Reimagining Cleveland’s Lakefront: A Vision of Collaboration And Inclusivity

In a recent panel discussion covered by, Cuyahoga County Executive Chris Ronayne and Cleveland Mayor Justin Bibb asserted their shared commitment to redeveloping downtown Cleveland’s lakefront, overcoming past challenges and promising to transform it into an inclusive and accessible community asset. The event, titled “It Takes A Planner,” was sponsored by Advance Ohio and the American Planning Association and moderated by reporter Steven Litt.

Executive Ronayne emphasized the importance of strategic alliances, highlighting that successful redevelopment requires cooperation from the public sector, private entities, and non-profit organizations. His vision includes enhancing the city’s appeal by creating accessible pathways to the waterfront, thereby enriching the residents’ quality of life and strengthening Cuyahoga County’s tax base.

Mayor Bibb echoed this collaborative sentiment. He acknowledged Cleveland’s previous struggles with lakefront development plans but emphasized his optimism for the future, given the unique alignment between his office and the county executive’s.

For decades, city planners, developers, and civic organizations have proposed numerous plans to enhance the downtown lakefront and improve its connectivity with Lake Erie. These ambitious visions have historically been hindered by infrastructural barriers, such as the Ohio 2 shoreway and rail lines.

However, Ronayne noted several promising prospects. Cuyahoga County is seeking proposals for a new courthouse and considering plans for a new jail that could free up substantial space near the lake for development.

The collaboration was recently challenged when Cuyahoga County Council delayed a decision on Cleveland’s proposal to form a lakefront development authority, the Northcoast Development Corp, with the county. Yet, both Ronayne and Bibb remain hopeful that council members will come to appreciate the value of this initiative.

Mayor Bibb added a poignant perspective, acknowledging Cleveland’s history of racial segregation. He shared personal experiences highlighting the lakefront’s symbolic inaccessibility and emphasized the opportunity to use the lakefront master plan to dismantle these historic barriers.

Both Bibb and Ronayne assured residents that their voices are crucial to the redevelopment process and will continue to be heard. Executive Ronayne underscored this sentiment by proposing a Freshwater Institute aimed at educating the next generation about water ecology.

The panel also included Brian Zimmerman, CEO of Cleveland Metroparks, Joyce Pan Huang, city Planning Director, and Mary Cierebiej, executive director of the Cuyahoga County Planning Commission.

As the Green Ribbon Coalition, we stand firmly in support of these inclusive, environmentally-conscious endeavors. We believe that access to our beautiful waterfronts should be a right enjoyed by all. Stay tuned as we continue to monitor and advocate for these critical initiatives to ensure they align with our mission of a greener and more inclusive Cleveland.

For more detailed information, you can find the original article here.

Please join us as we support and advocate for more accessible, sustainable, and inclusive waterfront spaces. Together, we can help shape a brighter future for Cleveland.

Crains: “A Vision for Lake Erie”


Thanks to Crain’s this very comprehensive coverage, “A Vision for Lake Erie,” in their January 30, 2023 issue. GRC Director Dick Clough’s column is on page 15, “Lakefront progress needs boost from an independent authority.” Clough advocates for an independent body which will maintain a galvanizing continuity of leadership, and he outlines a short list of items to be addressed immediately.

We invite you to read Dick Clough’s column in the forum here:

“A Vision for Lake Erie” by Jay Miller prefaces a forum by a number of contributors in the issue:


Support for 5 New Lakefront Projects to Open Up Shoreline

land bridgeThanks to and Steven Litt for covering this news – we’re excited to see so much momentum going into opening up Cleveland’s north shore! Areas for consideration include trails and features along five miles of lakefront in Rocky River, Lakewood and Cleveland. Mentioned in the article is the project to extend the downtown Mall to improve access to the North Coast Harbor attractions.

Read the article here.

12 Takeaways for Cleveland’s New Lakefront Plan Based on Lessons From St. Louis And Cincinnati

Cuyahoga River meeting Lake Erie

Thanks to Steve Litt for covering this story.

A bold new concept for improving Cleveland’s downtown lakefront, proposed in May by Browns co-owners Jimmy and Dee Haslam, shows how the city could better capitalize on its proximity to Lake Erie. It also shows how far the city has fallen behind its peers in the industrial Midwest in waterfront redevelopment.

What can Cleveland learn from other cities in the region? The Plain Dealer and visited projects in Cincinnati and St. Louis to find out. In a nutshell, here are 12 lessons from the two cities.

Continue reading on “Big Planning Grants Encourage Regional Approach to NEO Parks, Lakefronts And Downtown Cleveland”

CLEVELAND, Ohio — Despite disruptions caused by the coronavirus pandemic, money will continue to flow to regional planning efforts aimed at shaping better bike and pedestrian connections in downtown Cleveland, along Lake Erie, and among major park systems.

In its quarterly meeting earlier this month, the board of the Northeast Ohio Areawide Coordinating Agency approved more than $2 million for projects under its Transportation for Livable Communities Initiative.

We invite you to continue reading this article by Steven Litt published March 27, 2020 on here.