Cleveland Artists and Pocket Neighborhoods

Ross Chapin’s Pocket Neighborhoods: Creating Small Scale Community in a Large Scale World (Hardcover, 224 pp., Taunton Press, 2011, $30 signed) “introduces an antidote to faceless, place-less sprawl: clustered groups of neighboring houses or apartments gathered around a shared open space — a garden courtyard, a pedestrian street, a series of joined backyards, or a reclaimed alley. They can be in urban, suburban, or rural areas.” This book illustrates a viable concept for Cleveland to repopulate vacant parcels with cluster housing creating a work/life balance for artists.

The vision is to develop cluster housing on 1.5-acre, vacant parcels in the city. Cleveland’s Live-Work Overlay Zoning Ordinance allows development of housing for low-to-moderate income people, including artists. A feature would be a community building/exhibit place for gatherings and retail sales. Energy-efficient housing would appeal to artists with studios in older industrial buildings. During the winter, it is challenging to pay the gas bill, and the studios are still cold. Artists who have been renters for a long time recognize the need for ownership and want to invest in stable neighborhoods.

 In northeast Ohio, an example of a pocket neighborhood is Sutton Place, a planned unit development in Shaker Heights. It features a park bounded by 30 townhouses in the Sutton/Colwyn area near Chagrin Boulevard.


1400 East 30th Street

Cleveland, Ohio 44114