Best practices
for urban waterfronts

A presentation by the BLUE Project of EcoCity Cleveland and the Cleveland Waterfront Coalition.

What makes a great waterfront? What are the design principles? And what can Cleveland learn from successful waterfronts around the country?

This section of our site features a slide show presentation that will help citizens develop a common vocabulary for waterfront planning and designand prepare them to participate in the next round of public meetings for Cleveland's lakefront planning process (currently scheduled for May 2003).

The presentation is organized around five common elements of successful waterfronts:

  • Access
  • Quality of amenities, activities and design
  • Economic development
  • Environmental quality
  • Public process

To see the show, follow the links at right. There are more than 150 slides showing the current condition of Cleveland's lakefront and photos from other cities (note that each slide has a navigation bar at the top, which tells you where you are in the show).

Thanks to the George Gund Foundation and the Raymond John Wean Foundation for supporting the development of this presentation.

Thanks to our consultant, Patty Stevens of SchmidtCopelandParkerStevens, for her help in assembling this presentation.

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EcoCity Cleveland
3500 Lorain Avenue, Suite 301, Cleveland OH 44113
Cuyahoga Bioregion
(216) 961-5020
Copyright 2002-2003



Presentation outline

Click here to begin the slide show or follow the links below to the start of each section


Current conditions

Best practices

  • Contact with water
  • Continuous public space at the edge
  • Open and green
  • Connections to the urban core and neighborhoods
  • Multi-modal
  • Welcoming to all

Quality of amenities, activities, and design

Current conditions

Best practices

  • Continuity of design elements
  • Quality of construction, materials, maintenance
  • Comfort, safety
  • Place specific
  • Variety

Economic Development

Current conditions

Best practices

  • Water is the attraction
  • Built for local residents
  • Integration of public and private
  • Mixed use
  • Housing
  • Maximize the edge
  • Eco-tourism

Environmental Quality

Current conditions

Best Practices

  • Work with nature
  • Restore ecological functions:
  • Diversity of native species
  • Habitat restoration
  • Improve water quality
  • Natural areas
  • Green building practices
  • Integrate interpretation
  • Reduce noise and visual pollution

Public Process

Current conditions

Best practices

  • Informed involvement
  • Open/transparent/clear
  • Alternatives evaluation
  • Stimulates imaginative thinking
  • Willingness to experiment and take risks
  • Cultivates sense of ownership & pride

How will we apply these best practices to our waterfront?
Build on our unique heritage
Celebrate our local distinctiveness

Photography credits

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