Sunday, January 25, 2009

Sustaining Cleveland

A serious case of site-envy: Cleveland's GreenCityBlueLake site looks to me a like a model for generating an inclusive green vision for a city/region as a whole. There's a clean look to the site, with a list of categories ranging from arts and culture through economy, energy and education, all the way down to water. Each of the dimensions seems to have--or be generating--its own community, with participants committed to developing a common vision of how to move the area towards sustainability. The site serves a coordinating function--hosting discussions, reporting on initiatives and developing plans.

No doubt it helps to have a partnership with an established institution like the Cleveland Museum of Natural History, which helps stabilize what was initially the work of a non-profit organization called EcoCity Cleveland. There's also, clearly, a dedicated group of activists who know how to work together. But it leaves me wondering whether we can develop something comparable for Central Ohio: a site/group that would promote analysis of regional policy issues from a green perspective.

does sponsor a Central Ohio discussion group, to which a number of folks from MORPC contribute, but it's incredibly austere and uninviting and hasn't, in my experience, generated significant discussion. Surely, though, there's enough informed talent around here to come up with a comparable effort.

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