Mayor Earl M. Leiken
On Shaker Heights: “The City of Shaker Heights has a 100-year tradition of being at the forefront of change; we are known as early adopters of innovative ideas. With the transition to a knowledge-based economy, it is more important than ever to be a leader in securing equal access to affordable, high speed Internet for our City. In the 21st century, we consider this an essential service for our residents and business owners who have come to expect exceptional City services. We know, too, it will attract a new generation of residents and ignite bold economic development initiatives that are now underway. As Mayor, I know that establishing Shaker Heights as a gigabit community will be transformational. Indeed, it is key to securing a prosperous future for the City, our residents and businesses.”
On Next Century Cities: “Joining Next Century Cities offers the City of Shaker Heights the opportunity to share ideas and expertise with communities both large and small. The shared technical assistance has sped up our learning curve. It provides us with a built in network of experts, saving us both time and money as we move our project forward.”
What Shaker Heights is working on: The City of Shaker Heights considers an accessible, affordable high-speed fiber network an essential component of the city of tomorrow’s infrastructure. What’s clear is that where these networks have already been established, it has sparked innovation, attracted investment and created new collaborations not previously envisioned. We are currently in the analysis stage of researching options for how best to move the city towards achieving this vision citywide, starting with two mixed use neighborhoods. Our goals are to be at the forefront of making affordable, very high-speed connectivity available to all our residents, institutions and businesses; to explore the difference very high-speed connectivity would make to strengthening a neighborhood, attracting new residents and increasing property values; and to demonstrate how technology can facilitate a partnership between businesses, public institutions and residents to spur innovation. We are working jointly with our schools and library systems, and OneCommunity – a non-profit provider of advanced broadband services and mission-based programming in health and wellness, connected education and economic development.