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About the GreenCityBlueLake Institute

The GreenCityBlueLake Institute is the sustainability center of The Cleveland Museum of Natural History. We believe that on rapidly urbanizing planet Earth, the key to sustainability is the development of ecological cities where people can live healthy lives with reduced environmental footprints. We want to help make Northeast Ohio a leader of this transformation — a metropolitan area that demonstrates how urban revitalization can work with nature.

We work by thinking and doing. We research the best solutions, bring people together and participate in community initiatives, conduct demonstration projects, communicate the best ideas, and advocate publicly for change. Ultimately, our job is to promote deeper thinking about what sustainability really means in Northeast Ohio.

Since 1992, GreenCityBlueLake (and its predecessor organization, EcoCity Cleveland) has been a local leader in the fields of regional planning, watershed health, transportation alternatives, lakefront design, green building, and climate change. In addition to producing many influential publications, we originated or were a primary participant in numerous noteworthy initiatives, including:

The Museum of Natural History is a great platform from which to create a vision of sustainability. With its perspective of evolutionary time, the Museum promotes a long-term view. With its research and collections about nature in Northeast Ohio, the Museum is the custodian of bioregional knowledge. And as a science-based institution, the Museum is the perfect place for convening discussions about what will really work in the future. It’s a place to ask the question: Here we are in the 21st century — now what?

About this website

This GreenCityBlueLake website is a workspace — and a work in progress — for thinking about the region’s sustainability agenda. It’s also a service for busy people seeking better ways to live and ways to get involved improving their community.

The site is based on a three-step process:

Explore: Until you experience Northeast Ohio and the natural systems that support life here — the soils, the water, the plants and animals, the climate — it’s hard to know how to take care of this place. So the first step is to explore the bioregion, root yourself here, learn to love your home territory.

Live: Empowered with the intimate knowledge of place, you can begin to improve your own life. You can lead a healthier, more fulfilling life that has less environmental impact.

Transform: Beyond the changes you can make in your own life, we all need to work together on big, complicated things like the design of more sustainable cities, buildings, and transportation systems. We need a sustainability policy agenda and projects that  transform the region.

Although the site is produced primarily by the staff of the Institute, you can help us in a number of important ways:

  • Send us your suggestions for topics and resources to include, as the site will be updated continually as new information becomes available.
  • Add events and job listings, and share your thoughts with comments to blog posts.
  • Use the information on the site to change your life and transform your community.
  • Make a donation to help us continue providing this service.

Ultimately, we hope this website will provide the ideas, values and information you need to explore, live and transform. Think of this site as your local guide to the tumultuous and challenging times ahead.

Cleveland and other cities throughout Northeast Ohio should be green cities on a blue lake. 

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