"What do I like about living in EcoVillage and Detroit Shoreway? Good  people, opportunities to get involved, strong neighborhood identity, gardening opportunities, good restaurants, and best of all – my backyard and home” – Barbara Strauss – EcoVillage Resident and founder member of EcoVillage Produce LLC.

What is an EcoVillage
An EcoVillage is a community of people creating a way of living that sustains healthy ecological relationships. Current living patterns that consume vast quantities of resources and disregard the creation of waste have tremendous ecological, social, and economic cost.  The worldwide EcoVillage movement offers an alternative model that strives to replace consumption and waste with preservation and regeneration.  To undertake an urban EcoVillage, there must be a faith in the idea that cities can be good for humans and good for the earth.

Brief History

Conceived in 1998, the EcoVillage is a nationally recognized project that promotes an environmentally responsive neighborhood focusing on transit oriented development and sustainable construction. Founded through an innovative partnership involving nonprofit organizations, the city, the regional transit authority, private developers, and neighborhood residents it is a celebrated demonstration project that showcases best practices in green building,transit-oriented design, urban agriculture and societal inter-dependence. Over the last ten years the Cleveland EcoVillage has proven that sustainability can be used as an organizing principle for urban redevelopment and community organizing.

The Cleveland EcoVillage was founded through an innovative partnership between the public, non-profit and government sectors. It was created in response to continued urban sprawl, disinvestment in the urban core and resulting environmental degradation within and outside the City of Cleveland. Using sustainability as an organizing principle, and transit-oriented development as a planning strategy, the EcoVillage seeks to retain urban dwellers while attracting people back into the urban core. 

The Cleveland EcoVillage centers around the W.65th/Lorain Avenue RTA Rapid Station in the Detroit Shoreway neighborhood, two miles west of Downtown Cleveland. The EcoVillage neighborhood area is defined as within a quarter mile walk of the rapid station, just minutes away from the shores of Lake Erie, the banks of the Cuyahoga River, the Ohio & Lake Erie Towpath Trail and the nationally celebrated Gordon Square Arts District.

Detroit Shoreway Community Development Organization (DSCDO) and its partners implement projects in four core initiative areas to promote the continued development of the Cleveland EcoVillage. These initiatives are: green building and housing, transportation infrastructure, greenspace and local food, and community involvement. Projects are designed to have a beneficial long term effect on the community, economy and environment

Green Building & Housing

Our homes and buildings are our largest investments, our greatest resource and our greatest point of pride. The EcoVillage project strives to create healthy, environmentally friendly, and beautiful new and renovated homes for all markets. To date, 24 energy efficient market rate and affordable homes have been built or renovated by DSCDO and its partners.

EcoVillage Townhomes

At the time in 2003, the EcoVillage Townhomes were built with state of the art green building practices offering environmentally conscious living just minutes from downtown. The 2 and 3 bedroom townhomes offer bright and spacious floor plans ranging from 1618 sq. ft to 2472 sq. ft. Back decks overlook beautifully landscaped communal or private courtyards. All units heat and cool for less than $700 a year.

Bridge Square Townhomes

These townhomes offer many green features, including high efficiency insulation, beautiful bamboo floors in the living area, sustainable finishes such as ceramic tile flooring and granite counter-tops, lots of natural light, and high energy efficiency furnace and windows. Design features include an open floor plan, a bonus room on the ground level, and high ceilings.

The Green Cottage

The Cleveland EcoVillage features the very first LEED Platinum house in the City of Cleveland. Built in 2007, the house is a model example of what housing can strive to be in a Legacy City. 

Greenbuilt Homes

Designed by Building Science Corporation's Betsy Pettit, AIA, through the Building America Program these two homes located on W.54th carry the Energy Star logo and meet the requirements of The American Lung Association for a "Healthy House" designation. The homes have three bedrooms and 2-1/2 bathrooms, a full semi-finished basement, and a detached two-car garage. They incorporate universal design features with master bedroom and laundry room on the first floor. Of special note is the low energy use for heating and cooling. The insulated R25 walls and R38 ceiling provide an average billing of $600 per year with current energy rates.  

EcoVation Homes 
In partnership with Detroit Shoreway Community Development Organization, the Cleveland Housing Network, the Green Building Coalition, and Cleveland Magazine, a home built in the EcoVillage in 1916 was renovated using the latest green building techniques. The purpose of the project was to show homeowners and contractors ways to renovate homes in environmentally friendly ways. A number of companies donated environmentally friendly products to the project.  Cleveland Magazine profiled the project in an article, and held open houses for the public and local contractors. Green features include Energy Star appliances, compact fluorescent lighting, ductwork on interior walls, improved insulation, light tubes for natural light, low VOC paints and low maintenance landscaping. 

Transportation & Infrastructure

As a dense urban neighborhood surrounding the W.65th Street GCRTA rapid transit station, the Cleveland EcoVillage is a prime example of transit-oriented development (TOD). TOD seeks to locate housing, amenities, and greenspaces such as parks and gardens within walking distance to new or existing public transit stations and routes. It also seeks to create safe and accessible pedestrian routes for walkers and bicyclist. By offering multiple modes of transportation, reliance on carbon emitting automobiles is decreased thus leading to cleaner air, stronger ecosystems and healthier people.

The first completed project, and focal point of the Cleveland EcoVIllage was the W.65th rapid station. Completed in 2004, the 3.4 million dollar station was built with the environment in mind. The station includes several green elements such as passive solar heating, a recycled steel roof, energy-efficient lighting, and decreased parking.

A pedestrian bridge and mini park connect the station to the surrounding neighborhood. In 2005 the new W.65th St. bridge was completed, connecting the north and south sides of the EcoVillage over the Rapid tracks. Recommendations from EcoVillage residents were incorporated into the bridge design. As a result, the bridge includes a decorative steel fence, tree pits, historic gateway lighting, and sidewalk stamps on the bridge. 

Michael Zone Recreation Center

The Michael Zone Recreation Center was an unprecedented initiative encompassing environmental education, ecological design, and community development. In 2008, the City of Cleveland and Ward 15 Councilman Matt Zone pledged a combined $3.5 million in funding towards the project.

The redeveloped greenspace was the first example nationally, to our knowledge, of the comprehensive redesign of a large city recreation facility to demonstrate ecological restoration and sustainability principles in the heart of an urban neighborhood.  Demonstrations of environmental stewardship were integrated into a state-of-the-art upgrade of the outdoor facilities at the recreation center. The project established innovative partnerships that provided environmental education opportunities to varied audiences, including students at local schools.  The primary project partners for the Michael J. Zone were the Cleveland EcoVillage, ParkWorks, and the City of Cleveland.

Greenspace & Local Food

Greenspaces provide places to play, grow food and enjoynature. They capture storm water while providing habitat for native plants andanimals. In 2012 the $3.5 million Michael Zone Recreation Center greenspaceredevelopment joined other EcoVillage greenspaces such as the Ithaca CourtEcoVillageCommunity Garden, EcoVillage Produce LLC Market Garden, and Simmons Park (anative plant park built on a former brownfield). 

Community and Society

The Cleveland EcoVillage is founded on community inter-dependence. Through community organizing, the project strives to connect people and resources in a way that bolsters the quality of life for every resident. In order to promote connectivity, drive personal development, and educate residents on the benefits of environmental stewardship DSCDO and its partners offer a variety of workshops and programs. Activities range from native plant workshops, rain barrel workshops and gardening seminars to community planting days and neighborhood clean-ups.

How to Get Involved


The opportunities to get involved in the Cleveland EcoVillage project are endless. You can choose to volunteer at the Gordon Square Farmers Market, attend the EcoVillage Block Club,garden at community gardens or simply lend a hand trimming roses at Simmons Park. There is always plenty of work and celebration to go around.We welcome residents and visitors from all over the world to take a tour of EcoVillage, spend the day, share their stories and ideas and lend a hand as we continue to build our community.


For more information contact DSCDO at 216.961.4242

A neighborhood with a view, a community with a vision.

The Detroit Shoreway Community Development Organization | 6516 Detroit Avenue | Cleveland, Ohio 44102 | 216.961.4242 thunder::tech :: a marketing agency