The Connected City: 2024 City Cluster Workshop


On June 18-20, 2024, urban leaders gathered in Cleveland to share the smartest ideas, toughest challenges and real-life strategies for connecting a city’s distinctive assets. We came, we saw, we connected. The workshop did more than use Cleveland as a conversational backdrop; the city is the physical backdrop for the projects, programs and people we met, building Cleveland, every day. It was a max-packed few days, but the action shouldn’t stop there.

Whether you were a participant with follow-up to do, want to relive every moment or couldn’t attend and need to see what you missed, CEOs for Cities has packaged the play-by-play (complete with names, profiles, links and more) for The Connected City workshop.

Who was there?

More than 200 game-changers and changemakers came to Cleveland from 20+ cities. Zoom into the map for more detail, click on the plots to see who came from where. Want to get in touch? Check your email. Registered participants were sent a roster for The Connected City attendees.

What did we do?

The Connected City workshop began with an opening reception at Aloft Cleveland Downtown on Wednesday, June 18. Adam Fishman of Fairmount Properties shared the past, present and future of the East Bank of the Flats in Cleveland. The East/West Collective spun tunes and plenty of you had fun in the Too Much Awesomeness photo booth. (Flip through photos here.)






We woke up early on Thursday, June 18, for breakfast at E+Y Tower on the East Bank of the Flats, listened to opening remarks and a mayors’ panel before taking off for three concurrent field trips around the city of Cleveland. Case Western Reserve University hosted lunch and partnered with OneCommunity to tell stories of the digitally connected city. Then it was off to the waterfront! We boarded the Nautica Queen to tour what’s happening lakeside and riverfront in Cleveland. But the sun didn’t set until neighborhood tours wound up and ended at restaurants on the Westside.

Keynote speaker Toni Griffin kicked off Friday’s sessions with an inspiring address about designing cities to be more just and resilient. Seven City Clusters followed with a PechaKucha-style lightning round, telling stories of successes and challenges in their connected cities. We then broke into facilitated break-out sessions to write “Connected City” manifestos (stay tuned for what’s become of those) and wrapped up with the launch of our latest City Dividend Prize Challenge.

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The view from Tucker Ellis in E+Y Tower, home base for The Connected City. Photo by Jim Ridge, Share the River

Wake-up call at The Connected City!

The first day of The Connected City workshop began with an early rise — breakfast at 7 a.m. and opening remarks by these leaders:

  • Lee Fisher, President + CEO, CEOs for Cities
  • Joe Morford, Managing Partner, Tucker Ellis
  • Julie Boland, Managing Partner, Ernst and Young
  • Adam Fishman, Principal, Fairmount Properties

Participants received a warm welcome to Cleveland from:

  • Cleveland Mayor Frank Jackson
  • Ronald Berkman, President, Cleveland State University

And continued the morning session with four mayors sharing their views on what it means to be (or become) a connected city:

  • Greenville Mayor Knox White
  • Nashville Mayor Karl Dean
  • Knoxville Mayor Madeline Rogero
  • Dayton Mayor Nan Whaley

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Morning Field Trips + Evening Neighborhood Tours

On Thursday, June 19, participants of The Connected City workshop experienced many sides of Cleveland, exploring connections and disconnections through hosted city journeys, interactive discussions and panel discussions. Cleveland wasn’t just the theoretical backdrop for this workshop; it was our laboratory. Find follow-up links and names-to-note for your trips and tours, or catch up with the other city adventures:

Morning Field Trips, presented by Charter One Growing Communities:

Evening Neighborhood Tours:

Field Trip #1: East Side Neighborhoods

Understanding our disconnections is as important as our connections. This is a story about the neighborhoods, just north and south of Cleveland’s main driving ways, that commuters used to ignore on their ways to/from the suburbs. But what’s happening in St. Clair-Superior, Shaker/Buckeye and other Eastside neighborhoods is hard to ignore. We saw one of the largest urban agriculture innovation zones in the country; a massive rehab project that turned a defunct hospital campus into an intergenerational community; a reentry program that’s cutting recidivism with French cuisine; and a district where upcycling, the maker class and a renowned urban flea are changing the way we think about commerce.

Rapid Ride from East Bank to East 116th
The trip started on RTA Rapid Blue Line on the East Bank of the Flats. Joy Johnson, Associate Director, Burten, Bell, Carr narrated, detailing some of these projects:

  • Bridgeport Cafe provides a healthy alternative to traditional fast-food joints prevalent in urban neighborhoods.
  • CornUcopia Place is a community center for education on nutrition and cooking demonstrations. It also operates as a multi-use space and a harvest preparation station by local gardeners.
  • Neighborhood Streetscaping aesthetically enriches the streets of Central, Kinsman and Garden Valley, encouraging investment in neighborhood properties.
  • Arbor Park Place is the first large-scale retail development project in the Central neighborhood in more than 40 years.
  • Bridgeport Mobile Market is a mobile market and food truck that offers fresh fruits and vegetables where people live, work, play and worship, and may not have convenient access to a grocery store.
  • Green City Growers is a vast vacant property in the Central neighborhood turned into an expansive greenhouse powered by hydroponic technology.

St. Luke’s Hospital
Jeff Kipp, Director of Neighborhood Marketing, and Colleen Gilson, Vice President of CDC Services, Cleveland Neighborhood Progress discussed:

  • Cleveland Neighborhood Progress and the St. Luke’s Hospital renovation: See the presentation.
  • The Intergenerational School is a free, high-performing public charter school on the renovated St. Luke’s campus.
  • The Live Cleveland Guide is the official guide to what’s happening in the city’s neighborhoods.

Shaker Square
Lolly the Trolley took us along Shaker Boulevard to Shaker Square, where we met:

  • Brandon Edwin Chrostowski, CEO, who discussed Edwins Restaurant and Leadership Institute, a unique reentry program, giving formerly incarcerated adults a foundation in the hospitality industry and providing a support network necessary for a successful reentry.
  • Theodore Ferringer, Designer and Business Development Director at Bialosky + Partners Architects delivered the history of Shaker Square.

Narrated Trolley Ride
The rides from Shaker Square through the Forgotten Triangle, Kinsman and Hough to St. Clair-Superior were narrated by Mansfield Frazier, Executive Director, Neighborhood Solutions, Inc., and Dan Brown, Economic Opportunity Fellow, Cleveland Neighborhood Progress. Topics and stops included:

  • Larchmere is an historic neighborhood with a strong arts, culture and antiques core.
  • Urban Agriculture Innovation Zone is more than 28 acres of formerly vacant land being used to grow food and innovate agricultural technologies.
  • Cleveland Botanical Gardens Green Corps builds life, work and leadership skills by employing and educating high school students, ages 14-18, through the practice of sustainable agriculture, place-based learning and community engagement.
  • Kinsman Farm is a six-acre incubator farm developed for small, urban farmers to overcome the barrier of land tenure.
  • The Rid-All Green Partnership was started by three childhood friends who turned many acres of vacant land into a farm that grows fruits, vegetables, fish and agricultural skills.
  • The Vineyards at Chateau Hough is an urban vineyard by Mansfield Frazier, who aims to grow enough vines to create an inner-city winery at East 66th and Hough Avenue.
  • Rust Belt Riders Composting is a compost-collection service (by bike!), providing an easy way for homes and businesses to reduce carbon footprints while supporting community gardens.

St. Clair-Superior Neighborhood
Executive Director Michael Fleming welcomed us to St. Clair-Superior, a neighborhood home to Asian, Slovenian and African-American populations, where we heard from:

  • Richard Clark about St. Martin de Porres, an inner-city high school that was modeled after Cristo Rey Jesuit High School in Chicago and is a member of the Cristo Rey Network.
  • Bike Cleveland Executive Director Jacob van Sickle and Treasurer Barb Clint about the Bike Cleveland organization and The Midway cycling infrastructure project.
  • Nicole McGee about Upcycle St. Clair, a creative placemaking project on St. Clair Avenue using upcycling as a revitalization strategy.
  • Indie Foundry‘s Stephanie Sheldon, who founded The Cleveland Flea, an urban market that brings 10,000 people each month to the neighborhood to shop handmade and vintage wares.

On the ride out, we also learned about Cleveland’s AsiaTown; the grass-cutting sheep Urban Shepherds program; and the Cleveland Cultural Gardens.

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Field Trip #2: Downtown Cleveland

Downtown Cleveland long functioned as a collection of silos connected by stretches of dead zones and underutilized spaces. Today, it’s growing into a cohesive neighborhood that mixes business with living, walking and pleasure. On this walking trip, we learned about plans for our central square and the trouble with touching our lakefront; walked the architecturally astounding arcades and alleyways that tell of Cleveland’s past and its future; visited a massive mixed-use project under construction; saw historic tax credits at work, rehabbing dead zones in vital thoroughfares; and were drawn into a dazzling district that gives new meaning to “theatre of the city.”

A morning walk in Downtown Cleveland
City Prowl Founder and Architect Jennifer Coleman led the group and provided introduction for:

  • Warehouse District, downtown’s oldest commerical center and home to in-demand loft apartments, restaurants and nightlife.
  • Old Stone Church, where the trolleys unloaded, is an historic church with contemporary spirit on Cleveland’s Public Square.

Public Square, lake views, arcades and alleyways
Group Plan Commission Executive Director Jeremy Paris led the group across Public Square to the malls, where we:

  • Discussed the Public Square Redesign project, led by The Group Plan Commission, LAND Studio and James Corner Field Operations.
  • Met Richard Pace, President, Cumberland Real Estate Development, who talked about the Cleveland Convention Center, the malls and lakefront development.
  • Learned about the history, art and architecture of The Arcade from Tom Yablonsky and Tom Starinsky from the Historic Gateway District.
  • Stopped by the Positively Cleveland visitor center.
  • Met Ari Maron to learn how you turn an alleyway into an active entertainment corridor.
  • Looped around the block to reconnect with Richard Pace on The Fifth Street Arcades and see Pour Cleveland.

From 9 to 12
Downtown Cleveland Alliance Vice President of Business Development and Legal Services Michael Deemer led us down Euclid Avenue to:

  • Experience the rotunda at The 9, a massive mixed-use project under construction by The Geis Companies.
  • Walk a dead zone, East 9-12th Streets, where historic tax credits are at work rehabbing the stretch into forthcoming NineTwelve District.
  • See the world’s largest outdoor chandelier that adorns a recently updated performing arts district, PlayhouseSquare.

The theater of panel discussions
The trip ended with a roundtable at the historic Hanna Theatre in PlayhouseSquare, moderated by Jennifer Coleman and featured:

  • Art Falco, President and CEO, PlayhouseSquare
  • Joe Marinucci, President and CEO, Downtown Cleveland Alliance
  • Terry Schwarz, Director, Cleveland Urban Design Collaborative
  • Joe Roman, President and CEO, Greater Cleveland Partnership

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Field Trip #3: The Euclid Corridor

Download the full PDF version of the Euclid Corridor trip and read complete field notes/takeaways.

The Euclid Corridor is a compact zone of concentrated investment connecting the region’s two largest employment centers: Downtown Cleveland and University Circle. Known after the Civil War as Millionaire’s Row — home to and then abandoned by the city’s most successful industrialists — Euclid Avenue’s rebirth has unfolded over nearly four decades. We learned the histories and trajectories of six districts that, together, constitute the Euclid Corridor’s development: Public Square, PlayhouseSquare, the Campus District, Midtown Cleveland, The Cleveland Clinic and University Circle.

Led by Hunter Morrison, Executive Director of the Northeast Ohio Sustainable Communities Consortium and former Cleveland City Planning Director (1981-2001), this trip includes a printed map and guide (produced by Studio Graphique) and complete field notes and key takeaways by Morrison.

Public Square: The Heart of the City, The Heart of the Region
Speakers: Hunter Morrison Executive Director of the Northeast Ohio Sustainable Communities Consortium, and Mike Schipper, Deputy General Manager, Greater Cleveland RTA, aboard the RTA HealthLine.

  • 10-acre park surveyed in 1796 by Moses Cleaveland, who intended it to be the region’s largest public square.
  • Historic downtown retail center and the region’s major transit hub.
  • Reconfiguration and reinvestment first proposed in 1975: Concept Plan for Cleveland, by Lawrence Halprin
  • Renovated following U.S. Bicentennial: 1976-1984
  • Center of downtown corporate investment in the 1980s and 1999s: SOHIO Building, Key Corp, Tower City Center, Renaissance Hotel
  • Major reconfiguration and reinvestment proposed in 2024: Public Square Redesign by James Corner Field Operations and LAND Studio

Tower City Center: Developing and Transforming an Historic Mixed Use District
Speakers: Hunter Morrison Executive Director of the Northeast Ohio Sustainable Communities Consortium, and Mike Schipper, Deputy General Manager, Greater Cleveland RTA.

  • Pioneering mixed use development district: Hotel, Office, Department Store, “Union” passenger rail station and transit hub.
  • Developed as the “Terminal Group” by Cleveland’s Van Sweringen brothers between 1918 and 1928.
  • Cleveland-based Forest City Enterprises acquired train station and rail yards and the US Post Office building in the early 1980s. Renamed the Terminal Group and its iconic Terminal Tower “Tower City Center,” a mixed use development anchored by a retail mall in the converted passenger station.
  • Forest City began Tower City Center development in 1986 and completed it 4 years later.
  • First phase opened in 1990 and included The Avenue retail mall in the passenger station, the MK Ferguson Building in the renovated Post Office building and a consolidated light rail transit center and parking are in the rail yard beneath the Center.
  • GCRTA reconfigured rapid transit center as part of the Tower City first phase.
  • Second phase opened in 1991 and included two contemporary office towers and the Ritz Carlton Hotel.
  • Forest City and GCRTA connected the Center to the new Gateway Sports District with a pedestrian walkway completed in 1994.
  • Carl B. Stokes Federal Courthouse completed in 2024 on land Forest City sold to GSA. Courthouse connected to Center by pedestrian walkway.
  • Department store closed in 2024. Forest City acquired the building and later sold it to Dan Gilbert, Founder and Chairman of Quicken Loans, for the Horseshoe Casino first phase. Casino opened in 2024 and was connected to the City Center by pedestrian walkway in 2024.

PlayhouseSquare Theater District: Creating a Regional Entertainment Magnet
Speaker: Tom Einhouse, Vice President of Real Estate Development, PlayhouseSquare

  • PlayhouseSquare was established as the city’s premier retail district and popular entertainment center in the 1920s.
  • Retail was anchored by two high-end department stores surrounded by a tight cluster of specialty stores.
  • Entertainment was anchored by four opulent vaudeville/movie houses built adjacent to each other on a single block between East 14th and East 17th streets: The Allen, Ohio, State and Palace. A legitimate theater, the Hanna, a block away on East 14th
  • Both retail and entertainment were supported by the robust street car system on Euclid Avenue.
  • The five theaters were built within Class A office towers. Together they provided continuous bands of ground-level store fronts that seamlessly connected entertainment with retail uses—to the benefit of both.
  • Theater uses declined with the loss of their designation as “first-run movie houses,” the growing popularity of television, and the development of suburban competitors. The four movie houses were shuttered between May 1968 and July 1969. The Hanna remained as the district’s sole operating theater.
  • Threatened demolition of the Palace, State and Ohio theaters in 1972 led to the formation of the broadly-based grass-roots and civic leadership coalition to save and repurpose the theaters as the heart of a regional entertainment district.
  • Cleveland architect, Peter VanDijk, first proposed connecting the three threatened theaters to create a single integrated theater center.
  • The Concept for Cleveland (1975) built on VanDijk’s work and called for renovating the entire Playhouse Square District and connecting it to Public Square with a trolley line.
  • Today PlayhouseSquare is the country’s second largest theater center (behind Lincoln Center)
  • The Center’s five theaters draw more than 1 million visitors a year to downtown Cleveland and have catalyzed private development in the adjacent Playhouse Square District.
  • The District is seamlessly connected at the sidewalk level to the adjacent Campus District and Gateway Sports District—to their mutual benefit.

Cleveland State University and the Campus District Attracting, Educating and Retaining our Next Generation
Speakers: Ned Hill, Dean, Maxine Goodman Levin College of Urban Affairs and Bobbi Reichtell, Executive Director, Campus District, Inc.

  • Cleveland State University is an urban state university with an enrollment of more than 17,000 students, eight colleges and over 200 academic programs.
  • With state support, the university developed its core campus on the north side of Euclid Avenue from East 18th Street to East 30th Street. The design was Brutalist Modern and retreated from the life of the street with plazas, blank walls and deep building setbacks.
  • In the 1980s the university extended its campus to the north, south and west to accommodate new athletic field, a convocation center and two graduate schools— business and urban studies.
  • Housing to accommodate the needs of undergraduate and graduate students was limited to a few university-owned buildings. Both the university and the state saw CSU as a commuter school with limited demand for on-campus housing.
  • The university’s “retreat from the street” began to change in the 1990s with the development of the Maxine Goodman Levin College of Urban Affairs on Euclid Avenue and East 17th Street, adjacent to PlayhouseSquare.
  • The University’s relationship to its surrounding neighborhood changed markedly in the 2024s. The university adopted a new campus master plan and embarked on a $65 million construction project intended to transform the campus from a mostly commuter school into a residential campus.
  • Since 2024, the university has leveraged the HealthLine BRT investments made on Euclid Avenue and has renovated or built along both sides of the avenue.
  • Simultaneously the university partnered with the City and private developers to create a “college town,” a concentration of university-oriented apartments and ground-level retail in both new and renovated buildings to the north and south of the original campus.

Midtown Cleveland: Transit-Oriented Re-investment in an Under-Performing Commercial/Industrial District
Speaker: Tracey Nichols, Director of Economic Development, City of Cleveland Department of Economic Development

  • Midtown is two-square-mile commercial and light industrial district on both sides of Euclid Avenue from the Cleveland State University campus (East 30th Street) to the Cleveland Clinic campus (East 79th Street). It is a successful example of transit- oriented commercial/industrial reinvestment that has been guided by Midtown Corridor, a well-established business-oriented local development corporation working in partnership with the public sector.
  • Euclid Avenue is one of the city’s oldest streets. It was the original stage coach route to Buffalo. Dunham Tavern (circa 1843) dates from that era and is the oldest building in Cleveland.
  • In the late 19th Century, Euclid Avenue was “Millionaires Row” and featured several miles of Victorian mansions by the city’s emerging industrial elite.
  • Most mansions were demolished or repurposed by the 1920s. The district became a mix of apartments, commercial uses and heavy industries served by the Pennsylvania Railroad.
  • Industrial and commercial uses began to decline following World War II. Disinvestment was accelerated by the movement of industrial firms to suburban parks served by truck. Freight rail service ceased to offer competitive site advantages. Passenger service to the Pennsylvania Railroad’s East 55th Street Station ended in 1965.
  • The University-Euclid Urban Renewal Plan was adopted in the early 1960s and called for developing the eastern end of the Corridor (from East 79th to East 55th Streets) as a modern “Commerce Park” for light industrial uses. No plans were prepared for the 25-block area from East 55th to East 30th and the Cleveland State University campus.
  • The urban renewal plan for the area was set aside following the Hough riots in July 1966. Modest efforts were made by the Hough Area Development Corporation (a local CDC) to revive the plan and develop the “Hough Industrial Park” between East 55th and East 65th. HADC acquired the Pennsylvania Railroads freight yard at East 55th Street in 1978 with the intention of developing the first phaseofthe park.
  • Under Mayor George Voinovich, the city acquired the HADC property in the early 1980s with funds from President Regan’s stimulus program. The city subsequently worked with Pierre’s Ice Cream to develop an expanded plant on this site. Freight rail access was a critical factor in Pierre‘s decision to stay and expand in Midtown.
  • Voinovich reached out to other local business leaders in the Midtown area. Led by Mort Mandel, Chairman of Premier Industrial, local businesses established Midtown Corridor Inc. (now known as Midtown Cleveland) to collaborate with the city and promote the corridor as an industrial/commercial district.
  • Midtown’s leadership noted the importance of logistics to their decision to stay and invest: In addition to freight rail, the district had direct access to I-90 (to the north) and I-71 and I-77 (to the south) and was on a major bus route connecting the region’s two major employment centers—downtown Cleveland and University Circle.
  • In 1981, the city partnered with Greater Cleveland RTA and NOACA (the Metropolitan Planning Agency) to study transit improvements to the “Dual Hub Corridor” between downtown and University Circle. These studies focused on the feasibility of relocating GCRTA’s existing east side fixed rail rapid transit line onto Euclid Avenue from an alignment to the south of the Corridor.
  • The rail alignment options proved financially infeasible and were abandoned in favor of Bus Rapid Transit (BRT). The Health Line BRT began operation in 2024.
  • The HealthLine project provided funds to improve Midtown’s transit service and transform its overall “curb appeal,” thereby linking it—both functionally and aesthetically—to the two growing employment centers to the east and west.
  • Private developers have responded to this investment as well as to the inherent locational advantages of a district that is conveniently connected to regional and national markets. Multiple commercial, industrial and residential projects have and are being developed along both sides of the HealthLine.
  • Local business leadership remains a critical success factor. Midtown Cleveland has aggressively marketed the District bringing together public and private actors to insure that the District continues to develop as a unique, high quality place to live and work.

University Circle and the Cleveland Clinic: Northeast Ohio’s Premier Innovation District
Speakers: Chris Ronayne, President, University Circle, Inc.; Grafton Nunes, President, Cleveland Institute of Art; Tom Welsh, Director of Music Programming at Cleveland Museum of Art; and Lillian Kuri, Program Director for Architecture, Urban Design, and Sustainable Development, The Cleveland Foundation

  • University Circle is Northeast Ohio’s premier cultural and educational district. It encompasses approximately 550 acres at north and south of Euclid Avenue at the eastern edge of the City of Cleveland.
  • The Cleveland Clinic is today one of the largest private medical centers in the world and a leader in cardiac research and care. It has steadily expanded its campus, growing to cover 140 acres on both sides of Euclid Avenue.
  • Together University Circle and the Cleveland Clinic campus occupy almost 700 acres are the site of approximately 50,000 jobs, making this district the region’s second largest employment center.
  • University Circle emerged as a center of higher education in the 1889s and 1890s when Western Reserve University, Case Institute of Technology (federated as Case Western Reserve University in 1967) and the predecessor of the Cleveland Institute of Art all moved to University Circle.
  • University Circle became a cultural center during the first half of the 20th Century with the development of the Cleveland Museum of Art; the Cleveland Museum of Natural History; the Cleveland Botanical Garden; and Severance Hall, home of the Cleveland Orchestra. University Hospitals and the Western Reserve Historical Society both moved to the Circle while the Cleveland Clinic opened its doors several blocks to the west of the Circle on the south side of Euclid Avenue.
  • The second half of the 20th Century was a period of institutional expansion and the establishment of University Circle, Incorporated in 1957 as the city’s first community development corporation. The city adopted the University-Euclid Urban Renewal Plan in the early 1960s and proceeded to implement in in partnership with UCI for the next 40 years.
  • The Circle is well served by public transit. In addition to the HealthLine BRT, GCRTA’s Red Line rapid transit and numerous bus lines connect the Circle to the rest of the county and beyond.
  • In the past two decades, University Circle has seen continued institutional investment, with renovation and expansion of Case Western Reserve University and University Hospitals, the Cleveland Museum of Art, Severance Hall, the Cleveland Botanical Garden, the Western Reserve Historical Society and the Cleveland Institute of Music. The Veterans Administration consolidated its regional medical centers into the Louis Stokes VA Medical Center on the northern edge of the Circle and the Cleveland Museum of Contemporary Art has moved from the Cleveland Clinic campus to a prominent site at its center.
  • During this period, the Cleveland Clinic expanded it medical center and added several research buildings and developed two new hotels to meet the demands of its patients and visitors.
  • Paralleling this institutional development has been the development of new housing and retail uses to support the both the Clinic and Circle institutions and take better advantage of the markets they create.

Panel Discussion
The Euclid Corridor trip wrapped up at Case Western Reserve University’s new Tinkham Veale University Center with a panel discussion, moderated by Lillian Kuri, Program Director for Architecture, Urban Design, and Sustainable Development, The Cleveland Foundation, and featuring:

  • Andrea Jacobs, Executive Director, Cleveland Clinic Division of Operations
  • Hunter Morrison, Executive Director, Northeast Ohio Sustainable Communities Consortium
  • Tracey Nichols, Director of Economic Development, City of Cleveland
  • Sharon Sobol Jordan, President and CEO, Centers for Families and Children

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Tour #1: Ohio City Market District

Welcome to one of the oldest neighborhoods in Cleveland. Ohio City is home to reclaimed Victorians, a famed public market, one of the largest contiguous urban farms in the country and a dense mix of breweries and small-business blocks that have kept Ohio City on-the-grow for a couple decades. The tour featured:

  • Zoe Adams and Tom McNair of Ohio City Incorporated (tour leaders)
  • History of Ohio City
  • West Side Market
  • Market District
  • Ohio City Farm
  • The Cleveland Hostel
  • Nano Brew Cleveland
  • Great Lakes Brewing Company
  • Market Garden Brewery
  • Black Pig Cleveland

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Tour #2: Hingetown

On the other side of Ohio City, you’ll find walkable streets, schools, parks and a burgeoning enclave that has become the hinge of three Cleveland neighborhoods. Hingetown, coined and developed by Graham Veysey and Marika Shioiri-Clark, aims to change the way we experience the city, creating continuity, intrigue and livability between Ohio City, Downtown and Detroit-Shoreway neighborhoods. The tour featured:

  • Graham Veysey and Marika Shioiri-Clark (tour leaders)
  • Hingetown
  • History of the Striebinger Block
  • Ohio City Firehouse
  • Rising Star Coffee
  • Transformer Station
  • Near West Intergenerational School
  • Harness Cycle
  • Cleveland Tea Revival
  • Bad Girl Ventures Cleveland
  • Great Lakes Brewing Company
  • Black Pig Cleveland
  • Ohio City Incorporated

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Tour #3: Detroit-Shoreway

Railroad tracks and a six-lane highway once stood between Detroit-Shoreway and Lake Erie. But the growing, near-west neighborhood has used creativity and collaboration to address many matters that affect its future — from arts prize-winning bus stops and historic theatre rehabs to streetscape overhauls and, of course, pedestrian tunnels to the beach. And the Cleveland Metroparks’ recent takeover of nearby Edgewater Park raises the value of lake access tenfold. The tour featured:

  • Theresa Schneider of Gordon Square Arts District (tour leader)
  • Detroit-Shoreway Community Development Organization
  • Happy Dog Cleveland
  • Cleveland Public Theatre
  • Near West Theatre
  • Capitol Theater
  • Yellowcake Shop
  • Valerie Mayen
  • Councilman Matt Zone
  • Pedestrian Tunnels
  • The Shoreway Loft Apartments
  • Battery Park
  • Cleveland Metroparks
  • History of Edgewater Park
  • Cleveland Metroparks Lakefront Park Takeover
  • Edgewater Live
  • Cleveland Race Week
  • SPICE Kitchen & Bar

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Tour #4: Tremont

Wedged between I-90 and the banks of the Cuyahoga River, Tremont developed small-town charm in isolation borne of harsh borders. Its unique mix of architectural styles and proximity to Downtown Cleveland has renewed interest in urban living here. Art, cultural heritage, sweeping views and award-winning food have fueled Tremont’s resurgence. The tour featured:

    • Sammy Catania Director of Physical Development at Tremont West Development Corporation (tour leader)
    • Tremont history
    • The Fairmount Creamery
    • Lincoln Park Baths
    • Prosperity Social Club
    • Michael Symon’s Lolita
    • A Christmas Story House
    • Sokolowski’s University Inn

  • Brewnuts — Craft beer-inspired donuts and Tremont West small-biz incubator program
  • Taste of Tremont
  • Tremont Artwalk
  • Dante


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The Digitally Connected City

It’s easy to see the physical connections — and disconnections — in our cities. In fact, they’re often hard to miss. But it’s vital today that we not overlook the seemingly invisible ones, like digital connections. We reached out to two local powerhouses to tell stories of how they’re using technology, data and broadband not only to change their communities, but make the most of connectivity around the world. Case Western Reserve University, a top-ranked research institution in Cleveland’s University Circle neighborhood, and OneCommunity, a powerful nonprofit expanding high-speed broadband access and adoption to strengthen Northeast Ohio, presented The Digitally Connected City, a lunchtime presentation, at the new Tinkham Veale University Center, of tech-enabled connections changing the world.

Highlighted stories and topics included:

1. Ohio Connected Health: Healthcare teaching to high school students

2. Research Connectivity: Data collaboration among researchers

3. Case Connection Zone: Gigabit Internet connectivity for residences

4. Judson Telehealth and Wellness: Resident use of CCZ for doctor visits

5. Massive Open Online Courses: MOOC offerings and success to date

6. Teaching and Learning Innovations: Online degree programs, inverted classrooms, and active learning rooms

7. Dialog Café: Connect communities around the world

8. Wireless Connectivity: Free Case Guest access

9. Case Western Reserve Kelvin Smith Library: Access and conversion of a vast array of data for research

10. Technology and the arts: Large format Holographic technology

Additional resources:

    • Case Western Reserve University
    • OneCommunity
    • Think, research news for Case Western Reserve University
    • Think by the Numbers, online annual report for Case Western Reserve University
    • Community Technology Programs by OneCommunity

  • Interview: OneCommunity Talks Business Services, Growth
  • Designing the future with the currency of our time by OneCommunity
  • Tinkham Veale University Center at Case Western Reserve University


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On the Waterfront: A Boat Tour of Lake Erie + Cuyahoga River

Looking back at Downtown Cleveland from Lake Erie, aboard the Nautica Queen on the Waterfront Tour. Photo by Jim Ridge, Share the River

It’s true. Cleveland sometimes has a contentious relationship with its waterfronts — both lake and river — but that doesn’t mean the city and its people aren’t trying to make the most of every drop. For The Connected City workshop, we invited the region’s most active waterfront developers, designers, organizers and advocates to talk about how we are, can and will improve our connections to Lake Erie and the Cuyahoga River. Topics covered and names-to-note from the boat:

    • Nautica Queen
    • Introduction by our host Dan Moulthrop, CEO of The City Club
    • Geis Companies
    • Richard Pace, President, Cumberland Real Estate Development
    • Getting a Clearer Picture of Cleveland’s Lakefront Development (Ideastream)
    • Port Authority of Cleveland
    • East Bank of the Flats Development
    • Tim Donovan Executive Director, Canalway Partners
    • Connecting Cleveland 2024 Citywide Plan
    • Pam Carson, Executive Director, Trust for Public Land, Ohio
    • Rivergate Park Cleveland
    • Cleveland Rowing Foundation
    • Jim Ridge, Founder, Share the River
    • Lake Link Trail
    • Red Line Greenway
    • Ann Zoller, Executive Director, LAND Studio
    • Brian Zimmerman, CEO, Cleveland Metroparks
    • Cleveland Metroparks takes over lakefront parks (
    • History of Edgewater Park
    • Cleveland Race Week
    • Edgewater Live
    • Cleveland Metroparks adds a lakefront jewel: Whiskey Island (
    • New Scranton Flats park pier will give visitors a nice place to watch the working Cuyahoga River (

  • Photos from the Nautica Queen boat ride
  • Video: Tim Donovan on the Nautica Queen (Share the River)


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Keynote Speaker Toni Griffin: Designing the Just City

Keynote speaker Toni Griffin knows cities. She is the Founding Director of the J. Max Bond Center on Design for the Just City at the City College of New York, an architecture professor and an urban planner. On her CV: Newark’s centralized division of planning and urban design, work on waterfront and neighborhood revitalization in Washington, D.C., and the recently released Detroit Future City, a comprehensive framework for urban change.

Her 2024 TED Talk, a New Vision for Rebuilding Detroit, is on its way to a million views. But on Friday, June 20, our City Cluster members got the live show, complete with Griffin’s insights into making cities more just, resilient and connected. Resources from her talk include:

  • About Toni Griffin
  • Detroit Future City
  • Photos from Toni Griffin’s keynote at The Connected City
  • TED Speaker Bio
  • And, of course, that TED Talk, A new vision for rebuilding Detroit:

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Your City, Your Story

We asked seven City Clusters to come to Cleveland not just ready to talk, but ready to present. In a back-to-back PechaKucha-style round of storytelling, each city presented smart ideas, tough challenges and real-life strategies for addressing issues in their hometowns or regions. Presentations included:

  • Asheville
  • Cincinnati
  • Dayton
  • Des Moines
  • Greensboro
  • Indianapolis
  • Knoxville

Join the conversation
PechaKucha means “the sound of conversation.” And we’d like to keep that sound abuzz over these city stories. Visit The Connected City Tackkboard, where the cities have posted their success, challenges and strategies in story format. Just click on each thumbnail to open the page. Have a comment or question? Scroll to the bottom of the story and add your bit.

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The Connected City Report

Written by Jay Walljasper, The Connected City Report (PDF) delivered lessons-learned and a look back at the City Cluster workshop.