Resiliency | The City of Lakewood, Ohio


Planning to meet the challenges of the future

Update February 26, 2018

On Tuesday, February 20th, a resolution was introduced to City Council to officially create the Resiliency Task Force. After some earlier discussion, Council elected to expand the size of the Task Force to thirteen members. Each Councilperson will make an individual appointment to the Task Force, and the Mayor received the authority to make six appointments.

To that end, Mayor Summers announced his six appointments to the Task Force at the same meeting. Those six appointments are:

Ali Ahmed

Mr. Ahmed is a regional expert in energy and sustainability. He is the founder of Green Strategies LLC, where he assists corporations and large organizations with their energy and infrastructure planning. As the former Global Energy Leader for Cisco Systems, his programs reduced energy consumption and costs across the company’s global footprint. He is currently leading a group studying microgrid technology in partnership with the City of Cleveland and Cleveland State University.

Michael Fodor

Mr. Fodor is a veteran of the financial industry, who returned to Northeast Ohio to pursue a second career in urban planning.  A graduate of DePual University’s Sustainable Urban Development program, Michael is an enthusiastic and engaged member of the planning community. He is particularly interested in the unique opportunity that cities have to be proactive in planning and development to ensure a more sustainable, resilient and equitable future.

Kate Anderson Foley

Ms. Anderson Foley served as the Director of Student Services for Lakewood City Schools from 2006-2011, where she was focused primarily on implementation of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Improvement Act. Kate then served in high-level positions with the Chicago Public Schools and Illinois State Board of Education where she continued to advance special education and innovation in one of the nation’s largest school districts. Her experience in systems thinking and running large organizations is exceptional.

Nicholas LaPointe

Mr. LaPointe is the Director of Planning & Capital Development for the Port of Cleveland. He has extensive experience in the planning and construction of infrastructure projects. As a registered Professional Engineer, Nick is very experienced in the construction and design of large projects. At the Port, Nick is responsible for fitting infrastructure projects into the capital budget. This experience will be valuable as the Task Force evaluates proposals both on their impact and their return on investment.

David Turner

Mr. Turner serves as External Affairs Officer for First Energy. In this role, he assists communities and key stakeholders in understanding the role energy and energy related services plays in our local economy and provides tools for residents and customers to use that create value and increase quality of life in our region. David will provide the group with an important connection to a regional partner along with his expertise in infrastructure systems.

Nicholas Zingale 

Mr. Zingale is a professor in Cleveland State University’s Levin College of Urban Affairs. Nick’s research is focused on public policy, organizational theory, and leadership. Nick is currently part of a collaborative effort between CSU and Case Western Reserve University which is focused on the Internet of things and its impact on cities. This team is currently preparing a grant application to the National Science Foundation to fund a pilot program to measure road conditions using ground penetrating radar mounted on city vehicles. In addition to his deep knowledge of public policy, Nick will provide the task force with insights from the academic community and the state of current research of resiliency topics.


Update December 7, 2017

On December 7th, the Planning Staff and the Mayor made a presentation to the Planning Commission to kickoff the resiliency initiative. An annotated version of that presentation can be found here and the video recording of the presentation can be found here.

Resiliency planning will build upon the foundation of the Community Vision to allow Lakewood to endure, adapt, and thrive in a future no matter what kinds of chronic stresses or acute shocks it experiences.

A Resiliency Task Force will be formed to continue the research and planning summarized in this presentation. This citizen-led panel will fill in gaps in existing City plans, find alignment between existing plans, collect public input, and develop strategies and priorities to make Lakewood the most resilient city in Ohio.

This presentation also introduced ReThink Advisors. ReThink is a group of consultants with deep experience in this field who will assist the Resiliency Task Force in their research and recommendations.

Applications will be taken for seats on the Task Force through the month of December (please see instructions in the sidebar). Evaluation of applications and appointments by City Council and the Mayor are anticipated in January.

What is Resiliency?

Resiliency is the ability of a system to absorb internal and external shocks – environmental, social and economic shocks. Purposeful planning with a focus on resiliency will address the local effects of climate change, globalization, population growth, overconsumption, housing insecurity, rising healthcare costs, and much more. See the photo stream at the bottom of this page for examples of how Lakewood and other communities are becoming more resilient.

Mayor Mike Summers stated “What we know now is that this thinking should be included in the city’s Community Vision. Adding this focus to the Vision will stretch our abilities to better anticipate how we can ensure Lakewood’s vibrancy for decades to come.”

The Community Vision master plan was crafted in 2012 with direct and focused engagement with the community. The City has leveraged the Vision with great success over the last 5 years. The City has begun to benchmark the Vision, along with the city’s other planning efforts against some national planning templates, and believe there are opportunities that can make the Vision even more effective. Specifically, the city has recognized opportunities for the community to think more strategically about the topic of resiliency.

Building the Task Force

The City is developing a diverse panel of citizens who are experts in their field to analyze and create a resiliency strategy. Topics considered under the umbrella of resiliency include: Energy, Food Systems, Smart Cities, Water, Waste, Smart Building, Inclusive Design and many others. To see a list of all identified topics and how they fit with existing Community Vision goals, click here. The ideal task force member will have training and professional experience in one of the considered topics, a demonstrated ability for big-picture systems thinking, and a vision for more purposeful urban design.

Task Force members will work with City staff and expert consultants to establish goals, tactics, programs, and priorities that will guide the City’s long-term planning. Ultimately, this group will deliver a report to Planning Commission and City Council that will become a part of the Community Vision.

Nine Task Force members will be appointed by City Council (5) and the Mayor (4). To apply for a seat on the Task Force, contact City Planner Alex Harnocz at Please submit a professional resume along with a brief cover letter describing your interest in resiliency planning and any training or professional experience that would enhance your contribution to the Task Force.

Resiliency Is…

  • Resources+-

  • Task Force Members+-

    To apply for a seat on the Task Force, contact City Planner Alex Harnocz at Please submit a professional resume along with a brief cover letter describing your interest in resiliency planning and any training or professional experience that would enhance your contribution to the Task Force.

  • Contact Us+-

    City Planner Alex Harnocz is assigned to the Resiliency Task Force

    He can be reached at:

  • Resiliency Email Sign-Up+-

    Resiliency E-Mail Sign-Up

    Add me to Lakewood’s Resiliency email list (Sign up to receive public meeting notifications, website updates, etc.).