Cleveland EcoVillage FAQs
What is the Cleveland EcoVillage?
The Cleveland EcoVillage is a national demonstration project with the goal of developing a model urban village that will realize the potential of urban life in the most ecological way possible. The EcoVillage will unite the latest Green Building ideas (energy efficiency, passive solar design, nontoxic building materials, considerations of life-cycle costs, wastewater treatment with living machines) with the best thinking of the New Urbanism movement (pedestrian-friendly streets, mixed-uses, proximity to transit, urban green space). The project has received national recognition in the form of a Sustainable Development Challenge Grant from the
U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.
Why do it?
Older cities like Cleveland are now being redeveloped, and it is vital that this regeneration take into account ecological design and long-term sustainability. The EcoVillage project can create a model for other neighborhoods in Cleveland. We can start to put Cleveland on the map as a "green city." And by improving the quality of urban life, we will reduce pressures for wasteful urban sprawl. Other cities are advancing these concepts. For instance, New York has green tax credits, green building guidelines and the first green skyscraper at Four Times Square. Pittsburgh has programs for the greening of residential neighborhoods and the first environmentally-friendly convention center. Ecological design can play a powerful role in preserving and restoring American citiesand enabling our society to meet the challenges of the 21st century.
Who are the partners?
The Cleveland EcoVillage project is a partnership between one of Cleveland's leading neighborhood-based development organizations, the Detroit Shoreway Community Development Organization, and a nationally-recognized environmental planning organization, EcoCity Cleveland. In addition to these main partners, the project involves the Greater Cleveland RTA, private developers, the City of Cleveland, other neighborhood development organizations and other environmental organizations, such as the Cleveland Green Building Coalition.
What is the location?
The EcoVillage planning area centers on the W. 65th Street Rapid Station and surrounding neighborhood on the west side of Cleveland. It is an ethnically diverse community with residents of low to moderate incomes. Development opportunities include the Rapid Station, adjacent commercial strip, and vacant lots for infill housing. Existing homes and businesses can be rehabbed to the latest green standards.
What design concepts are being considered?
With a new Rapid Station as a catalyst for redevelopment, the EcoVillage can become a transit-centered village, with mixed-use developments centered on the Rapid Station, higher density housing in proximity to transit, and pedestrian/bike links throughout the neighborhood. Innovative housing concepts, such as cohousing, are also being considered. All new construction and rehabilitation will strive to meet the highest standards of green building.
What environmental programs might be included?
In addition to new development, the EcoVillage is planning for neighborhood programs for recycling, urban gardening, habitat restoration, environmental education, development of environmental businesses and jobs.
What are the funding sources?
Initial planning for the EcoVillage has been supported by the George Gund Foundation, the Katherine and Lee Chilcote Foundation, and the Cleveland Cityworks program. Funding for a project manager has been provided by U.S. EPA. Ecological design assistance for a new housing development on W. 58th Street has been funded by the George Gund Foundation and the Cleveland Foundation, and construction is being supported by the City of Cleveland and other sources. Future phases of the EcoVillage will likely be supported by local and national foundations, federal agencies, building materials manufacturers, financing through utilities and location-efficient mortgages, and investments by private developers.
Where can I see other urban ecovillages?
- Seminary Square EcoVillage in Cincinnati, Ohio
- The Los Angeles EcoVillage in L.A., California
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3500 Lorain Avenue, Suite 301, Cleveland OH 44113
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View from the EcoVillage: Two stops on the Rapid from downtown.