Year of People



Every year leading up to 2019, Cleveland has focused on one of the key areas fundamental to a sustainable city. The Sustainable Cleveland Celebration Years are designed to be accessible to all members of the community — households, neighborhoods, businesses, and institutions can all participate, either in collaboration or independently. In 2019, we are celebrating the Year of People!


Why People?

At its core, SC2019 is built on engaging citizens to reshape our city’s future. SC2019’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 and sustainability 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.


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 and other sustainability topics, they 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 we become a Green City on a Blue Lake.




Learn More

Progress Dashboard: Check out our progress dashboard to keep up with the strides we have taken on many sustainability indicators since 2009!  We are extremely grateful to the people of Cleveland who have helped us get this far and we continue to look for people to engage in the future! 


Climate Action: The City of Cleveland has partnered with Cleveland Neighborhood Progress and ioby (in our back yards) to update the Cleveland Climate Action Plan, with a focus on equity and engagement. Residents may use our Neighborhood Climate Action Toolkit to engage their community in sustainability.


Report from the Community: The Sustainable Cleveland Report from the Community will be released this summer and will serve as a high-level summary for the SC2019 initiative- capturing highlights and success stories since SC2019’s launch in 2009.



Do More

Get involved in the Year of People at home, at work and in your community!


Enter the photo contest!  SHARE a photo of yourself or others doing a sustainable activity in Cleveland! 


Year of People Kickoff: Join us as we kickoff the Year of People at City Hall Rotunda in January!  We will be celebrating the individuals who make up many of our sustainability partners.


Sustainable Cleveland Summit: Register now for the 2019 Sustainable Cleveland Summit,to be held October 16th 8am-5pm at Cleveland Public Auditorium.


Potluck in the Park: Get to know your neighbors by attending Vital Neighborhood Working Group’s annual Potluck in the Park event at Dunham Tavern during summer 2019! This community-wide potluck moves to a different location each year to bring growers, producers, cooks and eaters together over a healthy meal to celebrate local food.


ioby: ioby (in our back yard) gives leaders the ability to organize all kinds of capital—cash, social networks, in-kind donations, volunteers, advocacy— to build real, lasting change from the ground up. Learn about what the leaders in your community are doing to make your neighborhood a more vital place to live and learn what you can do to help.


Common Ground:  Common Ground creates a network of community conversations where residents can meet, share a meal, connect and discuss the 2019 theme:

My environment was…My environment is…My environment will be…


Check out the Sustainable Cleveland events calendar for an updated list of Year of People events.


If you are interested in volunteering at these or other Sustainable Cleveland events, please contact Cathi Lehn at [email protected].