The creation of accessible, central public spaces is critical to the success of world-class cities. These spaces bring citizens and visitors together and connect them to the city. They improve the quality of life. They drive development and economic growth. Yet, world-class cities also know that these spaces must be updated and renovated in order to remain relevant to their citizens and to continue growth.

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Downtown Cleveland is experiencing a surge in economic development with nearly $3 billion of capital investment completed or underway since 2010. The redesign and revitalization of Public Square, the enhancement of the Mall and the creation of an iconic pedestrian connection between Downtown and the lakefront will leverage Cleveland’s significant capital projects and spur additional growth. These interrelated projects will provide lasting benefits for both today’s Clevelanders and future generations.

The model of using revitalized public spaces not only to improve quality of life but also to catalyze economic development has been successfully demonstrated by countless cities. In developing plans for the three priority projects, the Group Plan Commission looked to other metropolitan regions for inspiration and best practices regarding how public spaces can be leveraged as both natural connectors and drivers for community and economic development activity. Here are a few examples:



Millennium Park – Chicago

  • Construction cost: $490 million 

  • Estimated 10‐year impact:

    • $1.4 billion in adjacent real estate market

    • $1.9 billion to $2.6 billion in visitor spending


Centennial Olympic Park – Atlanta

  • Construction cost: $75 million
  • Impact:  Adjacent condominium prices rose from $115/s.f. to $250/s.f.



Fountain Square – Cincinnati

  • Renovation costs:  $48.9 million 
  • Impact: estimated $125 million private investment in surrounding square and within designated district




The High Line – New York City

  • Construction cost: $172 million

  • Estimated impact:

    • $4 billion in private investment

    • $900 million in city revenue over the next 30 years


Rose Kennedy Greenway – Boston

  • Impact:  Property values along park increased 79% between 1988 and 2003 – nearly doubling Boston’s 41% city‐wide average


Citygarden – St. Louis

  • Construction cost: $30 million
  • Impact: Estimated $100 million in investment by businesses and organizations around the park