2012 October

31 Oct: Learn and Share: Are environmental conditions in Northeast Ohio getting better or worse?

With the weather, rainfall and flooding in the news, we thought it an appropriate time to discuss the Environment Work Stream findings.  Are environmental conditions in Northeast Ohio getting better or worse? The answer to that question depends a lot on the type of environmental issue being considered.  Here is a bit of a summary for rainy day reading. Since the 1970s, the region has made a lot of progress cleaning up what is typically thought of as “pollution.” Industry has reduced emissions from smokestacks and effluent pipes. Wastewater treatment plants are doing a much better job treating sewage. And some of dirtiest sources of industrial pollution have closed down or moved to places with lower environmental standards. As a result, the air and water are cleaner than they used to be. But other types of environmental issues have been harder to address. These are “nonpoint” sources of pollution —…

30 Oct: Learn and Create: AMATS Connecting Communities Grants

AMATS, the Akron Metropolitan Area Transportation Study, is one of the four Metropolitan Planning Organizations involved in Vibrant NEO 2040 that we discussed in our post last week.  One of their many initiatives is the Connecting Communities program which “is designed to provide communities with funding to develop transportation plans that will lead to the identification of projects eligible for AMATS funds.” The Connecting Communities grant program was a recommendation from  AMATS’s Connecting Communities Planning Initiative (link is to a large pdf file) in 2010.   The purpose of Connecting Communities – A Guide to Integrating Land Use and Transportation is to promote a region that balances environmental, social and economic concerns by improving coordination between land use and transportation. Connecting Communities utilizes a regional planning process to explore strategies to increase transportation choices and accessibility, help communities make collaborative, informed decisions to coordinate development, reduce environmental impacts and improve regional connectivity….

29 Oct: Act: Help us spread the word

  As a partner, supporter and/or member of NEOSCC, you have likely heard us mention our new Conditions and Trends Platform (CAT), an online tool designed to help Northeast Ohioans understand, talk about and contribute to the future of our region. We are very excited about the potential of this tool, and we need your help to make sure it gets seen and shared. We are relying on you and your fellow NEOSCC supporters to help spread the word about the Conditions and Trends platform to your colleagues, friends and family across the region. We’ve made it easy for you; in the attached Toolkit, you will find several components designed to help you talk about and share the Conditions and Trends Platform with your networks, in person and especially online.     Conditions and Trends Toolkit: What It Is and How to Use It NEOSCC’s Conditions and Trends Platform (CAT)…

26 Oct: Act: Add your voice to transportation projects!

A significant component of NEOSCC’s leadership are the four Metropolitan Planning Organizations in Northeast Ohio. What is a Metropolitan Planning Organization? You can find out in the following presentation – NEOSCC_Overview_101_What is an MPO.  Here is some quick background:   NEOSCC and the Vibrant NEO 2040 planning process includes the following MPO’s and their county jurisdictions: Akron Metropolitan Area Transportation Study (AMATS) – Portage and Summit Counties Eastgate Regional Council of Governments – Mahoning and Trumbull Counties Northeast Ohio Area Coordinating Area (NOACA) – Cuyahoga, Geauga, Lake, Lorain, and Medina Counties Stark County Regional Planning Commission and the Stark County Area Transportation Study (SCATS) – Stark County The two other counties Ashtabula and Wayne County that are part of the Vibrant NEO 2040 effort are covered through Councils of Governments.  This is a topic that will be covered soon in the Vibrant Daily. As part of their planning process, the MPO’s…

25 Oct: What makes a quality connected place?

One of the Vibrant NEO 2040 work streams is focused on the attributes of a quality connected place and the elements that lead to vibrant place making. We have many of these great spaces and places through Northeast Ohio that truly make our 12 county region unique. A good way to begin analyzing these attributes of quality connected places is to think about what we have as assets in the region. Northeast Ohio is a diverse, vibrant and exciting region, with assets, attributes and points of pride in every community. Those assets may be natural wonders, historic buildings, cultural monuments, arts institutions, etc. Everyone who lives here has his or her own idea of Northeast Ohio’s most important assets. NEOSCC has been working to catalog, map, and quantify the impact of Northeast Ohio’s regional and local assets. Because our assets make us what we are as a region, we want…

24 Oct: A Platform for Discussion

In June, the NEOSCC published its first report, the Conditions and Trends platform.  The platform is the result of over 150 experts in the region coming together to look at Northeast Ohio and how our land use effects economic development, the environment, housing and communities and transportation.  The resulting report was transformed into what we call a platform or launching place for engagement. By creating an on-line tool, we ensured that the platform can evolve as we engage the region in a discussion about existing conditions and trends.  It also creates the opportunity to add more data, maps and graphics as we become aware of these resources. We developed the Conditions and Trends Platform with four distinct ways for everyone in Northeast Ohio to learn about the findings: Themes – five themes were developed based on the relationship between the findings; Subject Matter (i.e. Economic Development, Environment, etc.); Maps/Geographies – the…

23 Oct: Learning and Sharing: Ashtabula County

In June, the Consortium launched its 12 Counties in 12 Months Board program to foster a better understanding of assets, successes and challenges across the region. Our board meeting today in Ashtabula County marks the NEOSCC’s fifth travelling board meeting. These day-long visits feature tours focused on economic, transportation, housing and environmental issues as well as discussions on best practices that are being employed.  The host county is also able to share its quality connected places and the assets that make each county in Northeast Ohio unique. Today in Ashtabula County, we will be meeting at the Spire Institute.  Located in Geneva, Ohio, the Institute is one of the largest indoor, multi-sport, training and competition complexes in the world.  The board will also be touring a variety of locations throughout Ashtabula during the morning. For those unfamiliar with the largest county in Ohio, here is some background from the Visit Ashtabula County…

22 Oct: Welcome to the new Vibrant NEO/NEOSCC Site!

In developing our new site we took great care to reflect the theme of our engagement process, Learn, Share, Create and Act.  Throughout these pages, and on our accompanying Conditions and Trends platform there are moments to learn about our initiative and some of our early findings, places to share your thoughts, suggestions and what you value most about Northeast Ohio, information to illustrate how you can help us create a shared vision through Vibrant NEO 2040 and suggestions on how you can take action with us as well as on your own. We welcome your comments and suggestions to how we can improve the site and more importantly how we can engage with you in our work together.