Sustainable infrastructure

Why don't we build roads that last for 50 years like they do in Europe?

That and similar questions has led Build Up Greater Cleveland, the infrastructure watchdog program of the Greater Cleveland Growth Association, to form a Sustainable Infrastructure Task Force. The goal is to recommend ways that local infrastructure agencies transportation, water, sewer, and other public works can be smarter, more cost-effective, and more sensitive to the environment in the long run.

The task force has spent a good deal of time discussing what it might mean to "sustainable" with respect to infrastructure. And it has come up with an interesting draft list of sustainable infrastructure principles (see below). It also is developing a pilot project to demonstrate how sustainable infrastructure strategies can promote the revitalization of urban neighborhoods. For more information, call Dave Goss at 216-592-2343.

Sustainable infrastructure principles

The following principles were developed by the Sustainable Infrastructure Task Force of Build Up Greater Cleveland.

Prioritize infrastructure investments that:

  • Promote long-term regional sustainable development, through the integration of economic, environmental and equity issues and concerns, that: a) improves the economic vitality of the region's urban cores with particular emphasis on leveraging investments in priority municipal/county/regional economic development programs; b) improves the quality of our region's natural environments, taking into consideration air, land and water quality; species diversification; habitat preservation; conservation and restoration of resources; and minimization of waste; and c) supports the social cohesion of communities and improves the quality of life for all segments of society.
  • Preserve, rehabilitate and/or maintain elements of the existing infrastructure system.
  • Enhance the total regional infrastructure network, comprised of a variety of "upstream" and "down-stream" public and private facilities and systems.
  • Pursue "best practices," ecological considerations and technological innovations in design, construction and operation.
  • Seek the most favorable cost/benefit ratio and lowest life-cycle costs after fully considering all related economic, environmental and equity issues.
  • Support consensus community, intergovernmental and public/private processes and plans.
  • Ensure that each investment will be maintained, and its benefits sustained, in the long-term.


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EcoCity Cleveland
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Cuyahoga Bioregion
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Copyright 2002-2003



Infrastructure priorities from the Sustainable Communities Symposium 2000

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