Hough Community Greenspace: Adaptive Reuse of Vacant Land

Hough Community Green Space:

Adaptive Reuse of Vacant Land

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The Hough Community Green Space is a prospective greenspace project focused on developing a much-needed, high-quality passive park and natural space in the eastside Cleveland neighborhood of Hough. This green space will fill a void that was outlined in Ward 7’s Asset Master Plan published in 2020. 

In response to the City of Cleveland and Cleveland Metropolitan School District’s joint RFQ for vacant property re-development, Western Reserve Land Conservancy expressed interest in re-purposing the 2.6-acre lot where the former John W. Raper school site once stood. The Land Conservancy is working closely with residents and key neighborhood stakeholders: Famicos Foundation, Village Family Farms, Little Africa Food Co-op, City Planner Kim Scott, and Councilwoman Stephanie Howse on leading a series of community engagement sessions to better understand the communities’ desires for the space.  

As part of this effort, the Land Conservancy applied for funding through the Clean Ohio Green Space Conservation Program to aid in this site’s transformation. Learn more about what is an eligible improvement for Clean Ohio Green Space Conservation Program.    

Through the collaborative feedback collected from productive community conversations, early site plans are underway. Environmental Design Group assisted with an initial concept design, that has been continuously built upon by way of a partnership with Cornell University’s Departments of Planning and Landscape Architecture. A group of students from Cornell, led by Professor Mitchell Glass have aided in further conceptualizing designs that capture the resident’s collective vision.    

Hough Community Green Space will simultaneously beautify vacant land while offering accessibility to high-quality green space which can positively impact health outcomes, improve safety, and attract future investment in the Hough neighborhood.  

This project will strategically tie into current neighborhood assets such as the adjacent Thurgood Marshall Recreation Center, and its outdoor sporting facilities to create a robust campus featuring green space and recreational amenities that would greatly benefit residents.   

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Benefits of this project include:

Social

A space designed by the community, for the community. 

The Hough Community Green Space project will create a safe and accessible place for community events and gatherings, enhancing the already tight social fabric of the neighborhood. It will also demonstrate a public investment towards an amenity truly intended to serve a historically marginalized neighborhood, where such investments were previously rare.

Environmental

The 2.6-acre vacant lot will transform into a vibrant and biodiverse landscape.

The Hough Community Green Space project will incorporate plantings of a diversity of native tree species. These plantings will increase soil quality and storm water infiltration capacity, helping to reduce storm water runoff in a combined sewer area. The trees will provide shade for users of the space while also sequestering carbon, particularly in the first several years of their establishment and growth as they rapidly build mass. They will also filter air pollutants, which is especially important as air quality is expected to continue to decline with climate change, and the Cleveland community already has high rates of asthma. It will also provide habitat for pollinators and migratory species that use Cleveland and its vegetated green spaces as resting areas on either side of their journey across Lake Erie.

Economic

The Ward 7 Real Estate Development Tool was developed by the Famicos Foundation "to guide real estate development in a manner that allows for quality of life to improve, while limiting displacement of local residents to the furthest extent possible.”

Investment in the Hough neighborhood is occurring rapidly, and the Famicos Foundation is committed to ensuring that investment serves the current residents. A critical component of that effort is helping current homeowners build wealth and value in their homes, and attracting new investment to neighborhoods with significant vacancy.

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Cornell Student Design Presentations

Thank you for visiting the Hough Community Green Space webpage. We encourage you to explore the content and learn more about this project and the engagement process. We invite your feedback!  

If you have any questions, please contact Khalid Ali at kali@wrlandconservancy.org or fill out the contact form below.

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Thank you to our project partners:

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