Document Type


Publication Date



The city of East Cleveland, a first-ring suburb on the east side of Cleveland, Ohio, has an estimated population of 17,000. The city was once a thriving bedroom community of 40,000 with a strong manufacturing job base that, in turn, supported a vibrant civic, social, and cultural life for many years.

East Cleveland has seen steady decline over the last thirty years, the result of regional economic changes and demographic shifts. As Cleveland and the surrounding region revitalizes, East Cleveland boasts significant assets that put it in the path of opportunity and development. An excellent location, close to transportation and communication corridors, adjacency to University Circle’s major employment center and institutions, and abundant affordable space for development are among its locational advantages. Mayor Brandon L. King, elected in 2017, has fortified resident engagement through the development of neighborhood groups. These groups are empowered to help direct the way limited resources are distributed across the community. He has improved relationships with the city council and the East Cleveland school district, reduced municipal debt, and established important external relationships with the state, county, and federal government that are now yielding benefits for East Cleveland. This project seeks to build on this momentum by surveying a range of East Cleveland stakeholders, asking the central question, “what is the vision for East Cleveland?” now that political and administrative stakeholders are aligned and the development community is indicating keen interest in moving forward projects of scale.

In the summer of 2019, Mayor King engaged the Maxine Goodman Levin College of Urban Affairs at Cleveland State University to lead a visioning project that engages citizens and stakeholders in identifying opportunities and recommendations for East Cleveland’s rejuvenation. This document summarizes the findings of the project.