Michele Hunt, who attended the 5th annual Summit of Sustainable Cleveland 2019, is tracking the progress of this bold 10-year initiative, which began in 2009. In a feature for Huffington Post
Sustainable Cleveland 2019: A Community of DreamMakers Creating a 'A Thriving Green City on a Blue Lake,'" she offers a comprehensive look at the halfway point.
"The people of Cleveland are mobilizing around a compelling vision to transform their communities into a flourishing city. They have the courage to dream a magnanimous vision for their city in the face of tremendous challenges," she writes.
"At the Summit, I was surprised to see hundreds of people from diverse sectors of Greater Cleveland working together. They came from the local neighborhoods, businesses, government, education, nonprofits, as well as advocacy groups from the sustainability community. They were highly engaged, enthusiastic and clearly committed to transforming their vision into reality."
These are not merely dreams, she adds, five years into their journey Clevelanders are delivering on their vision. Their results are impressive:
• Last year the 50-member Climate Action Advisory Committee, published the Cleveland Climate Action Plan, which has six focus areas, and 33 actions Clevelanders can take to strengthen the economy, clean up the environment and improve health and wellness.
• There has been a 50 percent increase in recycling since 2006.
• LEEDCO (Lake Erie Energy Development Corporation) is building the first offshore freshwater wind project in North America in Cleveland.
• Over 200 community gardens and local food initiatives have grown up around the city.
• Cleveland is transforming abandoned buildings and vacant lands into green spaces, local parks, urban gardens, as well as restoring homes.
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