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Less than 2 weeks until Vision Sessions!

September 25, 2013 in ACT, Engagement, Scenario Planning

Over the course of the last year, the Northeast Ohio Sustainable Communities Consortium (NEOSCC) engaged residents, elected officials, and experts throughout our 12-county region in a rigorous scenario planning process. Our goal throughout this process has been to work out what choices we can make now that will give our region the greatest chance for success in the future. Two sets of past events drew hundreds of Northeast Ohio residents from all over the region to give their feedback.

The final phase of our project will synthesize a shared vision around our region’s priorities and assets based on that feedback—then provide recommendations on how we might get there.

This upcoming set of events will present to the public its proposed Vibrant NEO 2040 Vision, a strategic and inspirational roadmap for the future of the region that has been built upon everything we have heard and learned to-date. This work will answer the questions, “where do we want to go, and how will we get there?” Each Vision Session will include an interactive presentation with polling, followed by an informal open house and Q&A session.

Information about the first two set of events, which allowed us to build up to the proposed plan, can be found on our website: Phase One Workshop and Open Houses.

Online registration for all workshops is available at the links below. Prior registration is not required, but is encouraged. 


Mon., October 7:

Lorain County Community College (Spitzer Conference Center)

1005 North Abbe Road, Elyria, OH 44035

6:00PM Registration/6:30-8:00PM Program


Tues., October 8:


Akron Urban League

440 Vernon Odom Boulevard, Akron, OH 44307

6:00PM Registration/6:30-8:00PM Program



Weds., October 9:


Harvey Rice Elementary School

2730 E. 116th Street , Cleveland, OH 44120

6:00PM Registration/6:30-8:00PM Program



Thurs., October 10:

Raymond John Wean Foundation

147 West Market Street, Warren, OH 44481

10:30AM Registration/11:00-12:30PM Program



Youngstown State University Williamson Conference Center

221 North Hazel Street, Youngstown OH 44503

6:00PM Registration/6:30-8:00PM Program


Mon., October 14:


Fairview Park Gemini Recreation Center

21225 Lorain Road – Fairview Park, Ohio 44126

6:00PM Registration/6:30-8:00PM Program


Tues., October 15:

PARTA Kent Central Gateway

201 East Erie Street – Kent, Ohio 44240

10:30AM Registration/11:00-12:30PM Program


Tues., October 15:

Stark State College Silk Auditorium

6200 Frank Avenue Northwest, North Canton, OH 44720

6:00PM Registration/6:30-8:00PM Program


Weds., October 16:

Kent State University Ashtabula Campus Blue and Gold Room

3300 Lake Road West – Ashtabula, Ohio, 44004

6:00PM Registration/6:30-8:00PM Program


Thurs., October 17:

Lake Erie College Morley Music Hall

391 West Washington Street – Painesville, Ohio 44077

6:00PM Registration/6:30-8:00PM Program


Sustainable Cleveland 2019 Announces Summit Keynote Speakers

September 12, 2013 in ACT, Sustainability

On October 3rd and 4th 2013, Mayor Frank G. Jackson will host the 5th Annual Sustainability Summit at Cleveland Public Auditorium. Sustainable Cleveland 2019 was founded in 2009 by Mayor Frank G. Jackson to build a thriving green city on a blue lake. The ten-year initiative creates a framework for Clevelanders from all walks of life to work together to build a thriving and resilient Cleveland region.

Summit Topics & Agenda:  The Summit will focus on implementing the City’s recently finished Climate Action Plan that was co-created by more than 50 businesses and organizations. The Climate Action Plan consists of 33 actions in the following areas: Energy Efficiency & Green Building, Advanced & Renewable Energy, Sustainable Mobility, Waste Reduction & Resource Conservation, Land Use & Clean Water, and Community Engagement & Public Health.

Keynote Speakers: The City of Cleveland is pleased to announce two dynamic keynote presenters during the Summit on the topics of Advanced and Renewable Energy, Climate Change and Conscious Capitalism.

John Montgomery, Author of Great from the Start, is a frequent speaker on sustainable business, benefit corporations and venture capital at such forums as the Future Salon, TEDx, and Stanford University’s Graduate School of Business. John transforms public and private corporations for success in the new economic paradigm where corporations not only optimize profits for shareholders but also provide a material positive impact on society and the environment.
Chuck KutscherNational Renewable Energy Lab, is a Principal Engineer and Group Manager in the Center for Electricity, Resources, and Building Systems Integration. His projects have included the design and construction of a solar cooling test laboratory; production of NREL’s solar industrial process heat design handbook; modeling of advanced power cycles and cooling systems for geothermal power plants; and development of transpired solar air collectors, which won an R&D 100 Award and a Popular Science “Best of What’s New” award. He is editor of the 200-page ASES report, Tackling Climate Change in the U.S., and writes a monthly column on climate change for SOLAR TODAY magazine.  He recently received the 2008 Colorado Governor’s Excellence in Renewable Energy Individual Award.

Nominate your hero! At the 5th Annual Sustainability Summit, Cleveland is celebrating the halfway mark of Sustainable Cleveland 2019 by honoring sustainability heroes. Do you know someone who has gone above and beyond to make Cleveland a thriving green city on a blue lake? Please let them know. Honorees will be recognized and receive a prize at the Summit. Click here to nominate by Sept. 22nd.

Events and Tours

  • Post-Summit happy hour on Friday, October 4thbeginning at 5:30pm. Location TBD.
  • Extend your Summit by touring renewable energy projects in Northeast Ohio. Green Energy Ohio is offering a FREE BUS TOUR on October 5 (lunch provided), from 9:00am-5:00pm, leaving from Lake Farmpark. You can sign up for the tour when registering for the Summit.
  • The Cleveland Browns, a Cleveland Green Venue, is offering discounted tickets to the October 3rd home game after the Summit. Please click here and use the promotional code: SCS2013

For more Summit information and to register online click here. 

Today kicks off the next round of Vibrant NEO Open Houses

July 29, 2013 in ACT, News, Scenario Planning, Vibrant NEO 2040

Today kicks off the next round of Vibrant NEO Open Houses where we will look at Alternative Scenarios - different potential futures for Northeast Ohio - that could result from different choices.
These are critically important discussions.  The entire Vibrant NEO process is an attempt to help the residents of Northeast Ohio define what we want for the future, and then determine what choices we need to make in order to get to the future. 
The first round of workshops in early May helped to define a baseline for discussion – i.e. what will Northeast Ohio look like in 2040 is we continue our currents trends.  (You can learn more about these findings here.)
We gathered input from residents at those workshops, and later through ImagineMyNEO, our online planning tool which is still open for use.  That input has helped us create Alternative Scenarios that you can view and discuss at our Open Houses.  These scenarios help us see what can happen in the future if we make different choices now.  You can learn more in this comprehensive article from Steve Litt on today.   
We hope you can join us at one of our Open Houses – the first one is tonight from 4:30 to 7:30 PM at the Cleveland Metroparks Zoo. Here is the schedule for the next two weeks.

Vibrant NEO 2040: Northeast Ohio’s Opportunity

July 24, 2013 in ACT, Vibrant NEO 2040


We often receive questions about what our initiative is about.  Here are thirteen facts about VIBRANTNEO 2040 and the opportunity for Northeast Ohio. Our open houses are less than a week away, join the conversation.  Details on locations and times can be found here.

VIBRANTNEO IS A LOCAL INITIATIVE. NEOSCC is made up of local governments, agencies, and organizations from across Northeast Ohio that have come together to create a means to work together toward goals for Northeast Ohio that we all share.  All decisions to accept, pursue and implement VibrantNEO 2040 will need to be made at the local level, through our region’s Metropolitan Planning Organizations, Councils of Government, and our County, Municipal, Village, and Township governments.

VIBRANTNEO 2040 WILL BE A VISION BASED ON SHARED VALUES. Developing VibrantNEO 2040 is an opportunity for Northeast Ohioans to explore the region’s long-term development patterns and think together about what we want for the future of our region. VibrantNEO 2040 will reflects the values, voices and vision of Northeast Ohioans and will be a roadmap to a stronger Northeast Ohio.

VIBRANTNEO 2040 WILL BE A “FRAMEWORK” As a “framework,” VibrantNEO 2040 will be a structure of policies, practices and relationships that better align the region’s decision-making and enhance the ability of the Northeast Ohio citizens and governments to make the big and small decisions.

VibrantNEO 2040 IS FOCUSED ON THE LONG-TERM IMPACT OF HOW WE USE LAND AND RESOURCES. Land-use affects many things and, as a result, VibrantNEO 2040 is a broad initiative.  But it is not all encompassing. NEOSCC believes in the importance of recognizing the relationships among land use, transportation, infrastructure investment, and environmental quality and VibrantNEO 2040 will promote integrated regional land use and housing, transportation, and capital investment planning.

VibrantNEO 2040 is based on data and analysis. Currently, many decisions are made and practices are carried out in Northeast Ohio in the absence of accurate and accessible region-wide or local data. Vibrant NEO 2040 aspires to provide this missing information and articulate the region’s choices clearly and unambiguously. NEOSCC has drawn together information and expertise from all across the region and from throughout the country to help create VibrantNEO 2040. Local government agencies and organizations have contributed thousands of hours of time and data from more than 200 pre-existing local planning and policy initiatives have been reviewed and analyzed.  Hundreds of volunteer experts and social scientists focusing on transportation, infrastructure, housing, economic development, environmental quality, planning and design, and many other areas have worked side-by-side with NEOSCC staff and its team of consultants to ensure VibrantNEO 2040 reflects our best thinking and deepest understanding of our region.

THE PROCESS TO CREATE VIBRANTNEO 2040 IS BROAD, TRANSPARENT AND INCLUSIVE. The VibrantNEO 2040 process actively seeks increased participation and decision-making by populations that have been left out of such processes in the past and has already involved thousands of Northeast Ohioans through its workshops, public meetings, speaking engagements, media relations, advertising, online communication, surveys, and publications.

NEOSCC firmly believes that facilitating an open and honest public process like VibrantNEO 2040 requires defending everyone’s right to offer an opinion, even if that opinion is that the public process should just go away.  Protecting and encouraging a diversity of thought and points of view enriches the process and its results. Everything NEOSCC does is chronicled on its website,

VIBRANTNEO 2040 RESPECTS AND WILL PROTECT THE RIGHTS OF PROPERTY OWNERS.  Planning, when done correctly, protects the rights of property owners by helping to ensure land is put to its highest and best use, resources are carefully managed, and property values aren’t undermined.  NEOSCC clearly stated its commitment to property rights in its goals for VibrantNEO 2040:

Goal 3: Respect Choice

Preserving our quality of life, expanding choices for Northeast Ohio’s citizens and respecting local government and individual property rights are essential principles for this process.

VIBRANTNEO 2040 WILL EXPAND THE CHOICES AVAILABLE TO NORTHEAST OHIOANS. The ways that Northeast Ohio is currently using land and resources limit our choices about where and how we live, how we travel, what natural and built resources we have at our disposal, and how we spend public dollars.  By working together developing and implementing VibrantNEO 2040, residents and local governments will share data, develop common approaches to shared priorities, focus efforts and resources, eliminate duplication, and, ultimately expand the choices available to them. 

PARTICIPATION IN VIBRANTNEO 2040 IS A CHOICE. While local government has been and will continue to be crucial to the development and implementation of VibrantNEO 2040, there is nothing about the VibrantNEO 2040 process that would force a local government to participate or change. Every local government, organization and individual participating in creating VibrantNEO 2040 is doing so by choice.

VIBRANTNEO 2040 IS BEING DESIGNED TO HELP LOCAL GOVERNMENTS BE MORE EFFECTIVE AND EFFICIENT. NEOSCC is developing products through the VibrantNEO 2040 process to enable the public, local agencies, and Northeast Ohio communities to inform, prioritize, align, and coordinate actions to advance our quality of life, sustainability, and resiliency. VibrantNEO 2040 will also help eliminate waste of resources and leverage regional assets, investments, and opportunities to their fullest potential. Two key ways that VibrantNEO2040’s success will be judged are how well it spurs local action and equips decision makers, planners, experts and residents with tools to implement the goals of their communities.

VIBRANTNEO 2040′S IMPLEMENTATION WILL BE UP TO LOCAL GOVERNMENTS. Once VibrantNEO 2040 is complete, it will be presented to local governments and their constituents for review and consideration. It will be up to local governments and their constituents to decide if adopting and implementing the recommendations from the Vibrant NEO 2040 Vision and Framework and using the tools that NEOSCC is developing is in their best interest.

VIBRANTNEO 2040 WILL HAVE NO EFFECT ON MUNICIPAL BOUNDARIES. VibrantNEO 2040 is being designed to protect and preserve the things we value most about Northeast Ohio and one of those things is our local communities, with their rich histories and commitment to self-determination. Many of these communities have participated in NEOSCC since its inception; VibrantNEO 2040 will be a tool to strengthen local governments, not undermine them.

VIBRANTNEO 2040 DOES NOT ADDRESS ISSUES OF REVENUE AND TAXATION.  While VibrantNEO 2040 will make recommendations about where financial resources may be deployed to have the greatest impact and how Northeast Ohio can achieve greater efficiency in its use of built and natural resources, how local governments generate financial resources is well beyond its scope and is a matter left to local governments and residents to decide.

2013 Sustainable Cleveland Photo Contest

July 19, 2013 in ACT, News, Sustainability

This post is on behalf of Sustainable Cleveland 2019…


click to view full postcard

 click to view flyer 

From the Sustainable Cleveland website…


Sustainable Cleveland 2019 is a 10-year initiative that engages people from all walks of life, working together to build a thriving and resilient green city on a blue lake. You are invited to submit up to two photos that highlight how this vision is being made a reality in Cleveland.

You are encouraged to submit photos that relate to the Sustainable Cleveland celebration topics and key areas for climate action, including:

    • Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy
    • camLocal Foods
    • Waste Reduction and Resource Conservation
    • Clean Water
    • Sustainable Mobility
    • Vibrant Green Space
    • Vital Neighborhoods and People
    • Public Health


  • 1st place: $1000 cash award and framed photoAmateur category
  • 2nd place: $500 cash award and framed photo
  • 3rd place: $250 cash award and framed photo

Youth category

  • 1st place: $500 gift certificate to a local camera shop and framed photo
  • 2nd place: $250 gift certificate to a local camera shop and framed photo
  • 3rd place: $100 gift certificate to a local camera shop and framed photo

All Entrants

The top 20 photos will be exhibited at the Sustainable Cleveland Annual Summit on October 3rd and 4th, the Sustainable Cleveland Center in Tower City, and other venues.

Entrants must be amateurs or students. Commercial photographers and post-secondary photo educators are not permitted to participate.

Eligibility Requirements and Contest Rules

  • Entrants can submit up to two photos. Entrants can only win one award.
  • Photos must belong to the entrant, be their original work and must not infringe the rights of any third party to the best of photographer’s knowledge. The original image may be cropped but must not be altered or edited beyond brightness, contrast and color adjustment.
  • Entry into this contest constitutes the entrant’s irrevocable and perpetual license to Sustainable Cleveland, without further compensation, to use, reproduce, print, publish, transmit, adapt, enhance or display such submission for the promotion and conduct of this and future Sustainable Cleveland photo competitions. Photos will be credited to the photographer in all cases to the best of the sponsors’ abilities.
  • Decisions of the judges are final and binding in all respects.  Judges reserve the right to disqualify any image.
  • Contest open only to legal residents of Ohio.
  • Cash Award Winners must complete and sign an IRS W-9 form with their name, address and Social Security number as a condition of receiving prizes.
  • While all submitted photos must be less than 1 MB in size, all Winners will be asked to provide a high-res image for print purposes.  Make sure to save your larger file!
  • There is no fee to submit.
  • Entry deadline is September 1, 2013 (11:45PM EST).

Photo Submittal

Submit your information and photo(s) at the following site:

If you would like to submit two photos, you need to fill out and submit this form twice.

If you have any questions, please email


Have you imagined about Northeast Ohio yet? Imagine MyNEO is now live

June 12, 2013 in ACT, Scenario Planning


ImagineMyNEO is a fun and entertaining web-based tool designed to put the user in the role of regional planner, making critical policy decisions and weighing priorities for the future of Northeast Ohio and struggling with the tough choices that must be made. You can play today at

Our goal with ImagineMyNEO is to ask residents ‘What would this region look like in the future if you are in charge?’” said Hunter Morrison, NEOSCC’s Executive Director. “Users can share their priorities for the future and make the kinds of policy choices necessary to help create that future, and all in an engaging way.”

In ImagineMyNEO, the user is first asked to finish the sentence “I want to live in a Northeast Ohio where…” by rating the relative importance of 15 statements such as “…My community has an urban character” or “…My taxes are low” or “I can get to places without a car.” Dynamic imaging in the tool changes the size and emphasis of a set of priority icons depending on the choices the user makes.

Next, the user learns about the ways that different policy choices can impact a variety of priorities, in positive and negative ways. For example, one Project option in the tool is “Invest in pedestrian, bicycling and public transit services.” This project positively supports the priority of having a community where kids can walk to school, or having a community with an urban character. However, it negatively impacts the priority of keeping taxes low.

Lastly, users are asked to “put your money where you ‘mouse’ is!” by allotting limited resources (in this case, 15 coins) to different projects, all of which have differing resource costs and differing impacts on priorities. Users can revise and rethink their choices to find the actions that most positively support their preferred priorities.

“The issues we are wrestling with are extremely important,” added Mr. Morrison. “They can sometimes seem technical or staid to a lay person, but we really want to hear from the broadest range of residents possible, so we designed ImagineMyNEO to make the issues of regional sustainability, and the trade-offs and choices that we face, easy to understand and relevant.”

ImagineMyNEO is the second component to NEOSCC’s Vibrant NEO 2040 scenario planning process. First, a round of community workshops was held in late April/early May, attracting nearly 600 participants to six events across Northeast Ohio. Those workshops focused on looking into a scenario referred to as “Business as Usual,” which used current and recent data to create projected scenarios about what Northeast Ohio will be like in 2040 – if we keep doing what we have been doing. (The “Business-as-Usual” presentation, along with a video developed to provide an overview of Vibrant NEO, can be viewed at

Input from attendees will be used to create additional projections for a series of public open houses in late July/early August concentrating on “Alternative Scenarios.” During these open houses, the data collected through ImagineMyNEO will be presented to attendees. Like the “Business as Usual” scenario, the “Alternative Scenarios” will be projections of Northeast Ohio’s future, but, informed with resident feedback and priorities, they will look at that would happen if we do things differently and make different choices.

Lastly, a round of public workshops in mid-September will build off of all previous efforts and, factoring in Northeast Ohio’s stated priorities and values, will develop the region’s Preferred Scenario that can serve as a roadmap to a more vibrant, resilient and sustainable Northeast Ohio.



Interested in reducing costs, stress, carbon footprint, pollution and congestion? Are you up for the Commuter Challenge?

June 6, 2013 in ACT, Transportation

Multitask Much? How would you like to…

save money on fuel,
reduce your stress,
reduce your carbon footprint, and
reduce air pollution and traffic congestion?

You can accomplish all this and so much more by joining NOACA’s commuter challenge!

What is Commuter Challenge?
Commuter Challenge is a clean-air campaign that encourages people to try an alternative to driving alone. It is also a friendly competition among Northeast Ohio businesses in which employees choose a sustainable mode of transportation such as walking, biking, carpooling, telecommuting, or using public transportation.

How does Commuter Challenge work?
Employees representing their organization can sign up for the Challenge. Individuals not associated with an organization are also welcome to participate. At the end of the Challenge, participants complete the commuter form (third link on the left). The organization with the highest participation rate wins and will be recognized in a news release, publication and radio spots related to this event.

For more information on this amazing opportunity, click here.

Interested in Learning About Natural Gas Vehicles?

April 15, 2013 in ACT, News, Transportation

Click on the flyer below to register…

What future do You want for Northeast Ohio?

April 12, 2013 in ACT, Engagement, Scenario Planning

Interested in learning more about the Vibrant NEO process and the schedule for the rest of the year?  Download our new overview piece, What future do YOU want for Northeast Ohio?


Have you signed up yet? Less than three weeks until first Vibrant NEO Work Shop

April 10, 2013 in ACT, Engagement

Help create a more sustainable Northeast Ohio

The VibrantNEO process uses public workshops to look at the future of our Northeast Ohio.  What will it look like in 2040 if we keep doing what we’re doing?  What are the potential outcomes if we do things differently?  To answer these questions, we need to understand our values and priorities.

This first round of VibrantNEO public workshops revolves around a scenario called “Business‐As‐Usual.”  It outlines what Northeast Ohio’s future will look like if we keep doing what we are currently doing.  We need your help to define what we value and what’s most important to this region as we start to create a vision for Northeast Ohio’s future.  We can only answer these questions together!

Pick a date and location that’s most convenient for you and join us!  All events begin with an open house and registration from 5:30 – 6:30 PM.

Workshops take place from 6:30 – 8:30 PM.

Click on the links below to RSVP or for more information go to

Tuesday, April 30:

Lorain, Medina, and western Cuyahoga counties The Oberlin Inn

7 N Main St

Oberlin OH 44074


Tuesday, April 30:

Mahoning, Trumbull and Ashtabula counties John F. Kennedy High School

2550 Central Parkway Avenue SE

Warren, Ohio 44484


Wednesday, May 1:

Central Cuyahoga county and inner-ring suburbs Third Federal Savings & Loan


7007 Broadway Ave.

Cleveland OH 44105


Wednesday, May 1:

Wayne and Stark counties

The Metropolitan Centre

601 Cleveland Ave., NW

Canton OH 44702


Thursday, May 2:

Summit and Portage counties

Akron Urban League

440 Vernon Odom Blvd.

Akron OH 44307


Thursday, May 2:

Lake, eastern Cuyahoga, and Geauga counties Cuyahoga Community College – Corporate College East

4400 Richmond Rd.

Warrensville Heights OH 44128