When we build retail, housing, parks, or other uses, we shape the spaces we live in, and this contributes to how we function as a region. Well-planned land uses lead to connected transportation networks, adequate green spaces and trees, and sufficient housing.

The Land Use Section describes generalized land use in our communities, tree canopy coverage and change, and the availability of parkland and vacant land.

Selected Visualizations

Below are sample indicators from the land use section of the Data Book. Download the Data Book to see all of the indicators that are included in this section.

Park Acreage

Parks provide access to nature, opportunities for physical activity, and relief from busy areas. The Cuyahoga County Planning Commission completed its Greenprint in 2015 and continually tracks changes to environmental and park features across our communities. This indicator shows the percentage of public park space in each community.

Importantly, a community’s residents may have access to parks in nearby communities that would not be measured in this indicator.

Tree Canopy Coverage

Tree canopy is a term used to describe the amount of ground covered by leaves, branches, and stems of trees when viewed from above. A healthy tree canopy can provide many benefits such as cleaner air, heat reduction, and increased property values. County Planning conducted the Urban Tree Canopy Assessments of Cuyahoga County using advanced satellite imagery collected in 2011 and 2017 to show the extent of tree canopy coverage locally.

Tree canopy is lower in the core of the County and higher at the periphery. The City of Cleveland’s tree canopy coverage is 17.9% while the Outer Ring Suburbs have a tree canopy covering 43.5% of land area.

Vacant Land

Vacant land is land that is undeveloped or has been cleared of buildings. Developers often seek to construct new residential, commercial, and industrial structures on vacant land because of lower costs, fewer environmental constraints, access to new infrastructure, and fewer zoning requirements. Communities with large tracts of vacant land often seek to expand their tax base by encouraging new development on vacant land.

The vacant land data displayed here represents parcels of land with no buildings in 2022. Parks and cemeteries are not included as vacant land. Importantly, vacant land does not necessarily mean buildable land. Topography, land availability, and environmental features may make land unbuildable.

Additional Visualizations

Disclaimer: County Planning’s Guidebook Series is intended for reference purposes only. County Planning assumes no responsibility or liability for any errors or omissions in the content of this report. The information contained within is provided ‘as is’ with no guarantees of completeness, accuracy, usefulness, or timeliness.

Top image: CPL 150 Festival by Erik Drost; accessed 6/4/20; licensed under CC BY 2.0