Greening Legacy Cities to Build Economic Opportunity for All


In legacy (or-post industrial) cities, the need for access to open space and recreation can take on acute and unique challenges and opportunities. This panel will explore approaches in Pittsburgh and Euclid, OH to make green connections that also offer more equitable access and economic opportunity. The City of Pittsburgh and the ONEPGH Fund are piloting a program with funding from the Trust for Public Land for the 183-acre Hazelwood Greenway. Historically a vibrant working-class community, Hazelwood lost roughly 65 percent of its population following the decline of the steel industry and the final closure of the mill located on its riverfront in 1998.

Panelists will discuss how communities can create equitable growth through a focus on making outdoor environments safer and more welcoming places. Speakers will also tell the story of Euclid’s award-winning Waterfront Improvement Project, which opened up public access along a three-quarter-mile stretch of privately owned shoreline in a majority-minority community, in which only 6 percent of the lakefront was publicly owned and accessible, in a county where nearly 90 percent of lakefront is privately owned. They will describe a unique partnership, under which private landowners and the city provided public lakefront access in exchange for investment in shore protection designed to restore eroding shorelines.


  • Examine the relationship between historic development patterns and resulting inequities in access to natural resources
  • Learn about public/private partnership models and strategies that can support expanding public access to open space
  • Understand how combining workforce development with land stewardship promotes success for people who have been systematically marginalized and connects them with green spaces
  • Learn ways to connect and work within communities to develop community-led green infrastructure that reflects their needs and desires for their green spaces


Jim Sonnhalter

Planning Manager, Design & Implementation, Cuyahoga County Planning Commission

Libertad Figuereo

Policy Analyst, Lincoln Institute of Land Policy

Thomas Guentner

Director of Land Stewardship, Landforce

Allison Lukacsy-Love

Senior Director, Major Projects, Downtown and Waterfront, Greater Cleveland Partnership