Dutch experts share thoughts on local planning efforts

Submitted by Ed Hauser on Wed, 10/05/2005 - 15:35.

Dutch planning conference at Cleveland State University 

Seven Dutch planners and architects
came to Cleveland to share their experience in design and planning
and offer their insight to some of our local plans. Five main topics
were discussed during the two day symposium held on September 26 and
27 at CSU Levine College of Urban Affairs.

The topics highlighted urbanism,
waterways and sustainability planning efforts in the Netherlands and
Northeast Ohio. The main objective was an international exchange of
ideas for creating a more sustainable built environment, focused on
the Lakefront and the Cuyahoga River Valley. There were over
twenty-five local participants that contributed to the discussion and
presentations at the symposium.

With the focus on our local waterways,
presentations were given on the Cuyahoga Valley Initiative, Cleveland
Lakefront Plan, Port Authority Master Plan and Lorain’s Waterfront
Plan. Although the Dutch and local participants acknowledged that
there are vast differences between the Netherlands and Cleveland, the
Dutch strongly suggested that the focus should be on the Cuyahoga
River Valley and downtown, not on the lakefront. They were very
impressed with Flats and the potential for development while touring
the city.

Aaron Betsky, the keynote speaker, thought that the amenities in
the lakefront plan were not original and were typical of other
waterfront cities master plans. He said we should highlight what is
Cleveland, and build around industry and port facilities. Other
suggestions to get results would be to plan for smaller projects that
could be completed soon and not to be afraid to take some risks. Fer
Feldor, Director of De Prinipaal, said “there seems to be lack of
urgency here, you cannot afford to wait.”

For more information on the symposium,
guest speakers and presenters- click here