Ensuring that the strategies for investment are in line with the increasingly diverse groups of people who live, work, and visit Downtown, Step Up Downtown included an intensive public engagement process. This input, documented on the project website, informed the recommendations for long-term investments and short-term actions to improve Downtown Cleveland.

The community process involved three levels of engagement and feedback:

  1. The community at-large
  2. An advisory committee
  3. 15 stakeholder groups

photo 2

1. Community at-large. On March 18, 2014, the community was invited to participate in a workshop consisting of a series of exercises and presentations aimed at gathering specific information and observations. Participants recorded their stories about the past, present, and future of Downtown. They provided input about green space locations and uses, future uses for prime development sites, connectivity issues, and ideas to make Downtown more comfortable and appealing in all four seasons. They also participated in a “quick win” exercise to identify short-term actions for enhancing Downtown.

The public also provided input on a variety of issues through an interactive website, which had over 3,000 views. 1,500 people participated in an online survey.

advisory meeting

2. Advisory Committee. The advisory committee included:

success tech focus group

3. Stakeholder focus groups. A broad spectrum of stakeholders were engaged through 15 individual focus group sessions. The stakeholder groups included:

  • Seniors at St. Clair Place
  • Downtown Residents
  • Office Tenants
  • Retailers/restaurateurs
  • Entrepreneurs/start-up businesses
  • The Homeless Congress
  • Cleveland State University Students
  • Cuyahoga Community College Students
  • High School Students at Success Tech
  • Historic Gateway Neighborhood
  • Historic Warehouse Neighborhood
  • Flats/Flats East Bank
  • Playhouse Square
  • Campus District
  • DCA Ambassadors