The following is a gallery of boards that were displayed during the regional workshop open houses on April 30th – May 2nd.
As part of the Vibrant NEO initiative NEOSCC is developing action products that focus on implementing, supporting, and highlighting current best practices and creating new tools, policy recommendations, and pilot projects that turn the Vibrant NEO vision into reality.
There are a number of great projects, policies, and tools used in Northeast Ohio and we would like to know about them. While many challenges have unique elements based on your situation, often these same challenges have been analyzed and addressed in other parts of the region. That’s where NEOSCC can help!
WHAT IS WORKING?
The purpose of the “What is Working” request is so we can identify and organize great projects, policies, and tools into a user-friendly list on our website. If you know of a project, policy, or tool currently being used in Northeast Ohio, PLEASE CLICK HERE. Thanks!
The purpose of the “What is Needed” request is so we can identify the tools and policies needs and challenges. What is missing in your tool kit to address issues and create efficiency in your work? We have created the form below to engage you in helping identify these needs. PLEASE CLICK HERE Thanks!
As part of our exhibition at EarthFest, we hosted a short three-question survey that previewed some of the decisions Northeast Ohio residents will be faced with in our upcoming online game focused on scenario planning. This Summer, NEOSCC will be launching an on-line engagement tool entitled Imagine MyNEO! that is based on an the open source software, Crowd Gauge. Imagine MyNEO! will allow the entire region to share their priorities with the Vibrant NEO process.
In this survey, participants were first asked to describe the community they live in as urban, suburban, or rural. Next, they were prompted to identify up to three sustainability issues that they feel are important for the region. Lastly, they were asked to select what kind of Northeast Ohio they would like to live in, based upon a set of options. This survey had 52 respondents. Below are the results of that survey. Stay tuned for more updates as we roll out Imagine MyNEO!
Web-based technology can help planners promote literacy about planning issues and increase public engagement. We already deploy sophisticated data analysis and modeling tools, but many of these tools are more suitable for back-of-house number crunching than for interactive public engagement. This divide between tools for technicians and tools for engagement is significant: despite all of the public- and client-facing communication work we do, few of today’s data modeling or scenario planning tools were built to be inviting to lay audiences. We need to apply our technological design prowess to facilitating interaction and better engaging the very people our work supports.
Faced with the challenge of engaging people across a spread-out region, Sasaki, PlaceMatters, and the Des Moines Area Metropolitan Planning Organization (DMAMPO) partnered to build a new tool—called CrowdGauge—to help communities achieve better public participation and understanding of trade-offs. CrowdGauge is an open-source framework for creating educational online games. It first asks users to rank a set of priorities, then demonstrates how a series of actions and policies might impact those priorities. The third part of the sequence gives users a limited number of coins, asking them to put that money towards the actions they support most.
We first developed the platform in partnership with the Des Moines Area MPO (DMAMPO) as part of The Tomorrow Plan, a regional plan for sustainable development in the Central Iowa region. The original game, named DesignMyDSM, can be played at designmydsm.thetomorrowplan.com. The study region included 480,000 residents, 17 cities, approximately 540 square miles, and parts of four counties—requiring an outreach strategy that went beyond in-person open houses and workshops. DesignMyDSM captured over 1000 unique users in the region, and was especially effective in the under-40 demographics who typically would not have participated in a traditional community engagement process.
CrowdGauge is entirely open-source and available under the permissive MIT license. Currently, Sasaki is preparing to apply the CrowdGauge platform to the Northeast Ohio Sustainable Communities Consortium Initiative (NEOSCC) in spring 2013, and Denver-based PlaceMatters is beta testing the software for use on other HUD-funded regional planning projects.
As web-based technologies grow in both functionality and beauty, planners have the opportunity to create new places for people to enjoy expressing ideas, solving problems, and realizing goals. Most importantly for planners, web technologies offer the opportunity to help ask interesting questions and confront tradeoffs. Visual design, information architecture, and usability are increasingly important to match the strength of our technical muscle with the complexity of the human experience—which means designing with clarity and user experience in mind.
In the spirit of open source, we are pleased to share this front-end tool with the planning community. We are excited to see the clever applications and brilliant new iterations we will all build next.
Marija Georgievski, Executive Director, Lake Erie Landlord Association (Landlord Best Practices)
Dennis Muzilla, Manager, First Federal Savings & Loan of Lorain (Compliance with Fair Lending Practices)
Mindy Wright, Housing Manager, Lorain County Urban League (Foreclosure Counseling 101)
Emily C. White, Attorney, Legal Aid Society of Cleveland (Rent to Own: Beware of Scams)
The Knight Foundation has launched a campaign to improve interaction between citizens and governments. The Knight News Challenge is an opportunity to accelerate promising ideas and trends. Their definition of “open government” is broad, and ranges from small projects within existing structures to ambitious attempts to create entirely new ones.
In many ways it’s easier than it’s ever been to learn about and interact with the institutions and communities around us. But there’s a long way to go. How can we make the places we live more awesome through data and technology? How can we make public information more relevant and useful?
The Knight News Challenge accelerates media innovation by funding breakthrough ideas in news and information. Winners receive a share of $5 million in funding and support from Knight’s network of influential peers and advisors to help advance their ideas.
What Can I Do Today?
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.
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.
A FEW FAQ’S
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
What Can I Do Today