Isn't It Nice? - Irishtown Bend

Signs of Gentrification

Isn't It Nice? - Irishtown Bend

Cleveland, Ohio 44115, United States

Created By: Northeast Ohio Coalition for the Homeless


Since 2017, governmental and nonprofit partners have attempted to stabilize the hillside of Irishtown Bend and build a 23-acre park. Not only are they planning on developing the 23 acres, but they plan on completing and connecting regional trails like the Redline Greenway and the Towpath Trail. The creation of new parks and green spaces is often widely celebrated; afterall, who doesn’t love parks? As Dr. Mark Mussman of the Greater Cincinnati Homeless Coalition often says, the response to these types of developments is often, “Well isn’t that nice?” Of course it is. This park will likely create access to green space for many people who don’t currently have it.

However, this development has resulted in the displacement of already existing camps for the completion of the project, leading many to be forced to leave and relocate for shelter. Relocation of the 20+ people who were experiencing homelessness living on the riverbed was expected to cost around $18,000, which was not a part of the original $49 million (now $60 million) cost of the stabilization project. Because they were not considered residents, those living on the riverbed were not entitled to financial assistance for relocation.

Irishtown Bend development is an example of green gentrification, which is the process of raising property values and rents by increasing desirability through developing and improving green spaces and areas. Other examples of this can be found in North Collinwood, where Euclid Beach Mobile Home Park residents are being forced out of their homes to make way for a new metropark. In the St. Clair neighborhood, anti-hunger activists are being asked to stop feeding people in public green spaces and in many other neighborhoods throughout Cleveland. These efforts are a collaboration of parks systems, city and county government agencies, community development corporations, and other land-holding nonprofit organizations.

This point of interest is part of the tour: Signs of Gentrification


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