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:
- The community at-large
- An advisory committee
- 15 stakeholder groups
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.
2. Advisory Committee. The advisory committee included:
- Joe Calabrese | Greater Cleveland Regional Transit Authority
- Joe Cimperman | Cleveland Ward 3 Councilman
- Jennifer Coleman | City of Cleveland Landmarks Commission
- Kirsten Ellenbogen | Great Lakes Science Center
- Fred Geis | Geis Companies
- David Gilbert | Positively Cleveland
- Deyampert Giles | Cleveland Botanical Garden
- David Goldberg | Edgerton Investments
- Jack Herrick | Realty Investors Co.
- Deb Janik | Greater Cleveland Partnership
- Bob Jaquay | The George Gund Foundation
- Kevin Kelley | Cleveland Ward 13 Councilman and City Council President
- Nate Kelly | Cuyahoga County
- Mark Lammon | Downtown Cleveland Alliance
- Mark McDermott | Enterprise Community Partners, Inc.
- Karen Paganini | K&D Group
- Jill Paulsen | Cuyahoga Arts & Culture
- Joel Ratner | Cleveland Neighborhood Progress
- Bobbi Reichtell | Campus District, Inc.
- Nora Romanoff | LAND Studio
- Jason Russell | City of Lakewood Planning and Development
- Ken Silliman | City of Cleveland
- Charles Slife | City of Cleveland
- Tom Starinsky | Warehouse District & Gateway District
- Allison Taller | Frantz Ward
- Chris Urban | Greater Cleveland Partnership
- Jacob Van Sickle | Bike Cleveland
- Eric Wobser | Ohio City, Inc.
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
- 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