Last week's headlines covered the inauguration of the 45th elected President of the United States, Donald Trump, as well as the biggest one-day protest the States had ever seen, Women's March (which promoted many sister protests around the world, including Cape Town). Very rightly so.

Something else happened on Friday in Cleveland, which is bound to infuse greater strength to our hopes for a greener future, Sustainable Cleveland's 2017 plan.

Source:  Next City   A rendering of Cleveland Public Square (Credit: Group Plan Commission)

Source: Next City  A rendering of Cleveland Public Square (Credit: Group Plan Commission)

"Sustainable Cleveland 2019 is a 10-year initiative that engages everyone to work together to design and develop a thriving and resilient Cleveland that leverages its wealth of assets to build economic, social and environmental well-being for all."

2017!

Every year, Sustainable Cleveland has a theme, addressed with SMART plan, widely available.

On Friday, the city declared 2017 as the Year of Vibrant Green Spaces, with the aim to refurbish and grow the urban forest and tree canopy, currently in a state of disrepair. This plan has a stakeholder approach orientation, harnessing the power, drive and will of the community, which plays a very pivotal role in Sustainable Cleveland.

The Cleveland Tree Plan. Courtesy of  Sustainable Cleveland

The Cleveland Tree Plan. Courtesy of Sustainable Cleveland

 

WHY TREES?

As spelt out in the Cleveland Tree Plan, trees are not just aesthetic elements but should be considered as part of the city's infrastructure for the benefits they bring. The 12 more important mentioned in the plan are flooding and water pollution reduction, energy saving (thermal insulation properties), reducing the impact of high heat days, reduction of carbon emission and clean air, habitat for wildlife and noise reduction. These factors play a tremendous role in the creation of common, public spaces with a thriving and vibrant sense of community, better health for its inhabitants, safer streets and improved prestige of neighbourhoods.

A FOREST CAN START WITH YOU

If you're already wishing you were in Cleveland, do not despair - Greenpop's got you! Tickets for the Friends Weekend in March at Platbos Forest, Western Cape, are now on sale . If you want to take your little ones with, The Family Weekend is for you - same forest, same fun (different weekends)! These are unmissable events filled with tree planting, forest walks, upcycling and sustainability workshops!

Make 2017 the year of Vibrant Green Spaces, wherever you are