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July 11, 2007

Connecting the Dots: Cleveland Downtown Revitalization ... Smart and Green

A confluence of developments ...

Item 1: Today's Cleveland Plain Dealer editorial draws attention to "The city of Cleveland plan to pick several buildings along Euclid Avenue between Public Square and Playhouse Square - once grand but now mostly shabby and abandoned - and invest millions of dollars to put them in shape for new businesses and residents.... The project is ingenious because Cleveland's investment will buttress a combination of other development and incentives already at work in that zone."

If this was 1985, such a plan might be both a necessary and sufficient condition for what might constitute a "big bet" on the renewal of a slice of downtown.

Item 2: President Bush was in Cleveland yesterday talking technology, health care, and of course foreign policy. He visited GrafTech,the Cleveland Clinic and took a lunch break at one of Cleveland's favorite cholesterol-free deli corn beef sandwiches at Slymans. As it turns out, the President's invitational town hall gathering was held at the Intercontinental hotel where, at the very same time, on the very same floor some 200 Cisco Academy leaders from 30 states were gathered to talk about curriculum and the need to train the next generation of technology workers. Of course, this involves everything that a modern city needs to have skilled labor for including cabling, fiber optical splicing, plant wiring, switches, routers, wireless, securing the information age and so forth.

Cisco has a world-class practice on connected real estate that helps join these core job skill development requirements to the building or retrofitting of state of the art office buildings, campuses, museums, libraries and planned communities. Cisco has a long and distinguished commitment to the City of Cleveland and the region. With Cisco's largest wireless RF engineering team in the world situated in Richfield Ohio, just down the road from Cleveland, we should encourage the City, the developers, and the community at large to be sure that focus on 5 major downtown buildings are not only sandblasted, painted, and refurbished with new furniture but that the buildings are fully equipped with IP-enabled systems and sensors that provide a world-class demonstration of what "smart buildings" of the 21st century can do for business attraction, collaboration and innovation, and support for an end-to-end smarter work force.

Item 3: Last dot. 160 exhibitors are in Cleveland at the National SOLAR 2007 conference at the Cleveland Convention Center. The Great Lakes Science Center and a host of other local, regional, and national co-conveners are showcasing alternative power and renewable energy to thousands of visitors, scientists, engineers, and commercial interests.

As the City and the developer community focus on the First Five strategy to 'bring' back the 'identity' of our downtown, what better way to re-invigorate that identity than the re-imagining and re-inventing of Cleveland's downtown core as creative (E. 4th), smart (tech corridor) and green.

Connecting the dots is about creating and supporting a vision for the future of Cleveland and the region that coherently integrates and provides a common platform for our risk takers and entrepreneurs, civic leaders and developers, and joins our proud tradition of engineering know how and technology savvy innovation, along with the priority of educating a 21st century workforce, all together, to work together to engage in the art of re-inventing Cleveland as a 21st century city for the world.

Lev Gonick July 11, 2007

Posted by lsg8 at July 11, 2007 08:31 AM and tagged

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