The Cleveland Land Bank has been buying foreclosed homes and demolishing them to create green spaces. But now the question becomes: what to do with the vacant land? Urban farms are popular. But twist that idea a notch and you get the idea behind Thriving Communities.
The Thriving Communities Institute was founded by the Western Reserve Land Conservancy. Usually we conceive of land conservation groups as focused on preserving natural beauty. But the Western Reserve decided that urban landscapes could be part of their mission, too. So they hired Jim Rokakis, who founded the Cleveland Land Bank and has been active in Cleveland’s housing crisis for over a decade, to spearhead this program.
As the houses go down, this otherwise traditional conservation program is on the forefront of figuring out what might be next, innovating a new marriage between the “outdoors” and cities.
What do know more? Just ask Jim.