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Cleveland is a major city in Ohio on the shores of Lake Erie. Landmarks dating to its days as a turn-of-the-20th-century manufacturing center It’s also home to one of the leading medical institutions in the US, and the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. Cleveland suffered from a declining population due to industrial and economic decline and today it has a population of around 400,000.

The characteristics of Cleveland’s downtown are typical of cities that have suffered from the loss of manufacturing.

To address the needs of downtown residents, there are several community development corporations (CDCs) that use an asset-based approach to improve living conditions, life opportunities, and to help create cohesive downtown communities.

There are many different ethnic communities from Poland, Slovenia, Vietnam and more. Approximately 60% are Blacks and Hispanics. There is a small and vibrant Jewish community a number of whom are active in downtown community projects.

BTF in Cleveland

Program Overview


2015 – current.

Intervention Type:


Main Programs:

Capacity building, developing partnerships, tourism, demographic growth.

Intervention Method:

  • Increasing interaction between self-run community networks.

  • Improving local capacities for maintaining change.

  • Partnership development between downtown residents and those in the suburbs.

  • Cross-border learning between professionals and activists in Cleveland and counterparts in Beit Shean and the Valley of Springs, Israel.


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