The diverse environmental, economic and social benefits of Cleveland’s green space underpin the sustainable development of the city. The expansion of parks and natural areas, community gardens, urban farms, green roofs, landscaped boulevards, bike paths, trails, schoolyards, recreational areas, and other public open green space in Cleveland can help to establish a broad swath of green space and build on the city’s surrounding Emerald Necklace. Cleveland has the only national park in an urban setting in the United States and it is the sixth most visited national park in the country.
Green space improves the quality of place and quality of life for its residents, a main driver in economic prosperity and a crucial factor in retaining and attracting residents to a city plagued with depopulation.
In addition, stewardship of green spaces, such as parks and natural areas, enhance the city’s potential to attract tourism and to increase its profile as a green-tourist destination. Green space also lowers the city’s footprint, improves air quality, preserves natural habitat and biodiversity, as well as strengthens the resilience of neighborhoods and increases property values. It provides the opportunity for the utilization of ecosystem services, saving the city and Cleveland businesses money on operating costs and environmental remediation and improving productivity and competitiveness.
The Cleveland Tree Plan
In 2015, The City of Cleveland, Western Reserve Land Conservancy’s Thriving Communities Institute, LAND Studio, Holden Arboretum and Cleveland Neighborhood Progress created the Cleveland Tree Plan. The Cleveland Tree Plan which has the vision for residents from every neighborhood in Cleveland to experience the many benefits of our urban forest that increase resilience, health, prosperity and overall quality of life. Cleveland is in the midst of a revitalization to improve the quality of life for all citizens and tree canopy is an important element of all these efforts.