David Beach is the director of the GreenCityBlueLake Institute, the sustainability center of The Cleveland Museum of Natural History. The Institute promotes the design of ecological cities that are good for people and nature. Its staff has expertise in the fields of green building, city and regional planning, transportation, watershed planning, energy, carbon footprint analysis and planning to mitigate climate change. The Institute also maintains the popular GreenCityBlueLake.org website, the online home of the sustainability community in Northeast Ohio. The site is helping to spread the word that Cleveland is truly becoming a green city on a blue lake.
Among many other projects, Beach originated the Cleveland EcoVillage development; helped to develop the City of Cleveland’s Office of Sustainability; founded Greater Ohio, the statewide smart growth organization; and was a key participant in the development of Ohio’s Lake Erie Balanced Growth Program, an innovative planning framework linking regional land-use planning and water quality. (More information about GreenCityBlueLake projects is at www.gcbl.org/projects.)
Much of his recent work has centered on climate change. He has led projects to develop a carbon emissions inventory for Northeast Ohio and transition plans for energy systems, buildings, and transportation to communicate the feasibility of dramatic carbon reductions. He was also part of the team that developed the City of Cleveland’s Climate Action Plan, and he assisted the creation of the Cleveland Carbon Fund.
In 2011, Beach helped The Cleveland Museum of Natural History bring a major exhibit on the science of climate change to Cleveland. To extend the impact of the exhibit, he coordinated the development of the PNC SmartHome, a three-bedroom house built on the Museum grounds to showcase energy-efficient construction techniques. The SmartHome became the first building in Ohio to meet the Passive House standard for energy performance. It also won a national award for creativity in museums.
To further enhance the climate exhibit, Beach helped to organize an extensive series of events and educational programs about climate and energy issues. This included an event about the ethics of climate change. Since then, Beach has been exploring how to broaden awareness of climate change by emphasizing the ethical and moral dimensions of the issue — what philosophers are calling the “perfect moral storm.”
Beach has been a leading writer and activist on environmental and urban design issues in Cleveland for more than 25 years. He is a graduate of Harvard University.
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