Celebrating 10 Years. Building the Future.







Ten years ago, Mayor Frank G. Jackson announced a 10-year initiative to engage all citizens to work together to design and develop a thriving and resilient region.  This initiative would culminate in 2019, exactly 50 years after the infamous 1969 Cuyahoga River fire. 


Sustainable Cleveland 2019 was born. 


Over 600 stakeholders convened for Cleveland’s inaugural Sustainability Summit in 2009, including leaders from business, non-profits, government, media, and education.


Together, we envisioned Cleveland as a bright green city on a blue lake and began taking action to make it happen. 



Each year since 2009, Cleveland focused on one key area fundamental to a sustainable city. The Sustainable Cleveland Celebration Years were designed to be accessible to all members of the community — households, neighborhoods, businesses, and institutions could all participate, either in collaboration or independently. 


Over the years we’ve targeted these topics:



Sustainable Cleveland 2019 has been built on engagement. We knew that changing the system required engaging the whole system. Since 2009, SC2019 has engaged more than 15,000 people through working groups, events, and social media. We look to continue to grow this number in 2019 and beyond.



The lives of Clevelanders have improved through the efforts of people and organizations participating in Sustainable Cleveland 2019, including:

  • Improved water quality, enhancing the health of fish, economic activity and recreation in and along the Cuyahoga River/ Lake Erie
  • Improved air quality
  • Nearly 70 miles of bicycle infrastructure installed since 2013 and launch of UH Bikes, Cleveland’s boke share system;
  • Launch of the Cleveland Tree Plan, formation of the Cleveland Tree Coalition, and establishing a tree canopy goal of 50,000 new trees by 2020;
  • More than 4,000 free rain barrels distributed to residents;
  • Recognition as a “SolSmart Bronze” community for advancing solar energy growth;
  • Cleveland’s carbon footprint decreased by 5% since 2010, while economic activity has improved and population decline has stabilized; and
  • The number of Clevelanders who would recommend the city as a place to visit has more than doubled from 34% in 2012 to 77% in 2017.


These are only a few highlights of the progress we’ve made!  Check out our Progress Dashboard to see how we are doing on all 28 of our indicators. 





In 2019, we’ve got a lot to celebrate and we want you to join us!

  • Sustainable Cleveland Summit 2019 - REGISTER: HERE
  • Snap a photo of sustainability in action and enter the photo contest!
  • We are celebrating the Year of People and need your help.
  • We are celebrating 10 years of Sustainable Cleveland 2019 with events throughout the year.
  • And, we are celebrating clean water with Cuyahoga50, an initiative to highlight progress made since the 1969 Cuyahoga River Fire and igniting greater action to protect our most valuable resource.


2019 will be a busy year.  Please continue to look out for events and many opportunities to engage.   



CAP_Focus_Area_Graphic.pngDespite this positive momentum, we know much work remains to scale up progress and to ensure those most in need enjoy the benefits of sustainability and climate action. Laying out this path forward began in 2018, when the Mayor’s Office of Sustainability worked with more than 400 stakeholders to update the Cleveland Climate Action Plan.


This plan builds off the previous work by firmly establishing a series of cross-cutting priorities: social and racial equity, good green jobs, resilience to the impacts of climate change, and business leadership.


This plan is bold, yet achievable. But implementation will require even greater engagement and commitment from people, neighborhoods, and organizations throughout the city. Stay engaged throughout 2019 as we continue this work and plan ahead for even greater success.