Mr. Wolstein, Please hold off on using the Forum Architects' plans for your redevelopment in the Flats, as much has improved

Submitted by Norm Roulet on Tue, 03/01/2011 - 05:44.

Sunset over Lake Erie from Whiskey Island, and a nearly perfect Summer's day. Dedicated to Citizen Ed Hauser.
Sunset over Lake Erie from Whiskey Island, on a nearly perfect Summer's day. Dedicated to Citizen Ed Hauser.

Dear Mr. Wolstein,

Please hold off on using the Forum Architects' plans for your redevelopment in the Flats, as much has improved in the prospects for this city and region since they were conceived - there is new energy, life and opportunity coming into Cleveland that will improve the prospects for this most important historic site that I've been vocal in my disappointment to see go.

As you are moving forward in new directions, Cleveland and regional leaders including myself must move forward in many new directions previously inconceivable. As such, planning needs frequent re-visioning - and may in fact be open sourced, real-time and community enabled with world class information technology, which we'll be developing more of in Northeast Ohio in the future.

Most significant, we are in the process of removing from our community the dangerous pollution emitted from the coal burning at FirstEnergy Lake Shore (already decommissioning), MCCO, in University Circle, and Cleveland Thermal, next door to your site (your greatest liability, easily made an asset), and the outrageous environmental injustice from Mittal and some other industrial operations - and the direct and fugitive emissions from the mobile pollution sources servicing them - ships, trains and trucks  - that are just not safe for dense urban neighborhoods, which we must save and restore. There are economically viable solutions to all these challenges - it does not need to be this way!

Transforming that will add years to the lives of each of us living in the region, and truly transform our economy. The Sierra Club and EPA leadership are leading this charge.

With these liabilities addressed, your site and the surrounding properties are the place to base an international NEO City, heart of the Open Source Capital of the Brightest Greenest State of Earth. Plans for that go far beyond what is expressed in Forum's vision, and understandably so.

I can recommend Joseph Stanley and many folks from the Cleveland Institute of Art, Kent Urban Design Collaborative, CSU and Case who are actively engaged and able to lead a bleeding-edge technology enabled break-through brainstorming process to make your development a global sensation. You surely know many of the people I have in mind, and should reach out to them in collaboration.

I also suggest you reach out to Rebecca Ryan, of Next Generation Consulting, in Madison Wisconsin - http://nextgenerationconsulting.com/speakers/profile/rebecca-ryan - to help spread a happy virus around this planning, as she is new energy embodied, will bring fresh perspectives, and has embedded core related distinctive competencies, having worked extensively in the region over time. Chris Ronayne knows her well.

Ask her to bring David Reed back from Madison to help steer this process - he is awesome and I'm sure he'd love to build-out some of his visions for the region - his most inspiring statement ever to me was "I'm sick of all this talking - I want to get building something"... with his British accent, of course.

Let the lawyers fight over Forum's dated plans - update the visioning with appreciation of Cleveland becoming the Open Source Capital of the Brightest Greenest State of Earth, and having 100,000s of the residents of that interacting daily in your development and a bright, green, new Flats.

Best regards,

Norm Roulet
Chief Information Officer
Cincinnati Change
norm [at] realneo [dot] us