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Northeast Ohio Must Change the Way it Grows

June 13, 2014 in News

Jason Segedy, AMATS Director and Grace Gallucci, NOACA Director talk to Ideastream’s Nick Castele about the future of urban planning and development in Northeast Ohio.

Click here for the full story.

NEOSCC Board approves and endorses Vibrant NEO 2040 Vision, Framework and Products

February 26, 2014 in News

Yesterday, the Northeast Ohio Sustainable Communities Consortium voted to approve and endorse the Vibrant NEO 2040 Vision, Framework and Action Products.  This marks the culmination of three years of work since being awarded a $4.25 M grant from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) as part of the new federal Sustainable Communities Initiative. The Sustainable Communities Initiative is an interagency collaboration among HUD, the U.S. Department of Transportation, and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.

In their vote, the NEOSCC Board resolved the following:

NEOSCC’s Board of Directors accepts and adopts the Vibrant NEO 2040 Vision, Framework and Action Products as fulfilling the local objectives of the HUD grant award and further endorses for consideration by the region.

 It also resolves to make the Vibrant NEO 2040 objectives, recommendations, initiatives development strategies and action products available for use by metropolitan and local decision makers at their option and to advocate for the use of Vibrant NEO 2040 to create a more vibrant, resilient and sustainable Northeast Ohio. (More details about the Vision Framework and Action products can be found in the Vibrant NEO Guidebook here.

“Over the course of the last year, NEOSCC has engaged residents, elected officials, and experts throughout our 12-county region in a rigorous scenario planning process to identify the choices we can make now to help create a Northeast Ohio that is more vibrant, resilient, and sustainable in the future,” said Hunter Morrison, NEOSCC Executive Director. “Based on input and feedback from residents and leaders, the overarching objectives of the Vibrant NEO 2040 Regional Vision seeks to pursue are:

Promote investment in Northeast Ohio’s established communities;

  • Protect our soil, water, air, and ecologically sensitive areas;
  • Improve our regional fiscal health;
  • Develop our regional economy with accessible employment opportunities;
  • Enhance our regional transportation network;
  • Cultivate and celebrate our local assets and places of public value;
  • Expand our parks and open-space network; and
  • Preserve and value our prime farmland as a regional economic asset.”

In the weeks preceding the vote, The Center for Community Solutions, Eastgate Regional Council of Governments, Lorain County, Mahoning County, the Northeast Ohio Four County Regional Planning and Development Organization (NEFCO), the Regional Prosperity Initiative and the City of Youngstown have each passed resolutions supporting the Vibrant NEO Objectives.

“We recognize the recommendations and initiatives are not “one size fits all” solutions,” added Grace Gallucci, NEOSCC Board Chair and the Executive Director of the Northeast Ohio Areawide Coordinating Agency.  “We also understand that some of the initiatives will not be applicable to all parts of the 12-county region. Lastly, we emphasize that implementation of individual initiatives will be a decision at the local level. The intent of NEOSCC in developing the Vibrant NEO 2040 regional vision and framework is that its recommendations, development standards, indicator targets, and action products be available for implementation at the Metro and local levels at the option of their respective decision makers.”

Steve Hambley, Medina County Commissioner and also the Chair of NEOSCC during 2011, noted, “Everyone has a role to play in creating a vibrant and prosperous future for Northeast Ohio.”

All of the work including detailed plans for implementation, development strategies, indicators and action products to move forward on these objectives are posted on   NEOSCC will now focus on communicating the vision and explaining the available products throughout the region.

Engage at our On-Line Open House

July 31, 2013 in Engagement, News, Scenario Planning

Vibrant NEO 2040 Open House Intro Video

We have had over 100 people attend our first two Open Houses.  Today we will be in Ashtabula and Willowick!  The complete schedule of the remaining eight open houses is listed below.  The Vibrant NEO Open Houses have also been featured in the Vindicator,The Plain DealerYoungstown Business Journal, the Canton Repository,  the News Herald, the Tribune-Chronicle, and Freshwater Cleveland.   

As part of the Vibrant NEO Engagement Plan, we are committed to providing a variety of ways to engage you in the scenario planning process.  We know that some of you may not be able to make the open houses but your voice is still important to us.  We have created an on-line tool for you to learn about the scenarios and share your thoughts and opinions.

Please visit our On-Line Open House where you can explore the alternative scenarios through video, image galleries and materials.  A comment space has been included so you can let us know what you think! 

Click here to Engage On-Line

Don’t forget to check out the Open House schedule to see if you are able to attend!

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.

Check out what’s coming up this summer with All Aboard Ohio!

July 23, 2013 in Engagement, News, Transportation

Join “All Aboard Ohio” on Aug. 8 for “TOD on Tap” tour!



Register today for All Aboard Ohio’s “TOD on Tap“ — an educational bar hop by rail transit in Cleveland on Thursday, August 8th, from 5-9 p.m.

Come hear from developers and transit planners who are rebuilding an Ohio city by uniting higher-level transit transit services like rail and bus rapid transit with walkable, mixed use Transit Oriented Development (TOD). Space is limited, so please register early!

Itinerary & Speakers

  • 5:00 p.m. — Shaker Square, Zanzibar Soul Fusion, 13225 Shaker Square (NE Corner); Speakers: Peter Rubin, President/CEO Coral Co., and Maribeth Feke, Director, Planning & Programming, Greater Cleveland RTA.
  • RIDE BLUE/WATERFRONT LINES (no transfer required)
  • 6:30 p.m. — Flats East Bank, Aloft Hotel Riveria BC/Lago, 1111 West 10th Street; Speaker: Harley Cohen, Owner’s Rep, Harlan & Associates.
  • RIDE WATERFRONT/GREEN/RED LINES (transfer at Tower City Center)
  • 8:30 p.m. — Uptown/UC, Constantino’s Market (balcony meeting area), 11473 Euclid Avenue; Speaker: Ari Maron, Partner, MRN Ltd.



“All Aboard Ohio” Summer Meeting & Family Outing


8:30 a.m.-2 p.m. August 10, 2013

Join All Aboard Ohio for a fun day on Ohio’s busiest passenger railroad — the Cuyahoga Valley Scenic RR. Ride the historic rail corridor through the Cuyahoga Valley National Park, alongside the Ohio & Erie Canal from Greater Cleveland to downtown Akron and return, through historic villages and protected wildlife areas on rail service which carried 200,000 riders in 2012 and saw $45 million worth of improvements since 1990!

Registration of $35 per person includes one (1) CVSR train ticket in a reserved rail car to Akron and return, National Park Ranger tour guide & lunch at Yours Truly restaurant (short walk from Rockside station) for a discussion with CVSR President Craig Tallman.


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


Imagine My NEO Engagement Events Continue

July 15, 2013 in News

We have been enjoying our visits to different areas of Northeast Ohio, and appreciate the feedback from residents so far! We will be continuing our travels and engagement in the upcoming weeks. Please look out for us at these upcoming events:

(Images of a few previous events: Akron Aeros Game, Mahoning Valley River Fest, Youngstown Summer Festival of the Arts)

July 18: Akron Zoo from 10 a.m.- 5 p.m.

July 18: Elyria Summer Concert on the Square from 11:30 am – 1:00 pm

July 19: Cleveland Zoo from 10 a.m. – 5 p.m.

July 20: Haymakers Farmers’ Market, Kent from 9 a.m. to 11 a.m.

July 24: Richfield Library from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m.

July 24: Lemon Grove, Youngstown from 5 p.m.- 7 p.m.

July 26 and 27: Burning River Festival, Cleveland from 6 p.m. – 11 p.m.

July 28: Community Parade, Canton at 2:30p.m.

August 4: Thistledown Racino Farmers Market, Cleveland from 10 a.m. – 3 p.m.


Stop by one of our booths to be a part of the action, and continue to spread the word about Imagine My NEO (

Daisy Plants itself in Wooster

July 11, 2013 in economic development, News

From The Daily Record
by Bobby Warren 

“Months of speculation regarding whether an agbioscience company would locate here officially ended Monday when the state’s tax credit authority granted Daisy Brand, a maker of sour cream and cottage cheese, incentives.

Until Monday, local leaders would only refer to the pending Daisy deal as Project Cream. It all began with a cold call in May 2012.

The Wayne Economic Development Council received a call from the company. There had been a search in the Great Lakes region for a new plant site because of the strong presence of dairy farms and dairy market, said Shawn Starlin, a project manager for WEDC. States that were being considered included Ohio, Indiana, Michigan and Pennsylvania.

Company officials did their homework, Starlin said. In determining who to call, they looked at dairy statistics. Wayne County far exceeds all Ohio counties with its production of 600 million pounds of milk annually.

“It’s impressive,” Starlin said.

There were 77,700 cows in Wayne, Holmes, Tuscarawas, Stark and Medina counties as of January 2012. Wayne County has 32,500 of the cows, or 41 percent. The next closest is Holmes with 16,900.

But it took more than impressive dairy numbers to get it done. Company officials visited this area repeatedly, meeting with city and county leaders, economic development officials and utility representatives. They had site visits to the former First Farm along Akron Road next to LuK USA to make sure it would be suitable for a new production facility.

Daisy’s executives were looking for something else, too, something less tangible.

“They wanted to look at a facility in a small town or one with small-town values,” Starlin said…”

Click to read this article in its entirety, as well as others on The Daily Record

Register Now for the Vibrant NEO Open Houses!

July 8, 2013 in News

Join us for 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.

The VibrantNEO process puts you in charge of Northeast Ohio’s future. What will our communities look like, how successful will our economy be, and how much will it likely cost us if we keep our current policies and approaches to land use, transportation and development in place? What would the alternative futures look like if they change?

We need your help to define what we value and what choice Northeast Ohioans want to make for our future. We can only answer these questions together!


Pick a date and location that’s most convenient for you and join us for a Vibrant NEO Open House where you can learn about and help choose among different possible futures for our region. The open house format will allow you to attend the meeting at your convenience. Stop by during any of the following times.


July 29                        
Cleveland MetroParks Zoo (Reinberger Education Center)
4:30 – 7:30 pm
3900 Wildlife Way (next to the Zoo’s Main Entrance)
Cleveland, OH 44109
Register Here

July 30    
Lorain County Community College (Spitzer Conference Center)
4:30 – 7:30pm
1005 North Abbe Road
Elyria, OH 44035
Register Here 

July 31      
Kent State University – Ashtabula Campus (Blue and Gold Room)
11:30am – 2:30pm
3300 Lake Road West
Ashtabula, OH 44004
Register Here

July 31  
Willowick Community Center
4:30 – 7:30pm
321 E. 314th Street
Willowick, OH 44095
Register Here

August 1      
Tech Central @ Main Branch, Cleveland Public Library
11:30am – 2:30pm
325 Superior Avenue
Cleveland, OH 44114
Register Here

August 1     
Akron Urban League (President’s Hall)
4:30 – 7:30pm
440 Vernon Odom Boulevard
Akron, OH 44307
Register Here


August 6     
Raymond John Wean Foundation
11:30am – 2:30pm
147 West Market Street
Warren, OH 44481
Register Here

August 6     
OH! WOW – Children’s Center for Science and Technology
4:30 – 7:30pm
11 West Federal Street
Youngstown, OH 44503
Register Here

August 7
Kent State University Main Campus – Ballroom
11:30 – 2:30pm
1075 Risman Drive
Kent, OH 44242
Register Here

August 7   
The Metropolitan Center
4:30 – 7:30pm
601 Cleveland Avenue NW
Canton, OH 44702
Register Here

Regenerating America’s Legacy Cities

July 1, 2013 in News, Sustainability

From the Weblog of the Lincoln Institute of Land Policy:

“Many of America’s legacy cities — older industrial metropolitan areas facing manufacturing decline and population loss — have had a difficult time bouncing back. But the key to revitalization for Baltimore, St. Louis, Camden, N.J., Youngstown, Ohio or Flint, Michigan, is to take stock of the assets right at their doorstep, such as downtowns, parks, transit systems, and academic and cultural institutions. That’s the message of Regenerating America’s Legacy Cities, an analysis of 18 cities by Alan Mallach and Lavea Brachman, who advocate step-by-step “strategic incrementalism” as a path to economic development, rather than the silver-bullet approach of signature architecture, a sports stadium or other megaprojects.

In preparing the Lincoln Institute’s latest Policy Focus Report, Mallach and Brachman, who are both nonresident fellows at The Brookings Institution, examined cities in New England, the Mid-Atlantic, the South, and the Midwest, that had a population of at least 50,000 in 2010, and a loss of at least 20 percent from peak population. They concluded that a renewed competitive advantage, which will enable legacy cities to build new economic engines and draw new populations, can come from leveraging longstanding assets such as downtown employment bases, stable neighborhoods, multimodal transportation networks, colleges and universities, local businesses, historic buildings and areas, and arts, cultural, and entertainment facilities.

“Intentional strategies are needed to unlock the potential of a city’s assets to bring about sustainable regeneration,” the authors write. Making progress “begins with leaders sharing a vision of the city’s future and then making incremental, tactical decisions that
 will transform the status quo, while avoiding grandiose and unrealistic plans.”

The roster of cities in Regenerating America’s Legacy Cities, in various states of revival and decline, includes Baltimore, Camden, N.J., 
Newark, Philadelphia, Birmingham, Buffalo, Canton, Ohio, Cincinnati, Akron, Ohio, Cleveland, Dayton, Ohio, Detroit, 
Flint, Mich., Milwaukee, Pittsburgh, St. Louis, Syracuse, and Youngstown, Ohio. Mallach and Brachman looked at the challenges these cities face by reviewing the economic, social, market, physical, and operational factors that have led to their present condition. The relative health or vitality of each of these cities was tracked with 15 separate indicators to measure population change, socioeconomic condition, housing markets, and economic activity. Some appear successful, at least in relative terms; others are clearly unsuccessful, and others fall in between.

The authors argue that regeneration is grounded in the cities’ abilities to find new forms, including new physical forms that address the loss of population and changing economy. New models of governance and leadership, new forms of export-oriented economic activity, and new ways of building stronger regional and metropolitan relationships are other vehicles to successful regeneration.
In addressing the question, “what does it take to change?” the authors discuss what is meant by successful regeneration, followed by an exploration of obstacles to change, leading to the presentation of a model, which they call strategic incrementalism, as a framework with which cities can overcome these obstacles and pursue successful change. They identify the key elements of revitalization as:

  • Rebuilding the central core
  • Sustaining viable neighborhoods
  • Repurposing vacant land for new activities
  • Re-establishing the central economic role of the city
  • Using economic growth to increase community and resident well-being
  • Building stronger local governance and partnerships
  • Building stronger ties between legacy cities and their regions

In addition to urging a rethinking of state and federal policy as it relates to legacy cities, the authors recommend that cities seeking to rebuild and reinvent themselves should not think in terms of one large, high-impact solution – such as a sport stadium or convention center – but rather foster change through smaller steps in a variety of areas.
Alan Mallach is senior fellow at the Center for Community Progress, a nonresident senior fellow at the Brookings Institution, and a visiting professor in the Program for Sustainable Planning and Development at Pratt Institute. He is co-author of another Lincoln Institute publication, Inclusionary Housing in International Perspective: Affordable Housing, Social Inclusion, and Land Value Recapture. Lavea Brachman is the executive director of the Greater Ohio Policy Center and a nonresident senior fellow at the Brookings Institution. She has been a visiting fellow at the Lincoln Institute of Land Policy and a visiting professor in Massachusetts Institute of Technology’s Department of Urban Studies and Planning.”


 Click to read this article and more on the Weblog of the Lincoln Institute of Land Policy