Cleveland Flats Linkages Plan

Cleveland, OH

The Cleveland Flats Linkages Plan aims to revitalize a post-industrial urban area in the heart of Cleveland and strengthen its connections to both surrounding communities and its waterfront.

The Flats has seen two centuries of intensive industrial activity, which manipulated the course and form of the Cuyahoga River, fixing a once-dynamic oxbow river into an armored shipping channel. Yet as land use transitioned in the Flats in the second half of the 20th century, derelict, wild landscapes emerged on formerly industrial sites.

LAND studio retained CMG to lead a design-planning process for this fascinating landscape. An open space framework plan was devised to inform future public and private development, identifying and conceptualizing several discrete project sites. Common to all of these sites is a conviction about ecological design as a fundamental way to treat and reframe the Flats’ complex and sensitive condition.

In the Linkages Plan, a new 8-acre linear park will run beneath the Main Avenue Bridge, traversing various conditions and neighborhoods. Intersecting that park is the Lake Link Trail, an abandoned railway that will link the historic Erie Canal towpath to the Lake Erie shore. The Plan also addresses social equity through accessibility to recreational opportunities along the trail and at Wendy Park, the shoreline terminus that emerged as a separate project for CMG.

Through this process, LAND studio acquired the property through a grant from the Trust for Public Land, and is now funding the first phase of the Cleveland Flats Linkages Plan, the Lake Link Trail.