19 Reasons to Celebrate 2016

Because We Couldn't Pick Just Ten

From all of us at the Office of Sustainability, we hope you had a warm and happy holiday season. As we look forward to another big year in 2017, we want to first reflect on 2016 with our very own end-of-year listiCLE. While we can only scratch the surface on all of Cleveland's sustainability wins, a top ten list felt too constrained. So in the spirit of Sustainable Cleveland 2019, here our 19 success stories and newsworthy events that caught our eye.




1. The year got off to a smashing start with the Year of Sustainable Transportation kickoff at City Hall, with many more events to follow.

2. More organizations than ever participated in the Commuter Choice Challenge, while Clevelanders submitted 200 entries for the #imoveCLE Selfie Contest.

3Gil Penalosa gave an extraordinary keynote at the Sustainable Cleveland Summit, making the case for streets and public spaces being designed for all ages and abilities.

4. Public Square opened in time for tens of thousands during the RNC, serving as a gathering space for free speech.

5. After years of prep, Cleveland's bike share system, UH Bikes, also launched in July and thousands of trips have already been logged.

6. The Cleveland Indians won the award for Best Team on the Field and Greenest Team off the Field, while the Cavs' championship led to the biggest open streets event in Cleveland history (not to mention their Threes for Trees program).

7. Speaking of open streets, ciCLEvia launched in 2016 in a celebration of health, sustainability, and community.

8. And speaking of trees, the Cleveland Tree Plan was adopted by the City Planning Commission, with implementation already underway.

9. About 16 miles of bike infrastructure were added in 2016, plans for the Midway Cycle Track is well on its way, and the Metroparks won a federal TIGER grant to fund five separate trails.

10Safe Routes to School made significant progress, including 69 walk audits and about $500k in implementation grants to encourage walking and biking to school.




11. The first complete and green street was constructed on Fleet Avenue in Slavic Village.

12. Advocacy for public transit has expanded, while RTA improved numerous stations, launched #IGORTA, and more. 

13. Cuyahoga County created numerous resources, including a recycling education campaign and a sustainability toolkit.

14. Work continued on reducing plastic pollution, including Sustainable Cleveland hosting a symposium on reducing marine debris.

15. Neighborhood-based, resident-led grantmaking reached a new level with support from the Cleveland Climate Action Fund, ioby, Resilient Cleveland (with Climate Ambassadors leading the way), Neighborhood Connections, and more.

16. Offshore wind took a giant leap forward in 2016, with Project Icebreaker winning a $40 million grant.

17. About 200 homeowners signed up for the County's solar co-op to generate energy from their rooftops.

18COSE and Cleveland Energy$aver made headway engaging landlords in energy efficiency, while the Cleveland Clinic launched the largest green revolving fund in U.S. healthcare.

19. And to close out 2016, clean energy scored a big win when Governor Kasich vetoed an extension of the renewable energy "freeze", but the hard work of advocates will continue in the new year.

With so much happening, your list may look different than ours. If so, please share your 2016 success story on the Sustainable Cleveland website (which also launched in 2016!) and we'll help get the word out.




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