Cuyahoga County Greenspace Plan
Cuyahoga County is at an important point in its history. It will soon become the first "built-out" county within the State of Ohio. While nearly 26% of Cuyahoga County's land was developed in 1948, nearly 90% had been developed by 2002.
Unlike the past 50 years, where economic growth and new housing options were tied to the development of "greenfield" sites at the edge of the urbanized area, the future health of the County will be based upon its attraction as a sustainable, desirable, and healthy place to work, live, and play.
1948 Land Use
2002 Land Use
The ultimate goal for Cuyahoga County is a balanced pattern of development which accommodates both urbanization and land conservation. As Alex Krieger of the Harvard's Graduate School of Design writes, "If the landscape is envisioned as (and mandated to be) a complex quilt of density, open landscape, conservation corridors, heritage districts, and growth areas, rather than as indistinguishable parcels, all equally subject to development, a rich variety of qualities - including nature - will be able to persist."1
The creation of a sustainable, attractive and healthy environment for future generations is a goal of the Greenspace Plan.
The intent of the Greenspace Plan is to promote a broad comprehensive vision for greenspace protection and restoration within Cuyahoga County. The Plan is also intended to promote complementary development and establish a common agenda and direction for the varied efforts of the many necessary participants. Through planning, creating, and managing greenspaces, we can shape a future for Cuyahoga County as a place where:
- Natural places are an integral part of daily life;
- Natural processes are visible and instructional; and
- Waterfronts are cared for and accessible.
Working with greenspace professionals, community leaders, and residents, the CPC has developed a greenspace vision for Cuyahoga County that:
- builds off of the County's unique geography and natural history,
- emphasizes the environmental, community, and economic importance of greenspace,
- intends to inspire decision makers to make greenspace a priority in the community,
- promotes connecting neighborhoods in the county to greenspace and the county's natural resources,
- encourages the "regreening" of the more urban portions of the county to make them more desirable places to live.
Cared for and accessible waterfronts are a main component of the Plan.
Basic elements of the plan include the creation of a system of natural corridors, a countywide trail system, the preservation of scenic views, and the protection and restoration of critical natural areas. The involvement of the public through education and private property stewardship is also a key element.
Opportunities for open space protection and trail connections are more closely identified in the Greenprint which is intended to be used as a framework for more detailed planning. The Greenspace Plan also establishes a set of countywide goals to be achieved through the Greenspace initiative.
In October 2002, the Cuyahoga County Planning Commission passed Resolution No. 021010-A, approving the Cuyahoga County Greenprint as a guide for planning, creating, and managing greenspaces in Cuyahoga County. The resolution also urged the communities of the County, regional authorities, public, private and non-profit organizations, and residents of the County to use the Greenprint as a guide to decision-making and action.Presently, several municipalities and non-profit organizations are implementing elements of the Greenspace Plan, including the City of Cleveland, City of Shaker Heights, Village of Mayfield, Village of Orange, Friends of Euclid Creek, Friends of Big Creek, and the West Creek Preservation Committee.
If you have any comments or questions, please contact the County Planning Commission.
1Alex Krieger, "An Urban Revival for a Suburban Culture," ULI Cities in the 21st Century, (2000), 48.