Good words
from SCS 2000

A shift in thinking
I want to recognize that this symposium is really about a shift in thinking. It's truly transformational&because we are moving to a more holistic view about how our society is constructed, a new understanding that we are all interdependent, a way of thinking that has tremendous potential for community-based values which encourage preservation, conservation, and cooperation, the kind of cooperation between institutions which is evidenced by the participation of so many diverse groups who are present in this audience today&

We need to make sure that the quality of life in communities is kept intact, that we don't come up with plans that end up decimating communities in the name of civic progress. That's really what sustainability is about - holding on to what you have, preserving it, improving it, and realizing the long-term impact of the choices that you make...

Sustainability has to empower people, show them that the circumstances with which they are presented in their life are not beyond their control, show them how they can make a difference and how they can take the principles of architecture, planning, design, and infuse them with a new type of creativity that creates a truly new American city.
Congressman Dennis Kucinich

A regional civic vision
As Cleveland enters its third century as a city, its fate is now, more than ever, intertwined with the region. Our challenge is to look beyond political boundaries and create strategies that benefit the entire region. In other words, a regional civic vision& The entire region must be engaged in planning for the future. There is no shortage of information on what Northeast Ohio is or what it needs. That is not why we are here. We are here to talk about strategies, to create a common regional vision from the bottom up, from the grassroots, to make Northeast Ohio competitive in an increasingly global economy. We are here to talk about what needs to change to make Northeast Ohio a model for sustainable development and livable communities. We are here to transform the concepts of sustainability into the specifics.
David Sweet, Dean of the Levin College of Urban Affairs at Cleveland State University, and master of ceremonies at SCS 2000

Support for the vision
What you intend to do here is to visualize our county and region as a sustainable community and to create through this conference a viable sustainable community agenda for Northeast Ohio. I think we have the people in the room who have the capacity to do just that. And I want you to know that as you move forward you do have partners and supporters in the Cuyahoga County Commission seats to take that plan and turn it into something that actually gets implemented.
Cuyahoga County Commissioner (now Cleveland Mayor) Jane Campbell,
welcoming remarks at SCS 2000

Whole systems
Sustainable development means finding economically and environmentally sound approaches to development. Are there environmentally sound ways to meet basic human needs? The key to me is taking the whole systems perspective, to not just look at the short term, but to step back and see systematically how the pieces fit together so that you can find the compatible path between economic development and environmental quality.
Greg Watson,
keynote speaker at SCS 2000

We are not portable
I had a couple of people ask me, "What is LTV doing at a sustainable communities conference? You people have that big steel mill downtown in the flats." It's a good question, but I think I can explain it very simply. LTV is not a dot-com. We are not a new start up. We are not portable. We have been a part of this community for well over 100 years in one permutation or another under various names. We contribute about $100 million to the tax base of this region, not only through the company's taxes, but through the taxes of our employees. Last year we paid something in the neighborhood of $390 million worth of the wages in the City of Cleveland through our Cleveland works. When you think of the overall concept of sustaining communities, the concept of a viable productive economy that's generating money and putting money into the community towards development and continuation is essential. Without an economy, without an economic base, things don't go too far.
Mark Tomasch,
senior director of Corporate Communications at LTV Steel

Education first
As we design and improve our communities it's very important that we keep in mind the needs of young people. It's important that kids not feel isolated, both out in the suburbs and in the city. If you don't have access to a car, you don't have access to activities and can't be involved in positive activities. I think the most important issue, though, when you discuss sustainable communities is education. This is a statewide issue that has very direct local ramifications. Our current school funding system is in many ways a disaster&If you want to preserve our communities and see our communities remain strong into the foreseeable future, then invest in our educational system. Every dollar you invest in our educational system will be paid back tenfold in the future.
Ruth DeGolia, senior at Cleveland Heights High School



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Copyright 2002-2003



Proceedings of Sustainable Communities Symposium 2000
Three days in May 2000
Symposium agenda
The thought and practice of sustainability
Themes of the discussion
Agenda for architecture/urban design
Agenda for business/economics
Agenda for infrastructure
Agenda for political/legal issues
Agenda for health
Forging a regional civic vision
Committed to people and place
Sustainability pledge
Quotes from speakers
Resources for sustainability

Download publication of SCS 2000 proceedings

Back to main sustainability page
Go to SCS 2000 site


The federal interest
in local livability

By Lyn Luttner

Dramatic demographic and economic changes, coupled with sprawling urban development, have caused unprecedented stresses on the regional ecosystems and infrastructure of Northeast Ohio. Indeed, several years ago the Regional Environmental Priorities Project (REPP) of Case Western Reserve University determined that the top five environmental concerns in the region were outmigration from the urban core, quality of the urban environment, outdoor air quality, surface water quality, and the use of resources and energy.

The priorities project involved a "Public Committee" of more than 30 leaders from civic, business, environmental, minority, neighborhood, educational, religious and media organizations. This Public Committee aggregated issues of public and technical concerns gathered from more than 40 public meetings and the work of additional volunteers, making this a significant effort in consensus-based, regional problem solving.

Local priorities

The project also identified the need to bring federal agencies together to more effectively help the Northeast Ohio community address these environmental priorities. And the priorities have helped form the backbone of the U. S. Environmental Protection Agency's Cleveland Office activities in Northeast Ohio. In addition, the White House Task Force on Livable Communities is promoting many projects around the nation to coordinate federal resources and develop partnerships with local communities to improve the quality of life in urban areas. Northeast Ohio is part of the livability initiative because there are many quality of life issues in the area, as well as many grassroots organizations already working on these issues.

Over the last few years many grassroots organizations in Northeast Ohio have invited the U.S. EPA to be at the table. The Sustainable Communities Symposium 2000 is one of these projects going on in the Southern Lake Erie area.

Across the country and around the world, there is a transformation in the way business is done, how cities are managed, how food is grown, and how people live. This transformation is making fortunes, saving cities and farmland, and creating stronger, healthier communities. The Sustainable Communities Symposium 2000 was an opportunity to share these developments with the Northeast Ohio region and prepare the 4 million citizens of the region to perform more competitively in the emerging economy of the new millennium.

Lyn Luttner directs the U.S. EPA Region V Cleveland office.

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