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So What Did the Business As Usual Scenario Tell Us?

July 2, 2013 in Communications, Scenario Planning

During our 1st round of Workhops, we presented the Business As Usual Scenario.  The question the Business As Usual Scenario poses is: “What will happen over the next 27 years if Northeast Ohio just keeps doing what it has been doing?”

Our projection of “big picture” trends from 2010-2040 for Northeast Ohio show:

  • Population – Northeast Ohio will experience 2.4% growth in population across its 12 counties, which equals 3,100 net new residents in the region each year.
  • Employment – Northeast Ohio will experience 6.2% growth in employment across the 12 counties, which equals 3,600 net new jobs in the region each year.
  • Northeast Ohio’s land usagewill change:
    • 121,500 acres will be used for new parks and land conservancy.
    • 92,500 acres will be used for new development.
    • 77,100 acres of property will be abandoned.

What does the Business As Usual Scenario tell us?

  • Northeast Ohio is on pace to abandon 10.5% of its housing units by 2040.
  • This is the equivalent of 18 homes being abandoned every day for the next 27 years.
  • If just 3 out of 10 of these homes have to be demolished, it will cost the region more than half a billion dollars.
  • The abandonment of these homes will damage the fabric of the neighborhoods that contain them.
  • Having these homes standing empty will pose a public safety hazard to residents who remain and they will result in permanent loss of residents and revenue for the cities where they are located.
  • Northeast Ohio’s population will continue to spread out.
  • More people will migrate out of our central cities.
  • Newer communities will seem to be experiencing “growth,” but most of it will be fueled by regional churn – people and businesses moving from one part of the region to another.
  • For the region as a whole, growth numbers will remain flat.
  • Continuing to spread out throughout the region will come with costs.
  • Even as it is abandoning more than 10% of its homes, Northeast Ohio will need to build 3,700 miles of new road to accommodate our population’s outward migration.  3,700 miles is the same length as the Great Wall of China.
  • Of course, we will still have to bear the expense of maintaining the roads and other infrastructure we already have.
  • And the addition of these roads will introduce additional problems, like air pollution from the vehicles that use them and environmental issues caused by surface runoff when it rains.
 These additional costs will increase the strain on Northeast Ohio taxpayers.
  • We already know that Northeast Ohio is very fragmented when it comes to the government organizations responsible for maintaining our region’s quality of life.  There are more than 700 taxing entities across the region.
  • Right now, local government budgets in some parts of the region are strained; in other parts of the region they’re not.
  • Under the Business as Usual Scenario, every county in Northeast Ohio will experience declining revenue compared with its costs.
  • By 2040, on average Northeast Ohio’s 12 counties will face budget shortfalls of 20%.  Some counties will face expenses that are more than 40% greater than their revenue.
  • And in 2040 every county in the region will be doing worse than the weakest of the Northeast Ohio’s 12 counties today.  Or, to put it another way, the county with the biggest budget problem today is better off than any county in the region in 2040.
  • With budget shortfalls of this size, taxpayers in 2040, under the Business as Usual Scenario, will be faced with a choice between two bad options: pay significantly more or settle for less.

Help us spread the word about Imagine MyNEO!

June 19, 2013 in Communications, Engagement, News, Scenario Planning, Vibrant NEO 2040

As part of Imagine MyNEO, we are launching a engagement challenge: myVibrant5. After you complete Imagine MyNEO you will be given the option to join the myVibrant5 challenge. The challenge will feature a leaderboard indicating those participants that have invite the most friends to play and complete Imagine MyNEO. A dynamic leader board identifying the the top 5 participants will be featured on vibrantneo.org. Check out the presentation below for more information.

“Business as Usual” Workshops: Initial Review and Results Presented to Board

June 14, 2013 in Communications, Scenario Planning, Vibrant NEO 2040

Over a three day period (April 30 – May 2) nearly 600 individuals participated in our Business As Usual Workshops.  The sessions focused on a presentation of the Business As Usual Scenario, instant polling and a mapping exercise to engage attendees in a discussion about how the region should look going forward. You can access a video from our Akron Workshop here.

Below you will find some of the results from the first Workshop Series.  We have included an overall summary of the workshop results, a closer look at how different development typologies were utilized during the mapping exercise and a library of all of the maps created by workshop attendees.

Summary of Thematic Feedback and Table Notes

During the mapping exercise, we encouraged attendees to take notes about ideas and concerns at each table.  This document is a record of the notes taken by volunteer note-takers during the mapping exercise conducted at the Vibrant NEO 2040 “Business As Usual” Scenario Workshop Series  Click here to read through the VibrantNEO Phase One Table Notes.

What development types did participants use?

Attendees were able to place different development typologies on a Northeast Ohio map.  The results from this exercise are summarized in the powerpoint results above. Here is a different look at the outputs focused on the number of different chips utilized. Click here to access  VibrantNEO Workshop Chip Placement.

Map Exercise Library

Over 70 maps were created at the six workshops by residents and public officials. We have created a library of all of the maps on our website.  If you would like to see the copies of individual maps from the workshops, Click here to access. Three of the six workshop maps have been posted, the remaining three will be uploaded later today.

Vibrant NEO 2040 Workshop Boards

May 23, 2013 in Communications, Engagement, Vibrant NEO 2040

The following is a gallery of boards that were displayed during the regional workshop open houses on April 30th – May 2nd.

Products: What is Working / What is Needed

May 15, 2013 in Communications, Products

Building Northeast Ohio’s future

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!

 

 

 

 

WHAT IS NEEDED?

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!

 

Scenes from the Vibrant NEO 2040 Workshops

May 13, 2013 in Communications, Engagement, Vibrant NEO 2040

The following are galleries of scenes from the individual workshops
held April 30th through May 2nd across the Northeast Ohio region.

Imagine MyNEO! Teaser: Survey Results from EarthFest 2013

May 6, 2013 in Communications, Engagement, Scenario Planning

NEOSCC is proud to have participated in this year’s new and improved EarthFest, hosted by Earth Day Coalition at the Cuyahoga County Fairgrounds.

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!

Hunter Morrison talks Vibrant NEO Workshops on Cool Cleveland

April 22, 2013 in Communications, Engagement, News

Imagine MyNEO!

April 2, 2013 in Communications, Engagement, News, Sustainability

In May, NEOSCC will be launching an on-line engagement tool entitled Imagine MyNEO! Based on an open source software called Crowd Gauge, Imagine MyNEO! will allow the entire region to share their priorities with the Vibrant NEO process.
As an introduction to the new tool, we have included an article by Sarah Madden of Sasaki Associates (our Scenario Planning consultant).  It includes background about the creation of the tool and some examples of its previous use.

Gauge the values, priorities and preferences of the crowd.

by Sarah Madden, Sasaki Associates

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.

 

Credits for information and photo/graphics: 
Sarah Madden, Sasaki
smadden@sasaki.com
crowdgauge.org
designmydsm.thetomorrowplan.com

 

City of Elyria Fair Housing Board sponsoring Fair Housing Conference on April 4

March 21, 2013 in Communications, Engagement, Housing, News

Speakers include:

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)