Tuesday, September 9, 2008
Cleveland Flats Better Off A Living Neighborhood
Years ago I knew that if the Flats Entertainment District in Cleveland was going to be a long term success, future plans would have to focus more on transforming this area near the Cuyahoga River into an actual neighborhood, rather than it continuing to cater to the party and drinking crowd only. It had to be more than a place where college kids party, get drunk, throw up on your pants, and leave the place trashed.
Instead, the Flats needed to become a progressive urban neighborhood with all essential living needs such as farm and food market, public transit, bike path, post office and bank, park and green space, workspace, entertainment----and of course a place to stay and call it home after working or entertainment hours. This way, stakeholders remain and treat it as a neighborhood where they have a financial vested interest, which they will. I predicted the “partying only” Flats theme would come to a dead halt one day when we all grew up…and it did.
Thankfully, the redevelopment of this 20 plus acre area along the east bank of the river, is now transforming into what I had always envisioned it should be, as described above, with the new Flats East Bank Neighborhood now under development. Utilizing brown fields and already developed areas of land, as opposed to sprawling upon open green space can be a much more environmentally sustainable way to develop as well as a way to keep the urban activity near the hub where it should be. Check out the link below to see what is coming in the Flats soon!
Photo: From the west bank looking to the east bank of The Flats