Mission, Vision, and Values

The mission of the Aerozone Alliance is to create a world class innovation hub. Attracting more smart jobs and greater capital investment, the effort capitalizes on the unique strength of a 15.5-mile district to create regional economic growth.

Envision an employment center of 50,000 high paying technology jobs clustered in the region and communities surrounding Cleveland Hopkins Airport. These jobs and the accompanying benefits of economic development activity would originate with the engineering science and performance fulfillment outcomes of work NASA Glenn Research Center performs in its key role for the mission to Mars.

The vision is further sharpened with the remarkable success NASA Glenn has achieved supporting emerging entrepreneurs and minority and female businesses through the Federal Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) and Small Business Technology Transfer (STIR) Programs.

Coordination of these ventures by bringing together the resources and stakeholders necessary to achieve the same promise and potential of places like University Circle and Midtown Cleveland underlay the purpose of the Aerozone Alliance.

The Aerozone Alliance has been organized to create the conditions for an airport city or “aerotropolis” to take shape.

The Aerozone Alliance will work collaboratively with public and private stakeholders to attract small and medium-sized companies, large corporations, and multi-national corporations; and to entice developing technologies to commercialize in the geographic area near Cleveland Hopkins International Airport and the NASA Glenn Research Center facilities.

Aerozone Analyst: Interactive Map

The Aerozone Analyst is an interactive map that provides insights into one of the most dynamic and exciting regions in Northeast Ohio. The application was developed by the Cuyahoga County Planning Commission in collaboration with the Aerozone Alliance and TeamNeo.

View the Interactive Map »

Aerozone Strategic Priorities

Click below to view the ten strategic priorities of the Aerozone Alliance.

View the Strategic Priorities »

Aerozone District Plan Portal 2020-2021

Aerozone District Trade School: Public Private Partnership Models | Recommendations for a Workforce Education Partnership in the Aerozone Alliance (December 2020)

In partnership with the Aerozone Alliance and supported by Raymond P. Park and the Park Family Foundation, Baldwin Wallace University researched potential “Trade School Models” to support employers in the Aerozone Alliance District. The following report provides a research base, identifies key national workforce development programs, recommendations along with a recommended partnership model, and identifies next steps.

View the Report »

Aerozone Alliance Strategic Planning Progress (November 2020)

An Aerozone Alliance Strategic Planning update submitted by Innovation Economy Partners was released on November 24, 2020.

Aerozone Strategic Planning Update November 2020 »

Aerozone Alliance Strategic Planning Progress (October 2020)

An Aerozone Alliance Strategic Planning update submitted by Innovation Economy Partners was released in October 2020.

Aerozone Strategic Planning Update October 2020 »

Aerozone Alliance Strategic Planning Proposal (June 2020)

In May 2020, the Aerozone Alliance launched an RFP process, requesting proposals to create an Aerozone Strategic Plan which aligns and promotes the various stakeholders and other plans within the Aerozone District. A proposal submitted by Innovation Economy Partners was selected in June 2020.

Aerozone Strategic Planning Proposal » 

Originating Plans

Final Report to the Board of the Aerozone Alliance (August 2017)

The Center for Public Management, Maxine Goodman Levin College of Urban Affairs, Cleveland State University

The origins for this project include a 2011 Cleveland State University feasibility report which provided research on “aerotropolis” developments in general and describes planned development outward from an airport with observations specifically for Cleveland. Subsequently or concurrently, Cuyahoga County Council introduced a resolution to support early efforts to collaborate with stakeholders for the purpose of promoting economic development, job creation, job retention, and workforce development around Cleveland Hopkins airport. The Aerozone Alliance has been organized to create the conditions for an airport city or “aerotropolis” to take shape. The Aerozone Alliance region comprises more than 7,000 land parcels around Cleveland Hopkins airport in multiple political jurisdictions that offer potential to be developed into an “aerotropolis.”  View Report » 

Assessing the Feasibility of an Aerotropolis Around Cleveland Hopkins International Airport: Executive Report (August 2010)

Prepared for: Berea Community Development Corporation
Prepared by: The Center for Public Management, Maxine Goodman Levin College of Urban Affairs, Cleveland State University

This report provides an assessment of the feasibility of developing an aerotropolis around Cleveland Hopkins International Airport, Cleveland, Ohio. The report describes the methodology used to assess the feasibility, notes the needs and expectations of community stakeholders, profiles the challenges and successes of six emerging and potential U.S. aerotropolises, and discusses the operating experiences and challenges of 12 additional U.S. airports. Further, this report describes the demographic and economic aspects of the study cities, and discusses potential target industry opportunities. The findings suggest that it is feasible to develop CLE as an aerotropolis, and that CLE may not be suited for an aerotropolis as practiced at other domestic and international airports. Rather, the concept itself may be the platform for moving forward with a defined, staged strategy for development surrounding CLE and should be viewed as an opportunity to develop the concept to specifically fit the region and its economic circumstance.  View Report »

Cuyahoga County Five-Year Economic Development Plan 2018-2022 (June 2018)

Armond Budish, County Executive, Cuyahoga County Economic Development Commission, Department of Development, Cuyahoga County Council

The 2018 Economic Development Plan, as proffered by the Cuyahoga County Economic Development Commission, reflects Cuyahoga County’s desire to collaborate and align with the region’s economic development stakeholders and partners to create and sustain economic and population growth and job creation.  View Report »

Related Resources

What’s so great about an “aerotropolis” anyway?

by David Sachs, Denverite | January 28, 2019

An article in Denverite, “What’s so great about Denver’s “aerotropolis” anyway?” weighs the merits of an aerotropolis and its role in economic development.

Read More »

Podcast | Connection, Community & Innovation: The Aerotropolis with Dr. Stuart C. Mendel

Evergreen: Big Audacious Idea | Featuring Dr. Stuart C. Mendel, March 2021

Imagine advancing local+global connection, economic development, entrepreneurship, transportation and community-development… all through an existing asset. That asset is the major airport. A new kind of community and economic engine can be built within and around existing airports if we are inventive in our coordination, collaboration and collective will. We’re talking about the idea of an Aerotropolis. In Cleveland, it’s the Aerozone Alliance, a partnership of economic jewels; Cleveland-Hopkins International Airport, NASA Glenn Research Center and surrounding communities. In this podcast episode, host Craig James chats with Dr. Stuart C. Mendel, the founding executive director of the Aerozone Alliance. Dr. Mendel regularly advises community leaders, nonprofit executives/board members—and has served on numerous organization boards and committees. Dr. Mendel also serves as Director of the National Center on Nonprofit Enterprise.

Learn more and listen now »

NASA Small Business Knowledge Portal

NASA Office of Small Business Programs

The NASA Office of Small Business Programs offers a series of webinars with in-depth training relevant to small businesses. These webinars will provide the opportunity to ask questions directly to key points of contact at the Agency. In addition, our podcast series explores a wide range of topics from NASA and other agencies to determine how they see the small business program and what small businesses can do to support them. Webinars are hosted by the Office of Small Business Programs at NASA Headquarters in Washington, DC.

Learn more and register »

Global Reach. Local Benefits. | US Foreign Trade Zone Program: FTZ #40

Port Cleveland, December 2020

View the Presentation »

The Impact and Opportunities for Cleveland Hopkins International Airport on the Proposed District and Surrounding Regions

Alexander Sekhniashvili, November 2020

Current conditions brought on by COVID-19 pandemic are giving rise to immediate, medium, and long-term change and opportunities for Cleveland Hopkins International Airport (hereafter CLE) to generate revenue beyond the long-standing funding model, to serve as a conduit and gateway to attract high-value targeted industries, goods, and jobs, benefitting the surrounding region. This condition has taken place while the Airport prepares its next twenty-year plan.

Simultaneously, as the Aerozone Alliance works to build The District or ‘Aerotropolis’ in collaboration with adjacent nearby communities and other key stakeholders, this thought paper examines the purpose and function of CLE as a central and complementary tenant of future initiatives. Read More »

Techno-Economic Feasibility Analysis of a Microgrid in Downtown Cleveland, Ohio

Citation:  Ahmed, Ali H.; Thomas, Andrew R.; and Henning, Mark, “Techno-Economic Feasibility Analysis of a Microgrid in Downtown Cleveland, Ohio” (2018). Urban Publications. 0 1 2 3 1559.

Increasing the resiliency of the electrical utility system in a region has numerous benefits to the residents, companies, and public entities operating in that region ranging from improved safety to financial impacts. However, attracting political interest and capital for such a major infrastructure improvement project requires an expectation from the potential participants that the project will be technically possible and economically attractive for investors. Performing a feasibility study is an important first step to ensure that a project is worthy of pursuit from both a technical and economic viewpoint. Read More »

Valuing Resiliency from Microgrids: How End Users Can Estimate the Marginal Value of Resilient Power

Citation:  Thomas, Andrew R. and Henning, Mark, “Valuing Resiliency from Microgrids: How End Users Can Estimate the Marginal Value of Resilient Power” (2017). Urban Publications. 0 1 2 3 1516.

This report is part of a general microgrid planning evaluation for Cleveland, Ohio undertaken by Cleveland State University and Case Western Reserve University, underwritten by the Cleveland Foundation. The evaluation has been undertaken in collaboration with Cuyahoga County and the City of Cleveland. This report focuses on one of the more important questions posed in building a microgrid: what is the marginal value of reliable power to end users? Read More »

The Economic and Fiscal Impact of a Microgrid in Downtown Cleveland, Ohio

Citation:  Thomas, Andrew R.; Henning, Mark; Date, Kirby; and Simons, Robert A., “The Economic and Fiscal Impact of a Microgrid in Downtown Cleveland, Ohio” (2018). Urban Publications. 0 1 2 3 1560.

This report relates the results of an investigation into market conditions for a proposed microgrid in downtown Cleveland, Ohio, as well the potential for additional jobs, income, and tax revenues that might accompany such an enterprise. Power interruptions have been estimated to cost commercial and industrial customers more than $100 billion each year in the United States.1 Because microgrids can reduce or eliminate power disruptions, the proposed microgrid could position Cleveland to capture growth among those industries that experience relatively greater losses when power outages occur. This includes momentary interruptions, which account for a “substantial portion”2 of such costs. The improved quality, reliability, resiliency, and security associated with a Cleveland microgrid could offer a locational advantage in attracting companies for which a power interruption is particularly costly. Access to clean, distributed generation is also an attribute that is of significant interest to commercial end users. Read More »

Welcome to Greater Cleveland and the Aerozone Alliance

Greater Cleveland Partnership (October 2020)

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The Aerozone: A Great Place to Live, Work & Grow