You are browsing the archive for 2013 February.

Akron Urban League hosts Urban Issues Luncheon Series

February 12, 2013 in Communications, Housing, News, Quality Connected Places

The Vibrant NEO 2040 planning process has been assisted by five volunteer work streams – Economic Development, Environments, Housing & Communities, Connections, and Quality Connected Places.  Each one has a specific focus but some are broader than others.  In the Housing & Communities work stream, housing issues are an obvious focus but the term ‘community’ is harder to define.  The work stream also values the individual communities and neighborhoods in northeast Ohio by promoting the growth of a healthy, safe, and walkable region.

The Akron Urban League’s 2013 Urban Issues Luncheon Series covers some of those very issues, like safety and education.  The series opens at the Akron Urban League on Wednesday, February 13th with the topic, “In Search of Urban Peace:  Addressing Urban Violence”.  Click here to register or for more information.



February Issue of Vibrant NEO!

February 11, 2013 in ACT, Communications, Engagement

An excerpt from our the February Issue of Vibrant NEO!

NEOSCC has been quite busy since the first of the year. We have been working with the Sasaki Team (Scenario Planning Consultants) to develop an engaging visioning process for the region that will include many opportunities to get involved and share your thoughts. Our Regional Assessments of Impediments to Fair Housing Choice team has been reviewing preliminary data and conducting a region-wide survey for government officials and housing stakeholders.  NEOSCC is pleased to announce the schedule for the first round of Fair Housing Forums which kick off in March (see schedule here). In conjunction with all of this activity, we have been conducting engagement throughout the region to prepare for the Scenario Planning Process.


What is Scenario Planning and when do we get to find out about the opportunities for engagement?

At the end of this month, we will be publishing a special edition of Vibrant Northeast Ohio that will answer all your questions about the process and how you can make your voice heard!

Isn’t there anything you can share now?

Yes, we will be having three rounds of workshops throughout the region. These will take place around the end of April, end of July and beginning of August.

We will also be launching a dynamic on-line tool to gather your priorities and vision for the future.

OK, What Can I do in the meantime?

Glad you asked…A couple of things:
Help us with our Social Media Drive to 1000

Add your Voice and Get Involved

Continue reading our newsletter

What Can I Do Today


Share Your Thoughts on Fair Housing: NEOSCC 2013 Northeast Ohio Fair Housing Forums in March

February 8, 2013 in Engagement, Housing, News

You are invited to attend!  The NEOSCC is currently undertaking a study to evaluate fair housing throughout the 12 Counties of Northeast Ohio.  It is known as a Regional Analysis of Impediments to Fair Housing Choice. Through a series of Fair Housing Forums, we are reaching out to each of the 12 Counties to listen to your thoughts on this important issue.

Listen to preliminary findings of the study.  Provide your knowledge, opinions, and feelings about fair housing choice.  Please offer your suggestions on how to eliminate impediments to fair housing choice – ways we can work together to further fair housing in Northeast Ohio.

State and Federal fair housing laws prohibit discrimination in housing based on race, color, religion, sex, national origin, disability, familial status, ancestry or military status.

Meeting Schedule

March 11
9:00am – Summit County, Akron Urban League (President’s Hall), 440 Vernon Odom Blvd., Akron
1:30pm – Cuyahoga County, Cuyahoga Metropolitan Housing Authority (Corporate Offices, Board Room)
8120 Kinsman Rd., Cleveland
6:00pm – Cuyahoga County, Hall of La Sagrada Familia, 7719 Detroit Ave., Cleveland

March 12
9:30am – Wayne County, Wayne Metropolitan Housing Authority (Training & Conference Center),
1273 W. Old Lincoln Way, Wooster
2:00pm – Medina County, City of Medina, City Hall (Multi-purpose Room), 132 North Elmwood Ave., Medina
6:30pm – Lorain County, Lorain County Transportation & Community Center, 40 East Ave., Elyria

March 13
9:30am – Ashtabula County, Ashtabula County Head Start (Lake Erie Room), 4510 Main Ave., Ashtabula
2:00pm – Lake County, Lake County Administration Bldg., 105 Main St., Painesville
6:30pm – Geauga County, Geauga Metropolitan Housing Authority (Community Room)
385 Center St., Chardon

March 14
9:30am – Portage County, Portage County Regional Planning Commission, 124 N. Prospect St., Ravenna
2:00pm – Trumbull County, The Wean Foundation – Western Reserve Room, 147 W. Market St., Warren
6:30pm – Mahoning County, Covelli Center (Community Room), 229 E. Front St., Youngstown

March 15
9:30am – Stark County, The Metropolitan Centre, 601 Cleveland Ave. N.W., Canton

For anyone in need of special accommodations, please provide advance notice at least five days prior to the event by contacting Anthony Kobak (NEOSCC) at 330-375-2949.

What Can I Do Today

Climate Action Plan for the City of Cleveland

February 7, 2013 in News, Sustainability, Toolkiit

The City of Cleveland Mayor’s Office of Sustainability is currently leading a community process to develop a Climate Action Plan (CAP). The CAP is crucial to implementing Mayor Jackson’s vision of making Cleveland more sustainable and addresses both the City’s internal operations as well as the broader community. The CAP will not only reduce Greenhouse Gas (GHG) emissions, but it will also acknowledge and plan for changes in climate that may affect all Clevelanders. The CAP is targeted for completion by July.

The CAP is not a project in isolation, but will instead build upon many other related initiatives and achievements. These include the Sustainable Communities 2019 Action and Resources Guide released in 2010 at the 2nd Annual Sustainability Summit. The Office of Sustainability has implemented a two-pronged approach to the CAP: “top-down” and “bottom-up.” The top down component identifies what is feasible and affordable from a technology standpoint. The bottom up component includes issues and energy use and management issues most relevant to Cleveland’s critical stakeholders: residents and business-owners.

As part of the climate action planning process, the Office of Sustainability has convened community stakeholders to form a Climate Action Advisory Committee (CAAC) to provide input, ideas, and feedback for the final plan. The CAAC will include various stakeholder groups to ensure the CAP addresses various community perspectives through a serious of workshops. The first workshop of the CAAC was held on October 9, 2012 and focused on overview of the climate action planning process, preliminary GHG inventory, and a brainstorm session for goals and strategies. The second workshop is scheduled for March 5, 2013, and focus on preliminary strategies that emerge from the CAAC committee meetings held in late January and early February. The committee meetings will organize around topics such as: energy efficiency and green building; waste; transportation (non-freight); land use, forestry, storm water, and flood management; advanced and renewable energy; and climate change adaptation. Cross-cutting topics will also be addressed: community engagement and education; financing; incentives and policy; economic and community development; existing best practices and case studies.

Additional information about Cleveland’s Climate Action Plan and the Mayor’s Office of Sustainability is available at Questions and comments may also be addressed to the Mayor’s Office of Sustainability at or the Sustainable Cleveland Center at

You can also engage in an on-line discussion about the plan at The Civic Commons.

What Can I Do Today




Transit Space Race 2013

February 6, 2013 in News, Transportation

At Reconnecting America’s Transit Space Race page you’ll find a map of all the under construction and planned fixed guideway transit projects in the United States.  These projects were gathered in 2012 from local sources including but not limited to, long range plans, discussions with local officials, and newspaper coverage.   We understand that these projects are fluid and the estimates of cost as well as the projects themselves are subject to change frequently.  This list should be seen as a snapshot in time and not a definitive source on the subject matter.

Projects listed within the Transit Space Race are fixed guideway projects including heavy rail, commuter rail, LRT, streetcars, various technologies such as cog railways, and Bus Rapid Transit lines that have more than 50% of their right of way dedicated to the bus alone.  Rapid buses without dedicated lanes are an important part of any transit network however the inclusion of them in this project would have made the list hard to create.   Additionally, this catalog is not a list of projects we would like to see built or an endorsement of any project.  It is simply a list of what regions around the country have listed as potential projects.

Check out Reconnecting America’s page to learn more!

Green Business Roundtable in Stark County

February 5, 2013 in News, Stark, Sustainability

The Green Business Roundtable provides a platform for businesses, community members and public officials in the Stark County area to share information, best practices, and innovation toward improving sustainable business practices. Roundtable sessions are led by Green Business Expert, KIMBERLY W. BABCOCK, LEED AP ID+ C.

Green Business Roundtable Spring Calendar

February 12: Sustainability 101, Kimberly Whittington Babcock

March 12: Measuring Sustainability, Bob Nappi, Director Human Resources and Facilities, North Canton Medical Foundation Lisa & Alan Frank, Owners, Ermanno’s Legendary Pizza

April 9: Sustainable Community Relations, Christina Weyrick-Cooper, Community Relations Manager, North Canton Public Library

May 14: Saving through Waste Management – Panel Discussion, Elaine Campbell, Grant and Development Director, Mercy Medical Center David Held, Director of STW Solid Waste Management and Mayor of North Canton Laura McElrath, Operations Director, Akron Marathon

June 11: Energy Efficiency, Ryan Kopko, P.E., RKS Consulting & Commissioning

July 9: Sustainability in Marketing, Joe Rosza, Trailer Trash Design

Roundtables are held on the 2nd Tuesday of every month from 8:00 am – 9:00 am
at the Jackson Belden Chamber of Commerce offices, 5735 Wales Ave NW in Jackson, OH.

All community members welcome. There is no cost to attend. Information at RSVPs appreciated at

Green Business Scholarships

Green business scholarships will be offered to three small and medium-sized businesses in greater Stark County to complete a sustainability audit and to set short and long-term goals. Our certified Green Business Consultant will work with each company on an individual basis to assess, strategize, provide feedback and ultimately implement a sustainability plan to use as a foundation for future growth. For more information and applications, visit:

What Can I Do Today

CMHA flips the switch on solar panels

February 4, 2013 in Housing, News, Sustainability

Cuyahoga Metropolitan Housing Authority, a NEOSCC Board Member, last month flipped the switch on solar panels turning a brownfield into community asset.

From the Plain Dealer:


Cuyahoga Metropolitan Housing Authority Executive Director Jeffrey Patterson wanted to make a brownfield productive and enrich Cleveland’s struggling Kinsman neighborhood. He hit both targets with his plan to use six acres of brownfield as a solar farm to generate power for CMHA’s nearby three-story headquarters. The project will also improve a blighted area and provide some jobs to residents.

Electricity should start flowing this month, making the housing authority the first in the country to have a solar farm, says Mike Shaut, CEO of Shaker Heights-based Carbon Vision, a key partner in the project. CMHA will pay nothing for this venture, which is expected to cost a little more than $3 million. Carbon Vision will lease the land from CMHA and own the solar farm for 15 years. CMHA will be able to buy it at a discount after that.

Key Bank helped with financing, Cleveland Public Power will buy the electricity (and sell it to CMHA at a discount) and FirstEnergy Corp. will buy the renewable-energy credits.

Turning brownfields into solar fields is the sort of idea that could catch on. Meanwhile, the future of a piece of polluted land in Kinsman is looking suddenly quite sunny.

What Can I Do Today

Community Solutions Launches Common Ground Newsletter

February 1, 2013 in Communications, Engagement, News, Toolkiit

From Executive Director John Begala:

2013 is the Centennial of The Center for Community Solutions and as part of our preparation for the next century, we are updating and adding to our decision support publications and events. What do I mean by decision support? Simply a term describing how CCS’s work informs executives and professionals in government, non-profits, and business as they make decisions. At this moment, you are reading our newly updated and reformatted newsletter, Common Ground. We are pleased to add Common Ground to our myriad decision support publications available through membership or online at The name Common Ground reflects our longstanding commitment to collaboration –especially in the policy arena. As you know, the many challenges that continue to confront American society are subject to a rising tide of partisanship and ill will. We aim to play a role in moderating the tone of this public discourse by relentlessly focusing our research and analyses on shared goals and opportunities. Call us “radical moderates” – we think this approach serves us all in the long run. Hence the new title, replacing our long-standing Planning & Action. Please share your thoughts with us either by directly contacting the authors in Common Ground or by writing me at”

To view this month’s newsletter, please visit here.