Geography: The Human Perspective and Organization of Land – Social and Administrative Boundaries

What’s Covered

Municipal, political, and educational Boundaries along with parcel Addresses and Locations of key facilities are all part of the framework within which nature and green spaces function in an urban setting. Aerials (imagery) display all components within the viewed geography.


Green and natural places are certainly important for their ecological function. Yet, it is increasingly important to balance the size and location of the built environment with the size and location of natural places.

Importance and Value

Ohio is a home rule state, meaning (among other things) that land use, zoning and master planning decisions are authorized at the local, Municipal level through a public engagement process. A particular stream, wetland or woodland may exist in more than one municipality so it’s critical to understand in which jurisdictions it lies. County Council, Ohio State Legislators and Cleveland Ward leaders can play roles in advancing (or stalling) projects and providing funding. Access to natural areas is important to schools and School Districts as an accessory outdoor “classroom.” Linear greenways, such as trails and bikeways, are means of safe transportation connections for non-motorized modes of transport; the Greenprint provides a view of the locations of key Community Facilities to help identify connection corridor opportunities.

Aerial imagery, when viewed over time, describes, and explains patterns of growth and development as well as land use changes.

Recommendations for Communities and Landowners

  • Engage elected leadership to value, act upon and fund greenspace protection and enhancement.
  • Engage residents, business and community leaders, school district leaders as well as principals and teachers, to do the same.

Resources for More Information

Top photo by Jason Cohn, courtesy of the Rails-to-Trails Conservancy