Cleveland has is trying to increase momentum toward become a hub of green industry.  As a recent Clevelander I appreciate the efforts to promote sustainability, renewable power, and other green industry as a means of attracting jobs and improving the economy.  (photo:flickr:heidigoseek)

I have had the luxury of working with many of the cities around the State on environmental issues.  I honestly believe Cleveland has more resources and a more developed culture on sustainability then the other major Ohio metropolitan areas.   If you think differently check out the compiled list on Positively Cleveland of 75 Green Thing in Cleveland Plus.

But make no mistake about it, Cleveland is facing tough competition.  Frankly, Michigan and Pennsylvania have been more aggressive in promoting policies that would attract green industry to their states which puts Cleveland at a disadvantage. Those windmill blades you see traveling up I-71, those were not built in Ohio and are more than likely not going to be put up at a site in Ohio.   So, if we want to be serious about a green industry in Cleveland we will have to be prepared to beat the competition.

Mayor Jackson is trying to take the first step toward putting together a strategic plan for attracting green industry.  On August 12-14 he is holding a summit called Sustainable Cleveland 2019.  Here is the description of the summit off of the City’s webpage:

From August 12-14, Mayor Frank G. Jackson will host a three-day summit, bringing together a diverse group of people vested in and dedicated to Cleveland to use their vast knowledge and imagination to create an action plan for building a green economy for Cleveland’s future. This summit will be facilitated by Dr. David Cooperrider of the Fowler Center for Sustainable Value at Case Western Reserve University. The goal is to create an action plan for economic sustainability that will support business growth; protect the environment; and, create opportunities for individuals to prosper.

I will be participating and no doubt will offer my opinions on the success of the summit in future blog posts.  But for right now, I am just pleased to see a focus on developing a strategy.  Now lets see if a viable strategy emerges. In a very general way, such a strategy should include:

  • Specific action items that focus on building a culture and structure needed to compete for green jobs
  • Courage and vision to make difficult choices.
  • An on-going commitment by more than just a few to implement the strategy
  • Participation by the business community
  • Linkage to Cleveland’s other major growth industry- Health Care