Category Archives: cleveland

Cleveland neighborhood map updates.

I’ve been working on my Cleveland neighborhood map quite a bit behind the scenes.

One major problem has been holding me up. If you haven’t seen already, the current version 1.2 of the map, does not cover the entire city. I mistakenly forgot to include a small part of Collinwood (in the northeast corner) in the original map data. Thus, I obtained new OSM map data for the entire city of Cleveland [shown as data.osm in the diagram below] and convert it into an SVG file [this conversion is called rendering] so I can later add the neighborhood boundaries.

[Source: the Openstreetmap wiki]

The rendering process takes about 6-7 hours on my computer. Not that big of a problem but, interestingly, the municipal boundaries, marking the borders of the city of Cleveland from the suburbs do not show up on the new rendered SVG ! Why ? That’s what I’ve been trying to figure out over the past week or two !

Hopefully, I’ll be able to figure it out with the help of some friendly people in the OSM irc channel.

I also plan on including a couple more neighborhoods and a scale for the next release of the map.


SC2019 Summit – observations and tidbits [Part 1]

Here are some tidbits and observations as a participant at the SC2019, Sustainable Cleveland Summit.

I’ll try to get some more out on here soon.

I’ve been to many of these types of these events. Often, they’re called summits, conferences, seminars, or training camps. They are all 1-3 days long and discuss a social ill or goal in mind, and while you’re at the event, you’re often excited about the issue and are eager to take action. However, after the event is over, organizers and participants fail to capture the created momentum and implement it into actions.

As I walked into the summit on Wednesday morning, I felt optimistic about this one than I have felt for others. Although some of the working groups established at the first summit in 2009 fell apart, a few of them, including Green Building, Local Food, Alternative Transportation, have not, and are getting things done.

So, here goes some notes:

– This summit was said to be more business-friendly, a colleague at my table told me. There were more presentations by businesses than I had expected, by Sherwin-Williams and Ford, amongst others, demonstrating how practicing sustainable business practices led to reduced costs or increased revenues [although a certain paint company forgot to mention during their presentation of sustainable business practices throughout their history when they stopped using lead in their products, haha].

– Andrew Watterson announced that there will be recycling containers along the sidewalk in downtown by the end of 2011.

– A Piece of Cleveland, a deconstruction company, (owned by fellow Kalamazoo College alum), mentioned there’s a huge market for furniture made out of constructed materials. This market is for affluent clients and businesses (some of his cited clients include the Restaurants Fahrenheit and Touch). I hope for the market to eventually expand to most building but that will require for deconstruction prices to go down. For the prices to go down, there has to be cheaper ways to deconstruct or or other new materials would have to increase their prices.

– There are at least 8 cities who have adopted zero waste policies (including San Francisco, Austin, Seattle, San Jose, and others ones that have new environmental policies). I wonder if those cities have reached their zero waste goals yet and whether these policies includes businesses in the city.

– One major kudos to the organizers: they invited several [probably about 10-20] high school students to participate.

I only spoke to one of them for about 30 seconds, a young man from John Marshall HS, who asked me and the rest of us during a very chaotic small group brainstorming session if any of us would be interested to speak at his school about careers in green industries. Until then, I had not thought about the value of having teenagers at the summit. Not just for the summit’s sake, but for their own sake. As I was in the discussion, trying to make sense of all of the thoughts and confusion going on in our brainstorming group, I remembered that I would have been in that guy’s shoes.

I remembered about a few older adults in my life that provided advice and guidance and mostly importantly, their own experiences and career path were models for me to follow, Without them, I probably would not have known about the opportunities and perspectives that I have come to known and experienced. As an adolescent, I heard about these types [after the fact, they were already over] of conferences, events, and opportunities, and sometimes wondered how to access or learn about those opportunities [and looking back, although there were some I didn’t have, I know that I’m fortunate to have the opportunity and access to some experiences and events: ones that a Cleveland Public high School Student probably doesn’t have].

I regret not talking to them more at the summit, hearing their ideas and thoughts about the summit. I gave him my email address and I hope he contacts me. I’m sorry I forgot to ask for his contact information.

Some other quotes:

“The best plan that we have is the one that we do.” Frank Jackson

Cleveland’s New Trash Rules

Ultimately, is this a smart move for the city ?
Yes, they are finally bringing back curbside recycling (after axing it in 2004 due to budget cuts).

The commentary on the article from is depressing and very pessimistic, highlighting commenters’ distrust of the city government to effectively manage this operation and distrust of RFID technology.

However, RFID is not mentioned in the legislation, posted in The City Record, the city council’s record of events), specifically the August 25, 2010 edition, [PDF] [begins on pg. 1377, which is also pg. 84 of the PDF] . The legislation also does not mention whether RFID will be implemented in the future. The legislation passed unanimously by City Council on August 20.

The council also passed legislation on the limits on the amount of trash you can dispose each week, based on volume. I’m an advocate for this model but it should be based on weight since Cleveland is charged by the landfills by the weight of the trash and not the volume.
On the whole, it is a step in the right direction.

See also this article for an another prospective on how RFID would change the way people take out their trash.

Questions on Cleveland’s new food truck program

While food trucks are growing in popularity (well, the number of the them and the amount of press they receive) in other American cities (like LA and midwestern cities like Milwaukee [warning: poor web design alert], there’s only notable one food truck in Cleveland so far, Dim and Dem Sum.

Cleveland’s city council wants to add more by beginning a program to offer loans to prospective food truck operators. The city of Cleveland’s RFP (request for proposals) is here

Having more food options in the city is great, although the program’s description and RFP is extremely vague, which concerns me on a couple points including:

“the applicant will not operate their cart in association with a national food chain.” What constitutes a national food chain ? I would presume burger king wouldn’t qualify for the program [which is for the best] but does this mean that a company from Columbus or Pittsburgh cannot also have one in Cleveland ?

And more importantly, the RFP does not state whether all food trucks that want to open in Cleveland must apply to this specific program and follow the specific guidelines (that are listed in the RFP) . Since Dim and dem sum has been operating for a few months already, I would hope the city is allowing any food truck to open in the city, as long as they have the correct permits.

This program, as far as I have read, just offers loans [with a stipulation that the cart’s exterior will be designed by CPA (Cleveland Public Art)] and puts the food trucks at 4 different locations around the city [adelbert and euclid, public square, the harbor/voinovich park @ e9th, 14th and euclid]. pg. 2 says the trucks are allowed to rotate, but are they allowed to go anywhere else !? If the trucks are restricted to only those 4 locations, it would eliminate one of the key characteristics of food trucks, actually being mobile.

If you know of any other food trucks, please let me know in the comments.