2019 Vibrant City Award winners announced

Norm Krumholz receives the 2019 Morton L. Mandel Leadership in Community
Development Award from Cleveland Neighborhood Progress

Five other winners announced at the 5th annual Vibrant City Awards Lunch

CLEVELAND, June 10, 2019 — On Friday, Cleveland’s thriving community development industry celebrated the many organizations, individuals, programs and initiatives that contribute to the vibrancy of Cleveland’s urban neighborhoods.

Cleveland Neighborhood Progress hosted the fifth annual Vibrant City Awards Lunch, where 550 city leaders, stakeholders and community development professionals gathered to celebrate leading neighborhood revitalization efforts. The event was presented by Delta Dental. Guests gathered at Euclid Beach Park in Collinwood, where they appreciated scenic views of Lake Erie and the brand new pedestrian pier completed by Cleveland Metroparks. All guests enjoyed an outdoor lunch coordinated by Zack Bruell Events. The event honored 16 total award finalists and recognized numerous other successes.   

Norm Krumholz, former Planning Director for the City of Cleveland and professor at Cleveland State University’s Levin College of Urban Affairs, received the prestigious Morton L. Mandel Leadership in Community Development Award. He is the author of many books, including Making Equity Planning Work and Advancing Equity Planning Now. Krumholz, who was travelling and unable to attend, thanked Neighborhood Progress and noted his appreciation of being in the company of past award winners via video acceptance speech. He also spoke briefly on equity.

“Issues of equity have been paramount throughout my professional life. It is the prime objective here in the city of Cleveland, to lift those neighborhoods that have fallen behind and lift the people that live in those neighborhoods,” stated Krumholz.  

Cleveland Neighborhood Progress President & CEO Joel Ratner offered enthusiastic praise for all of the vital partnerships and collaborative efforts that have improved our city. “The passion, vision and dedication of Cleveland’s community development system is on display daily,” stated Ratner. “We are proud to honor the leading programs, services and developments taking place in the city’s neighborhoods. These efforts create stronger neighborhoods and continue to make the City of Cleveland a desirable location to live, work and play.”

Five other Vibrant City Awards were presented. They include:

CDC Placemaking Award: University Circle Inc.; for its partnership role in the Nord Family Greenway

CDC Economic Opportunity Award: Metro West Community Development Org.; for its partnership role in Las Tienditas del Mercado

CDC Neighborhood Branding & Marketing Award: Burten Bell Carr Development; for the creation of WOVU 95.9 FM

Urban Developer Award: First Interstate Properties; for One University Circle

Civic Champion Award: Anita Gardner; for her community activism and founding of Concerned Citizens Community Council

The CDC Neighborhood Branding & Marketing Award was determined by audience vote after each CDC finalist offered a brief pitch as to why they deserve the award and the $2500 that goes to winning CDCs. Burten Bell Carr Development received 58% of the votes. Additional audience interaction yielded the following:

  • 39% of attendees were attending their first Vibrant City Awards Lunch
  • 67% of attendees have attended, or plan to attend, Racial Equity & Inclusion trainings
  • 65% of attendees have participated, or plan to participate, in REI Film series or the Undesign the Redline exhibit

Jeff Kipp, Director of Neighborhood Marketing for Cleveland Neighborhood Progress, noted the importance of highlighting these efforts taking place across the city. “The Vibrant City Awards allows us to highlight activities and programs that strengthen urban neighborhoods and attract new residents into the city. We are proud to celebrate these efforts and want the greater Cleveland region to better understand the innovative strides we are taking when it comes to neighborhood revitalization.”

Cleveland Neighborhood Progress’ Climate Resiliency staff partnered with the City of Cleveland’s Office of Sustainability, Rust Belt Riders and Zack Bruell Events to make this a Zero Waste Event. Collectively, the partners diverted 328 pounds of trash and food waste away from landfills at the event. Additionally, fourteen trays of leftover food were preserved and donated to local charity.