who seek them.
Design, function and beauty can be found in all corners of Cleveland. From a grand public mall flanked by 100-year-old Beaux Arts-style architectural gems to striking public art and green spaces. Stretching back to Burnham's Group Plan of 1903, the Cleveland landscape has been graced with epic structures boasting dignity, symmetry and grace.
If any word accurately describes the city of Cleveland, it's
. Long before it was settled by westwardly mobile British colonists, the region was home to various Native American tribes. By the late 19th century, 10 percent of the city's population was Irish. Walk into the West Side Market on a busy morning and you might identify a dozen different tongues. Diversity is not only what defines a city; it's what makes a city great.
American author Napoleon Hill said that, "Ideas are the beginning points of all fortunes." True, and really good ideas can serve as triggers for economic development that turns around entire blocks, neighborhoods, even cities and regions. So, what's your good idea?
Green Space Parks
Public parks offer more than refuge from the pressures of urban existence; they create a sense of community by bringing people together in an informal setting. For that reason, parks matter now more than ever, some could argue. As large public works projects finally begin to take shape in and around Cleveland, its imperative that meaningful public spaces be part of the local conversation.
Talent is like life itself; it must be nurtured and fed in order to blossom. Fortunately for all the young sprouts in Cleveland, this region is blessed with quality institutions of higher learning. Recognized nationally as leaders in such fields as Biomedical Sciences, Engineering, Industrial Design, Urban Affairs and Nonprofit Management, schools like Case Western Reserve, John Carroll, Cleveland State, University of Akron, and Kent State are seeding the future with resume-rich wunderkinds.
Cleveland has a remarkable dining scene, one that consistently surprises visitors from so-called "larger markets." Access to quality ingredients deserves much of the credit. Long before the farm-to-table trend swept across the landscape, Cleveland chefs were utilizing locally produced foodstuffs. Ringed by farmland, area chefs have easy access to Amish-reared produce, wholesome dairy, free-range poultry, and grass-fed meat. Northeast Ohio's extensive farmers market system rivals that of cities twice its size.
Home to more than 600 medical-related organizations, 27 colleges with medical education programming, and a dozen of the nation's top medical device manufacturers, Northeast Ohio is often dubbed the Medical Capital. All told, the economic impact totals somewhere around $35 billion. Add to that the upcoming Medical Mart and Convention Center, and it's easy to see why local leaders beam with civic pride when discussing Cleveland's healthcare industry.
Like other industrial cities around the turn of the 20th century, Cleveland prospered and grew rapidly, earning many of its residents handsome nest eggs. Fortunately for future Clevelanders, wealthy industrialists like John D. Rockefeller, Jephta Wade and Sam Mather made a habit of digging deep to give back to their community. Generous contributions by them and people like them lead to the creation of the Metroparks system, Cleveland Orchestra, PlayhouseSquare and numerous other enduring regional assets.
is the term used to describe the consolidation of countless, redundant municipalities. While useful, necessary and inevitable, that aspect of regionalism is not intrinsically accurate, at least according to those whose mission it is to market Northeast Ohio. True regionalism, they argue, is defined by economic activity -- not political boundaries.With major hubs such as Cleveland, Akron, Canton and Youngstown, not to mention scores of the aforementioned small towns, the 16-county "Cleveland Plus" region covers over 6,000 square miles and is home to over four million people, making it the 12th largest region in the U.S. Uniting that region and marketing its unique and sweeping assets -- arts, culture, local food, medical capital, advanced manufacturing, higher education, quality of life... -- is what true regionalism is and should be all about.
When Mayor Frank Jackson created the cabinet-level position Chief of Sustainability, he illustrated in very certain terms his commitment to turn Cleveland into a "Green City on a Blue Lake." But why wait for City Hall? Numerous organizations are hard at work to make the region attractive to mobile professionals by reducing carbon emissions, expanding green spaces, increasing bike access – all while fostering sustainable economic growth.
Like sharks, we humans gotta move. And in Northeast Ohio, that typically means hopping in a car and heading out on the open road. More and more, though, Clevelanders are swapping conventional for alternative. Inner-ring commuters are swapping the SUV for RTA's light rail or Healthline. Bike lanes continue to get painted onto new city streets. There's even talk of a high-speed rail that will link Cincinnati, Columbus and Cleveland.
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