top of page


Upon first seeing the rich forests along the Cuyahoga River, General Moses Cleaveland began to have visions of a great new city. So it was that in 1796, between the banks of the Cuyahoga and the shores of Lake Erie, the City of Cleveland was born. By the late 1800s, Cleveland had asserted itself as a major economic player, thanks to its booming steel industry and access to waterways. It was destined to become an industrial giant that attracted thousands of immigrants over the next century.

Considered to be a part of both the Midwestern United States and the “Great Lakes Region,” Cleveland is the second-largest city in Ohio and the seat of Cuyahoga County. It’s also the focal point of the Greater Cleveland metropolitan area or “Cleveland Plus,” which includes neighboring Akron, Canton, and Youngstown. Roughly 390,000 people live in the 82-square-mile City itself, but over 2 million populate Cleveland Plus, enjoying the region’s warm summers and cold, snowy winters.

While the steel manufacturing industries still exist, Cleveland’s current revival is largely due to its thriving healthcare and biotechnology industries and its strong focus on research and academics. The City is home to dozens of the country’s best medical centers, such as the Cleveland Clinic, University Hospitals, and MetroHealth. Cleveland also welcomes college and graduate students to choose among 27 universities that include Case Western Reserve University, John Carroll University, and the Cleveland Institute of Art. University Circle, Cleveland’s world-class center for education, medicine, art, and culture and one of the top employment districts in the state, fosters partnerships between the City’s top universities, health care systems, and renowned cultural institutions. Strolling around University Circle will reveal local gems such as the Cleveland Museum of Art, the Cleveland Botanical Gardens, the Cleveland Museum of Natural History, and the Cleveland Cultural Gardens, a collection of public gardens in Rockefeller Park that stand as living monuments to each of the City’s 26 major ethnic groups.

As the urban hub of the nation’s twelfth-largest economy, Cleveland has also become fertile ground for the cultivation of business and entrepreneurship. With the influx of business comes urban renovation, and the region currently boasts more than $17 billion in capital developments ($2.7 billion of which is tourism-related). Following the promise of job opportunities, a thriving downtown, and a low cost of living, Cleveland is attracting more and more young professionals. Recently, the City was even named among the top ten metropolitan areas in the nation.

The renaissance is real – Cleveland’s reemergence not just as an appealing place to live and start a business but also as a popular tourist destination is making headlines, and the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame isn’t the only thing bringing visitors. Music lovers can also hear the world-renowned Cleveland Orchestra, or spend an evening at the House of Blues or one of the City’s many indie concert venues. And for those who live for the stage, Cleveland offers Playhouse Square, the second largest theater district in the country, featuring the largest outdoor chandelier in the world. Cleveland’s professional sports teams – the Cleveland Cavaliers basketball team starring Lebron James, the Cleveland Browns football team, and the Cleveland Indians baseball team – add to the downtown’s entertainment scene and boast diehard fans. Those who prefer the outdoors can lose themselves in the “Emerald Necklace,” the 21,000 acres of parks, running and hiking trails, bridle paths, and nature centers that make up the Cleveland Metroparks.

Cleveland program organized by

Cleveland Council
on World Affairs
Cleveland council on world affairs logo1.png

Andrew Kovach


Program Officer

Maria Garcia-Olalla


Program Associate

bottom of page