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 vibrantneo.org. NEOSCC will now focus on communicating the vision and explaining the available products throughout the region.