Greater University Circle

Greater University Circle

The Evergreen Cooperative Initiative is the economic inclusion strategy of a broader effort called the Greater University Circle Initiative.  Greater University Circle, Cleveland’s premier district of world-class cultural, educational and medical institutions, is integrally tied to the vitality of its adjacent neighborhoods.  Decades of isolated and uncoordinated development are being overcome by strategic efforts to work together, joining residents and institutions with one another, across neighborhoods, and connecting with assets and opportunities. This effort has yielded impressive results, including new physical developments that incorporate transit oriented design, local procurement and construction policies, and greater efforts in community engagement. 

Collaboration is the key. Since July 2005, a coalition led by the Cleveland Foundation has been implementing an ambitious strategy to stimulate reinvestment in Greater University Circle. Now included in this group are Case Western Reserve University, University Hospitals, the Cleveland Clinic, the Veterans Affairs Medical Center, University Circle, Inc., Neighborhood Progress, Inc., the George Gund Foundation, the Kent H. Smith Charitable Trust, Charter One Bank, the Greater Regional Transit Authority and the City of Cleveland. The Greater University Circle area expects to have $1.5 billion of institutional developments in the next three-to-five years.  Leveraging this investment holds great promise for making this area even stronger.

This coalition is action-oriented and focused on cross-cutting issues that are important to the area as a whole, but currently are not the responsibility of any individual institution.  These include transportation, housing, retail, open space and a program for economic inclusion, the Evergreen Cooperative Initiative.  The Living Cities Integration Initiative, a national program of foundations and financial institutions, is leveraging its assets to further scale up the impact in GUC.