Week 1- City of Cleveland EcoDistrict


I chose to start my internship in a place close to home- the City of Cleveland. The City of Cleveland’s administration is currently working on a sustainability mission that works to use ‘sustainability’ as an economic development goal and to help save the city money, see more here. The City of Cleveland’s Office of Sustainability Manager has chosen a Cleveland neighborhood to be a national demonstration project for an EcoDistrict. An EcoDistrict is a district that addresses issues of GHG emissions, other environmental health issues, affordability, sustainability building design, TOD,  and more, see here. So, having a connection with the Cleveland Sustainability Manager, I couldn’t pass the opportunity up to apply my new found Master’s education here.Later on, I will see if I can do a follow up internship/study abroad based on the tools and knowledge I gain from this experience.

My internship kicked off with a meeting with the local Councilman, the Director of the Detroit-Shorway Community Development Organization, the then EcoVillage Coordinator, and several others working within the community development organizations on the EcoVillage. During the meeting, I shared my background and why I was here and what I thought I could contribute. They shared who they were and what their goals were moving forward. The DS Director and Councilman stated that first, they wanted a Workbook of all the EcoVillage files that had been kept since 1997 when the EcoVillage was initiated, then a map for a website that can communicate to the community what the EcoVillage is, and then an Implementation Plan. I agreed to the Workbook, the map for me with a Geography background was also reasonable, and I stated that I would prefer to create a Master Plan for the EcoVillage/ EcoDistrict. A comment from a former EcoVillage Manager early was that the EcoVillage needed to be legitimized, so I would rather supply a foundation for future Implementation Plans, and then if time permitting I would also include a series of development recommendations or Implementation Plans. My goal is to be able to create a ‘toolkit’ to evaluate an area’s ‘sustainability’ and then offer scientifically-based recommendations to build a community that meets the most ideal aspects of the triple-bottom line to also any community in the world.

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