Courtesy of the Greater Cleveland Partnership

The next step in transforming Downtown Cleveland into a vibrant, thriving urban core is to create a unique public space that links pockets of existing development and promotes further growth. The Group Plan Commission has identified three priority projects – redesigning and revitalizing Public Square, enhancing the Mall and bridging the gap between Downtown and the lakefront.

The goal is to create inviting, people-friendly spaces where Clevelanders and visitors feel welcome and at home. This vision is becoming a reality through public-private collaboration among the city, the county, the business community and philanthropic organizations, with the support of world-class urban planners, landscape architects and professionals.

While there is much work to be done, we know we can make this vision a reality with your support.

Public Square

Photo: James Corner Field Operations

Photo: James Corner Field Operations

World-class cities have several defining characteristics, including inspiring and energizing central public spaces that help unify their people and drive economic success and development. No public space is more central to Cleveland than Public Square. The Group Plan’s vision is to reinvent Public Square as a welcoming, active, energetic and sustainable public park that connects people and place.

The Mall

Photo: Gustafson Guthrie Nichol

Photo: Gustafson Guthrie Nichol

One of the key achievements of Cleveland Mayor Tom L. Johnson more than a century ago was the creation of a central mall to serve as a gathering space for the public. Set amid an array of classical buildings, the malls became a natural nexus for Downtown activity, both a literal epicenter and figurative symbol of Cleveland’s early 20th century civic renaissance. Our project is to reconnect and reactivate the Mall as a world-class public space for the 21st century.

Link to the Lake

Photo: Composite image created by the Greater Cleveland Partnership; Public Square rendering by James Corner Field Operations and Mall rendering by Gustafson Guthrie Nichol

Photo: Composite image created by the Greater Cleveland Partnership; Public Square rendering by James Corner Field Operations and Mall rendering by Gustafson Guthrie Nichol


Lake Erie is a unique asset to Cleveland, yet we aren’t always able to access it easily. The Group Plan Commission will create an iconic pedestrian connection that will enable Clevelanders to move easily between Downtown and the lakefront. This link will unify Downtown Cleveland, serve as the foundation for generating additional investment and result in our lakefront becoming a more sustainable and robust economic engine than it has been in the past.