Parks & Greenspace

For over 150 years, Cleveland's nickname has been The Forest City. Cleveland has a long history of preserving parks for public use and building direct access to our great parks from the city's neighborhoods. DCA is continuing that great tradition of preserving and creating new parks in order to improve the quality of life for Downtown stakeholders and the entire region.

Crooked River Skate Park

The City of Cleveland has completed the conceptual design phase of the relocated skateboard park to serve local residents and to help spearhead further development of the Columbus Road Peninsula. This section of the Flats is already home to the Ohio City Bicycle Co-Op and the home of the Cleveland Rowing Foundation & Rivergate Park. Columbus Road Peninsula will become a people-powered recreation district nestled along the Cuyahoga River.

As part of the Mayor Jackson and City Council vision of a new, re-imagined Flats district, the skatepark will provide instant foot traffic with hundreds of people per day for 9-10 months of the year for only simple maintenance compared to other recreational facilities. Self-managed, self-policing and self-supervised skateboard parks provide sustainable recreation opportunity for generations to come with minuscule ongoing tax payer burden.

For progress updates, click here.

Canal Basin District Park Plan

Over 140 miles of contiguous parkway, bike paths and trails wind their way through the communities that surround Downtown, yet none of those paths are connected directly to Downtown. In the next 5 years, that will all change!

DCA has been working with the Ohio Canal Corridor on the creation of the Canal Basin District Plan, which extends the last leg of the Ohio & Erie Canal Towpath Trail into Downtown Cleveland and creates a new signature park on the banks of the Cuyahoga River called Canal Basin Park. In addition to the park, the plan coordinates necessary linkages to nearby neighborhoods.

The park and its trail linkages will become the northern terminus of both the Towpath Trail and the 110 mile Ohio & Erie Canalway.

For more information on the next steps towards implementing the Canal Basin District Plan and the larger Towpath Trail project contact Tom Yablonsky at or 216-736-7799.  For a map of the overall Canal Basin District Plan, click here (PDF - 4.42 MB)

Public Square & The Mayor's Group Plan Commission

Public Square is Cleveland's most prominent public space and the heart of our Downtown. However, in its current configuration, the square does not serve the growing city that surrounds it well. The current design is exceedingly unfriendly to both pedestrians and motorists hoping to navigate through the center of Downtown and is difficult to program for special events.

In late 2009, after initial feedback from the community and a recent traffic study, Downtown Cleveland Alliance, ParkWorks and Kent State University's Cleveland Urban Design Collaborative unveiled a set of preliminary, early-stage drawings by internationally recognized James Corner Field Operations. The purpose of these renderings was to inspire the conversation about what Cleveland's Public Square should become and what role it should play in the future growth of our City. To see the full presentation of the designs, click here ***

The Mayor's Group Plan Commission

In the months that followed the release of these designs, the City of Cleveland began a larger discussion about the redesign of public spaces in Downtown, including Public Square. The major driving force behind these discussions was the redevelopment of Cleveland's Convention Center and the reconstruction of Downtown's Malls. Cleveland Mayor Frank Jackson appointed a 15-member Group Plan Commission to give the city recommendations on the design of the malls and the connections to other major Downtown districts. Several DCA and Downtown stakeholders are members of this commission, which will give its recommendations in the early part of 2011.

In order to help facilitate a comprehensive design for public space, DCA has submitted the design concepts as part of the overall strategy to ensure that a cohesive strategy for both Public Square and the Malls is generated by the commission. In addition, several DCA board members have been appointed to the Group Plan Commission.

We will keep you updated as to the progress on this exciting project. Sign up to receive updates from DCA via our monthly e-newsletter here ***

Perk Plaza at Chester Commons

Designed by New York-based landscape architectural firm Thomas Balsley Associates and local firm McKnight and Associates,  Perk Plaza at Chester Commons has returned to a vital gathering place that supports adjacent restaurants, encourages street-level retail, and provides an important amenity to serve nearby neighborhood residents, workers, and visitors. Located on East 12th Street between Chester and Walnut Avenues, Perk Park serves a diverse population in an area of downtown that has been lacking in well-functioning green space.

Perk Plaza at Chester Commons is a state-of-the-art park that adds an engaging, vibrant public space to the downtown neighborhood.  Unique custom seating, a forest of light wands, poetry, greenspace and a striking red trellis define this new park.