Place Matters

Can distinctive restaurants, food-related businesses and urban farms nourish the rebirth of Cleveland's neighborhoods?

A century after it opened, Cleveland's West Side Market continues to anchor one of the city's most dynamic neighborhoods. But when it comes to food, the action in Ohio City only begins at the Market. Distinctive restaurants, food-related businesses and urban farms also fuel the neighborhood's success. Is this model of development sustainable? Is it a template for success in communities that aren't blessed with a century-old civic icon? Can the local food movement really seed healthier neighborhoods?

Join the third community conversation led by Joe Frolik, The Plain Dealer's Editorial Writer, and David K. O'Neil, who works through the Project for Public Spaces with cities all over the nation as they try to revitalize neighborhoods, often around a market or local foods, and a panel of community activists working in the trenches, as we discuss strategies for anchor institutions, good food and the rebirth of Cleveland neighborhoods. Panelists include: Patrick Conway, founder of Great Lakes Brewing Company; Colleen Gilson, Executive Director of Cleveland Neighborhood Development Coalition; and Randell McShepard, Vice President iof Public Affairs for RPM International. In a mission to transform a Cleveland neighborhood, he and a few childhood friends founded an urban farm to produce fresh vegetables, farm-raised tilapia fish and jobs for local residents.

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Food As An Economic Engine
This year's one-hundredth anniversary of Cleveland's West Side Market brings attention to the potential impact of food-related businesses on the economic health of a community. The blocks around the Market's Ohio City home base now boast: two popular brew pubs, a growing number of restaurants, and one of the biggest urban farms in the country. ideastream's David C. Barnett takes us to another city neighborhood that's undergoing a transformation, thanks, in part, to food.

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Good food, better neighborhoods
When they started talking about a farmers market in Kamm's Corners, the organizers really didn't know what they were getting into - or how it would pay off for their Cleveland neighborhood. Read more in this Plain Dealer article by Joe Frolik.

Cleveland is ripe for a market economy
Joe Frolik says Cleveland is ripe for a market economy.

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