You are browsing the archive for 2013 January.

Mahoning River Corridor People’s Garden Program

January 31, 2013 in ACT, Mahoning, Quality Connected Places, Trumbull

The Mahoning River Corridor People’s Garden Program, funded by a grant to the Youngstown Neighborhood Development Corporation (YNDC) by the United States Department of Agriculture, will provide microgrants for the establishment of gardens to serve as community educational resources to residents of Mahoning River Corridor communities. Groups located within Lowellville, Struthers, Campbell, Youngstown, Girard, McDonald, Niles, Warren and Newton Falls are eligible to apply. All projects must be new garden spaces, and can be vegetable gardens, recreational gardens, or wildlife gardens. Projects will be chosen based on innovative design, community impact, project sustainability, and the project’s potential for community environmental education. Training workshops will be held In the month of February (see dates and locations below). A representative of each group applying for a grant must attend one of these training workshops. In 2012, the program supported the creation of 10 new gardens in Mahoning River Corridor Communities, including community vegetable gardens and native planting gardens. In 2013, the program will support 10-12 new garden spaces.

Grants will assist community groups with the establishment of new gardens, including vegetable gardens, recreational gardens, and wildlife gardens. Grants will be awarded through a competitive process, in which grantees will design their garden project and demonstrate community support and resources for the projects. Projects must be new or beginning their first year of full operation. Projects will be chosen based on innovative design, community impact, project sustainability, and the project’s potential for community environmental education. The program will be focused on neighborhood associations and resident groups, building their capacity to respond to challenges in their own neighborhoods through the creation of gardens on existing vacant land and the establishment, maintenance, and use of community forests as neighborhood assets. All garden projects will receive technical assistance and educational signage.

For additional information on how to apply

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University Park Alliance: 2013 Urban Innovator Speaker Series

January 30, 2013 in News, Planning and Zoning, Quality Connected Places, Summit

2013 Urban Innovators Speaker Series
Time: 6:30 PM to 8:00 PM
Date(s): 01-30-2013 to 03-20-2013
Price: Free

Reserve now! Seating will be limited to 100 per presentation and reservations are required. Call 330-777-2070 or email info@upakron.com

January 30th and February 20th Speaker Series programs will be held at the Andrew Jackson House – Ballroom at 277 E. Mill Street, Akron, OH 44308, the corner of E. Mill and Union Streets.

March 20th Speaker Series program will be held at Quaker Square at the corner of E. Mill Street and N. Broadway, Akron, OH 44308

January 30th:
Redesigning the Urban Landscape: Developing a Natural Sense of Place – Sabrena Schweyer & Samuel Salsbury, Salsbury-Schweyer, Inc.

February 20th:
Transforming Vacant Spaces: Creating Value from Vacancy in the Urban Footprint – Terry Schwarz, Cleveland Urban Design Collaborative

March 20th:
Cohousing: A Unique Approach to Alternative Housing – Sharon Sykora, Ph.D., Slippery Rock University

UPA’s Urban Innovators Speaker Series features world-class thinkers and practitioners presenting creative approaches to revitalizing our city center. Historically cities have been the engines of the U.S. economy and today play an even greater role in fostering economic growth as incubators of innovation. This series provides a platform for the sharing of best practices and the exploration of ideas to transform thinking and accelerate the kinds of core city investment that will lead to competitive success for Greater Akron in the new urban economy.

The Series is presented by University Park Alliance and underwritten by the Greater Akron Chamber.

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A Tool for the Snowy Weather

January 29, 2013 in News


BuckeyeTraffic

Wouldn’t it be nice to know what the roads are like before you leave your home? Now you can thanks to the people at the Ohio Department of Transportation.

ODOT Home

Buckeye Traffic (www.buckeyetraffic.org) provides Ohio travelers with up-to-date information on road conditions, traffic, construction, and other activity affecting roadways managed by The Ohio Department of Transportation (ODOT). Information provided by this site is updated frequently and comes from a variety of sources, such as pavement sensors and monitoring stations, traffic cameras, and through direct input by ODOT personnel. Whereas the information in this site is kept accurate and up-to-date as possible, Ohio travelers should refer to local and regional information outlets and agencies for the latest information during weather/disaster emergencies. This site is maintained by ODOT.

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Peer Grantee Spotlight: From Brownfield to Mixed-Use

January 28, 2013 in News, Quality Connected Places, Sustainability

Canal Crossing — From Brownfields to Mixed-Use Community

Several sites within the Canal Crossing Redevelopment Area require environmental remediation. Image courtesy of Hudconja.

In the mid-19th century, industry flourished around the Morris Canal in Jersey City, New Jersey. As transportation technology improved, the canal was filled in and used as a corridor for freight rail and heavy trucks, which led to the establishment of more intensive industries and neighborhoods for workers in the area. By the mid-20th century, however, many industries had abandoned the city, leaving the areas near the canal with obsolete buildings, contaminated soil, and deteriorated neighborhoods. To address the neighborhood decline, Jersey City created the Canal Crossing Redevelopment Area and, in 2009, approved the Canal Crossing Redevelopment Plan. The plan calls for the 111-acre area to be redeveloped as a mixed-use, mixed-income, transit-oriented community designed in accordance with smart growth, new urbanism, and green building principles. The Jersey City Redevelopment Agency (JCRA) took a major step toward achieving the plan’s goals when it was awarded almost $2.3 million in a joint HUD Community Challenge Grant and U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) Tiger II Planning Grant in October 2010.

 To read the entire grantee spotlight article at HUDUser, click here.

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Cleveland Launches a Bike Share Study

January 25, 2013 in News, Sustainability, Transportation

Over the next 6 months, Cleveland’s Bike Share Task Force will be taking a look at the feasibility of bike sharing and reviewing recommended business models for operating a system in the city. Building off of recent momentum in cycling and complete and green streets, the Mayor’s Office of Sustainability issued a Request for Proposals in autumn 2012 and has contracted with Toole Design Group (TDG) as the lead consultant for this project.

Bike Share Task Force: In anticipation of the feasibility study, the Bike Share Task Force formed to provide a platform to advise the project and to assist with stakeholder engagement. The Bike Share Task Force consists of representatives from many organizations who see the potential benefits of bike sharing in Cleveland:

  • Mayor’s Office of Sustainability
  • ClevelandCity Planning
  • GreenCityBlueLake Institute
  • Bike Cleveland
  • Greater Cleveland Regional Transit Authority
  • Cleveland City Planning Commission
  • Positively Cleveland
  • Midtown Cleveland
  • Ohio City Inc.
  • Downtown Cleveland Alliance/Cleveland Bike Rack
  • Northeast Ohio Areawide Coordinating Agency
  • Cuyahoga County
  • University Circle Inc.

Consultants: The lead consultant, TDG is a leading engineering, planning, and landscape architecture firm specializing in multi-modal transportation.  TDG served as the author and principal investigator for Bike Sharing in The United States: State of the Practice and Guide to Implementation (2012), an independent study of current bike sharing programs in the United States, on behalf of the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA). The purpose of the guide is to assist communities contemplating bike share with answers to common questions, guidance on conducting feasibility studies, and information on how to successfully launch and manage a program. www.bicyclinginfo.org/bikeshare

BrownFlynn is a sub-consultant that will lead the community engagement portion of the feasibility study. BrownFlynn is a women-owned sustainability and corporate social responsibility consulting firm

bikesharemap

Current bike share systems operating in the United States. Click for an interactive map.

Why Now? Bicycling in Cleveland is on the rise. The most recent American Community Survey indicated an increase of 280% from 2000 to 2010 of people commuting to work by bicycle. Numerous bicycle-related businesses and services have opened in the City, including a commuter bike parking station, The Bike Rack. This past September cyclists and civic leaders created Bike Cleveland, a unified bicycle advocacy organization serving greater Cleveland.

Also, the City has recently adopted two pieces of legislation that will increase safety for the growing number of cyclists:

1. The first Complete and Green Streets ordinance in the state that requires road projects to incorporate best practices in Complete Streets and Green Infrastructure.

2. The Bicycle Transportation Safety ordinance that includes provisions to make streets safer for biking and walking, including a 3-ft passing requirement.

Benefits of Bike Sharing: Bike-sharing in urban areas can positively affect how residents, employees, and visitors experience a city.  Bike-transit systems allow for more people to access cycling for short trips, replace vehicle use, cycle for fitness and recreation, and for tourists and residents alike to explore a city.

Project Details: The Bike Share study is divided into two sections: a feasibility study and, dependent on the results of the feasibility study, an implementation plan for a flexible and automated on-demand bicycle sharing system. The feasibility study will include locations and sitings, integration with the existing transit system, technical discussions, and best practices. The feasibility study will incorporate public engagement in order to gather data about public interest and public feedback pertaining to bike sharing in the City. We anticipate the engagement process will address the particular needs of geographic areas of the City and the transportation network.

If determined feasible, the Implementation Plan portion of the project will provide a concise and comprehensive plan for the launch of the bike share network, including:

  • realistic projected costs of implementation;
  • recommended business model and business plan;
  • timeline for implementation;
  • performance standards/evaluation criteria; and
  • operations and maintenance plan.

Cleveland is  looking forward to launching this project this month and determining if and how bike sharing can be a beneficial option for Cleveland’s citizens, commuters and visitors provide economic development opportunity and reduce our city’s carbon footprint.

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Sustainability Pays off In Summit County

January 24, 2013 in News

Non-profits and businesses in Summit County, Ohio are taking the proper measures to make a Green Print in the county, with The Summit of Sustainability Awards.  According to the site, The Summit of Sustainability Award is a natural outgrowth of the City of Akron’s Green Print which since March of 2008 has worked to quantify the impacts government, commercial/industrial, and residential activities on our environment. The Green Ribbon Panel’s (charged with driving Green Print change) Education and Outreach Subcommittee knew that there were many sustainability success stories within the business and non-profit community throughout Summit County and felt those successes could serve as a guide for other organizations seeking to achieve triple bottom line improvements: People, Profit and Planet.  A group of area companies and non-profits who had shown a dedication to sustainability practices along with the City and County was convened to create a regional recognition process that could grow over time.  The group felt strongly that the initial application process should be simple and broad to allow many organizations to participate.  They also wanted to create a central website that could become an ongoing resource for new tools and techniques that were shown to be successful in day-to-day practice. The Summit of Sustainability Award Panel highly encourages all companies and non-profits to consider applying for the award.  For more information about The Summit of Sustainability Awards, visit the website at http://www.summitofsustainability.org/

NEOSCC Board elects new officers to lead Vibrant NEO 2040 planning process

January 23, 2013 in Board Meetings, News

At our board meeting yesterday, the Northeast Ohio Sustainable Communities Consortium Board elected a new slate of Board officers and members of the Board’s Executive Committee. These officers will lead the organization throughout 2013, the final year of the initial, three-year federal grant.

“This slate of Board officers and Executive Committee members provides NEOSCC with the leadership of some of the best planning minds in the region,” said Hunter Morrison, NEOSCC Executive Director. “This year our focus will be on conducting the Scenario Planning process and creating the Vibrant NEO 2040 plan. These officers, led by Grace Gallucci, the new Executive Director of NOACA, gives us a reservoir of expertise and experience that will help ensure that the Vibrant NEO 2040 plan is an innovative, actionable framework for improving this region’s future.”

2013 NEOSCC Board Officers:
Board Chair: Grace Gallucci, Northeast Ohio Area-wide Coordinating Agency (NOACA)
First Vice-Chair: Bob Nau, Stark County Regional Planning/Stark County Area Transportation Study (SCATS)
Second Vice-Chair: Jason Segedy, Akron Metropolitan Area Transportation Study (AMATS)
Third Vice-Chair: Rachel McCartney, Eastgate Council of Governments
Treasurer: Steve Hambley, NOACA
Secretary: Fred Wright, Akron Urban League

The Executive Committee is made up of the Board officers and additional Board members selected by the Board. The new Executive Committee members are:

Eastgate Director: John Getchey, Eastgate Council of Governments
SCATS Region At-large: Jeff Dutton, Stark County Area Transportation Study
Eastgate Region At-large: Bill D’Avignon, City of Youngstown
AMATS Region At-large: Gene Nixon, Summit County Health District
NOACA Region At-large Freddie Collier, City of Cleveland
NEFCO Region At-Large: Joe Hadley, NEFCO
Fund for our Economic Future: Brad Whitehead, Fund for our Economic Future
Regional Prosperity Initiative: Mike Lyons, Regional Prosperity Initiative

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Alternatives Begin Fueling Transit in Northeast Ohio

January 18, 2013 in News, Transportation

A number of Northeast Ohio Transit Agencies have begun to look at alternative ways to fuel public transportation.  Last year, Stark Area RTA unveiled their new Clean Natural Gas system used to fuel a number of new buses at SARTA.

CNG is the Cleaner, Greener, Domestic and more Affordable option.

Cleaner:

Reduces health-harming air pollutants - 95% less particulate matter, carbon monoxide emissions and 80% less nitrogen oxide emissions.  (U.S. Department of Energy National Renewable Energy Labratory).

Greener:

Lowers greenhouse gas emissions by 26-29% in cars and light trucks and 23% in medium to heavy-duty vehicles.

Domestic:

98% of natural gas is produced in North America; reducing our dependence on foreign oil.

Affordable:

Costs 25-40% less than diesel fuel (1/3 of the cost of traditional gasoline), has maintenance costs equal to or less than gasoline or diesel vehiles.

SARTA will see a savings of over $300,000 per year by making the switch. 

 

This week, the Greater Cleveland RTA announced that it will be testing out a new hydrogen fuel-cell bus in Cleveland in tandem with the NASA Glenn Fuel Cell Bus 3.jpgResearch Center. From Cleveland.com:

The Greater Cleveland Regional Transit Authority has teamed with NASA Glenn Research Center to bring the bus to town and keep it refueled at a bus garage in East Cleveland.

The setup is among only a few in the country, supported in part by a federal program testing the practicality of hydrogen-fueled buses.

They run cleaner, quieter and more efficiently than diesel-fueled coaches.

Lowering transit demand for diesel and other fossil fuels could help lessen dependence on foreign oil, advocates say.

And sparking demand for buses running on hydrogen fuel cells could boost a fledgling industry.

“Our partnership with NASA has made it possible to offer the first of this technology in Ohio,” said Mike Lively, manager of RTA’s Operations Analysis, Research and Systems Department. “We are excited to offer it to our riders and the Cleveland community.”

RTA acquired the distinctive, green-and-white bus for up to a year. It’s a no-cost loaner from United Technologies Corp., a Vermont-based company that makes fuel cells. The company is working with the Federal Transit Administration to test the performance, operating cost, reliability and safety of the buses. They cost a lot more than conventional coaches.

RTA’s bus seats 57 and will roll up to 80 miles a day. The transit agency will cover operating costs and has already paid NASA Glenn and its contractors $50,000 to install the fueling equipment.

Local advocates of alternative energy have pursued the hydrogen-fueled bus for several years.

The Cleveland Foundation supplied a grant that helped NASA Glenn and the Ohio Aerospace Institute ship in a hydrogen-fueling station once used in Vermont.

Crews also installed an electrolyzer from Kennedy Space Center in Florida. The device separates hydrogen from water, allowing the gas to be stored at the fueling station and pumped into tanks aboard the bus.

NASA pioneered fuel cell technologies 50 years ago for manned space flight.

“We’re hopeful that we show to the community how straightforward it is to deal with hydrogen and how simple and effective it is,” said Valerie Lyons, chief of NASA’s power and in-space propulsion division.

Sierra Lobo, a NASA Glenn contractor, installed the fueling station at RTA’s Hayden Garage in East Cleveland. That facility already had equipment for compressed natural gas.

The station will feature 50 hydrogen sensors developed by NASA Glenn, Case Western Reserve University and a California company.

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SC2019 Kicks Off Year of Advanced & Renewable Energy

January 17, 2013 in News, Quality Connected Places, Sustainability


Sustainable Cleveland 2019 (SC2019) is a 10-year initiative launched by the City of Cleveland in 2009 that engages everyone to work together to design and develop a thriving and resilient Cleveland that leverages its wealth of assets to build economic, social and environmental well-being for all.

Every year leading up to 2019, Cleveland will focus on one of the key areas fundamental to a sustainable economy. The Sustainable Cleveland Celebration Points are designed to be accessible to all members of the community — households, neighborhoods, businesses, and institutions can all participate, either in collaboration or independently.

Renewable-POST In celebrating 2013 as the Year of Renewable and Advanced Energy, SC 2019 is inviting everyone to attend launch party …

The winds of change… come and join us. Learn how Advanced and Renewable  Energy works  in Cleveland and Northeast Ohio. Learn about solar, wind, hydrogen, fuel cells, bio-energy, energy efficiency and more!

Stop by informational tables to hear how you can save money  and reduce your energy  consumption at work, home, and in your community.

Also come taste samples and purchase your new favorite healthy foods on site.

The event is  FREE and easily accessible via RTA. Parking available at the Willard Garage at regular price.

When: January 31, 2013 at 11:00am – 2:00pm
Where: Cleveland City Hall Rotunda, 601 Lakeside Ave. E., Cleveland, OH 44114
Cost: Free

Contact: Philena Seldon (216) 664-2801 pseldon@cleveland.oh.us

Please note, must have photo ID to enter City Hall

For more information, visit http://sustainablecleveland.org

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Attention Developers and Investors: Smart Growth and Economic Success

January 16, 2013 in News, Planning and Zoning, Quality Connected Places

Smart Growth and Economic Success

Smart growth development is compact and walkable and provides a diverse range of choices in land uses, building types, transportation, homes, workplace locations, and stores. Such development projects are attractive to private-sector interests because they can find a ready market and compete financially. They appeal to local governments because they can be the building blocks of a growing economy and high-quality, economically sustainable neighborhoods and communities while also helping to create a cleaner, healthier environment. Some of the advantages for developers, communities, and local governments associated with smart growth include:

  • Compact development: Using land and resources more efficiently and redeveloping old or neglected areas while retaining existing infrastructure can create economic advantages for real estate developers and investors, businesses, and local governments. Compact development can generate more revenue per acre because it uses land more efficiently. It can reduce the costs of land and infrastructure for individual projects and the costs of providing fire and police protection, utilities, schools, and other public amenities. By locating companies closer together, compact development can create a density of employment that increases economic productivity and attracts additional investment.
  • Walkability: Walkable neighborhoods have well-connected streets and a mix of land uses near each other, making not only walking but also bicycling and transit more convenient and appealing. Projects in walkable neighborhoods command a price premium, earning real estate developers and investors a higher return on investment. Improvements to streets and sidewalks to make them more appealing to pedestrians can benefit local businesses by attracting more customers. In turn, local governments benefit through additional property and sales tax revenue.
  • Range of choices: People and businesses value places that bring together a variety of activities to create vibrant environments. The demand for such places exceeds the supply. Many people in the two largest demographic cohorts, baby boomers and their children, are particularly interested in lively neighborhoods with their daily needs close by. Communities with access to transit also help people reduce their transportation costs, enabling them to save money or spend more on their homes, entertainment, or other things they value. Changing demographics will likely further increase the demand for smart growth development over the coming decades; developers, investors, businesses, and local governments who respond to these market preferences could reap economic advantages.

Smart Growth and Economic Success is the first in a series of reports from EPA’s Smart Growth Program designed to inform developers, businesses, local government, and other groups about the benefits of smart growth development. This report incorporates feedback from a one-day workshop in December 2011 when business leaders, real estate developers, and economic development professionals came together to share their thoughts and make suggestions about how to expand on work in this area. Additional reports will build on this work, exploring how real estate developers and investors can overcome real and perceived barriers to benefit from infill opportunities, how decisions about where to locate will impact the bottom lines of businesses, and why smart growth strategies are good fiscal policy for local governments.Visit the EPA website to download a PDF of the Report.

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