Cleveland Sees Economic Value in Beauty

As CEOs for Cities prepares to put a big stake in the ground on placemaking as an economic development driver, we find ourselves increasingly talking about the role of beauty in cities. We tackled the concept in a big way at the Livability Challenge in October where we spent 2.5 days in Indianapolis generating Big Ideas for how a city could make beauty, in the form of art, good design and nature, always present.                   

With beauty on our brains, this article in the Cleveland Plain Dealer caught our attention in a big way. After years of allowing automobiles to rule planning, Cleveland is changing course. Mayor Frank Jackson’s Group Plan Commission recommends the creation of “a more gracious public realm around a series of new investments.” The evolving plan hopes to alter Cleveland’s culture through parks and public spaces. By raising land prices and advocating for pedestrian parity, "the recommendations embody the idea that civic beauty could be an economic development tool for a shrinking Great Lakes metropolis trying to turn itself around." 

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