Sustainable Cleveland’s motto, “Together, we’re building a thriving green city on a blue lake”, emphasizes empowerment, cooperation, action, quality of life, and abundance. People, not programs, are the answer to true and lasting climate action in Cleveland. This means that a whole system, citizen-centered approach will be needed to align climate action with the assets, capacity and priorities of Cleveland residents and business owners. Whole system change is the transformation of an entire organization at one time.
The Sustainable Cleveland "system" includes residents from every Cleveland neighborhood, business owners, and stakeholders from many organizations and corporations. In order for Cleveland residents to care about and to act upon climate change, it must connect to their everyday lives; they need to recognize climate change and climate action in their own backyards. By building upon what most people care about—safety, health, youth, education, jobs—there is potential to engage Cleveland’s residents and to be led in more creative directions as become a Green City on a Blue Lake.
One way we are engaging people is through the Climate Resilience and Urban Opportunity Initiative, which is a bottom-up, resident-led approach to climate action.