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Surveys and studies gather public input on parks, green spaces, transit, and livability

On the "Sound of Ideas," we discuss how to improve downtown Cleveland's public spaces. [Lucky-photographer/shutterstock]
On the "Sound of Ideas," we discuss how to improve downtown Cleveland's public spaces. [Lucky-photographer/shutterstock]

Population across Northeast Ohio the past several years has seen several changes, some incremental, some monumental. Chief among them for decades is flight out of the urban core, and into the suburbs. 

Then, in recent years, and despite declining population, we've seen increasing residency in downtown areas of Cleveland and Akron. Integral elements to the shifting of population density are transit options, and preferences. 

Are residents in the suburbs still focused on automobiles with gas prices climbing? Are downtown residents utlizing public transit like the Greater Cleveland RTA and the Akron METRO? 

How about safety and accesibility? Do older residents feel safe walking neighborhoods with crumbling sidewalks, and do cyclists feel safe without the protection offered by designated bike lanes? NOACA, the Northeast Ohio Area Coordinating Agency, has been tackling these topics for years, publishing studies - and pushing area organizations to best address the region's needs. 

They're in the midst of that again, with a Downtown Cleveland Transportation and Livability Study, which we'll talk about on today's "Sound of Ideas." 

Another study, underway right now, seeks to improve the lives of those in downtown Cleveland, and in many respects anyone who comes to the area. It's being undertaken by three big organizations - Destination Cleveland, the Cleveland Foundation, and Greater Cleveland Partnership.

That study is gathering input for the public on how to improve the city's public spaces such as Northcoast Harbor, the Mall, and Public Square. Rick Jackson will speak with Destination Cleveland's David Gibert in the second part of the show.

Together, those surveys are doing something that hasn't always been the case, using the voices of the people to shape development, guide investment, and ensure access to all residents. 

- Grace Galluci, Executive Director and CEO, NOACA
- David Gilbert, President and CEO, Destination Cleveland
- Carl Allamby, MD, Emergency Medicine Physician, Cleveland Clinic

Drew Maziasz is a coordinating producer for the "Sound of Ideas" and also serves as the show’s technical producer.