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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.

WEEK ONE

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

WEEK TWO

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

Imagining Your Northeast Ohio!

June 21, 2013 in News

       Last week NEOSCC launched an online game: Imagine My NEO. Imagine My NEO puts users in the shoes of a policy maker, allowing them to design their own community by ranking priorities, projects, and policies they wish to see in the future of our communities. The game is designed to gather input from residents of Northeast Ohio, and will be used in the next phase of the NEOSCC project of implementing the planned scenarios. NEOSCC will use the data collected to design and plan a more vibrant, resilient, and sustainable Northeast Ohio.
        In order to receive feedback from as many residents as possible this summer, NEOSCC is going around to Northeast Ohio events and venues, engaging visitors by answering questions, explaining our goals, and by having everyone play the game on one of our iPads. Please stop by our table at any one of the events!
       A few upcoming events we will be attending include:
Oberlin College campus on June 20 from 1 p.m. until 4 p.m.
Hidden Treasures Street Fair in Old Brooklyn’s West, Cleveland on June 22 from 11 a.m. until 3 p.m
Conneaut Library on June 25 at 1p.m.
Stark County Italian-American Festival on June 28 from 4 p.m. until 11 p.m.
Geauga County Library on July 9 at 2 p.m.
The Mahoning Valley Scrapper Minor League Baseball game
on July 10 at 7:05.
Youngstown State University Summer Festival of the Arts
on July 13 at 11 a.m.
Akron Aeros Game on July 14 at 2:05 p.m.
 
*Check our calendar for more details and updates! Hope to see you soon.”

Akron and Cleveland What Matters to Metros Forums next week

June 21, 2013 in Engagement, News

What Matters to Metros

The Fund for Our Economic Future’s What Matters to Metros™: Foundational Indicators for Economic Competitiveness helps community leaders identify factors that are associated with economic growth in mid-sized U.S. metropolitan areas in a post-recession economy. What Matters to Metros™ can serve civic leaders in metros throughout the United States, but the research bears specific implications for the four largest metropolitan areas in Northeast Ohio: Akron, Canton, Cleveland and Youngstown. This research provides data that civic leaders and the Fund can use to ask more strategic questions about how “growth” can be pursued, and to identify their own distinct approaches to get there.

Over the last few weeks, the Fund has hosted forums in Canton and Youngstown. The Fund will be hosting two more community forums next week. You can RSVP by visiting the links below. 

Akron
June 24, 10a-12n Quaker Square Inn (135 S Broadway St., Akron, OH 44325)
Partners:  Akron Community Foundation and the University of Akron
RSVP: http://wmm624akron.eventbrite.com

Cleveland
June 28, 8a-10a, location TBD
Partners:  Saint Luke’s Foundation and The Community Foundation of Lorain County
RSVP: http://wmm628cleveland.eventbrite.com

See what’s being said about our Regional Analysis of Impediments to Fair Housing Choice

June 20, 2013 in Housing, News

This week around the Northeast Ohio region, NEOSCC staff are presenting and taking comments on the draft of initials findings from our Regional Analysis of Impediments to Fair Housing Choice. Below are some excerpts of what a few local media outlets had to say about the study and the work we are doing. You can click on each article to read the story in full.

 

“Study: Blacks in Mahoning County receive more predatory loans”
by Burton Speakman,The Vindicator

“The overall point of the study was to show where issues exist within Northeast Ohio and develop a vision of what this area should be, said Anthony Kobak, project manager for NEO Sustainable Communities Consortium.

Then the area needs to develop plans and find funding for programs to help make any necessary changes to make area housing more equitable, he said.”

“Reports show minorities denied loans”
by WKBN Staff, WKBN Channel 27 News

“The Northeast Ohio Sustainable Communities Consortium has released its Fair Housing Report.

The initiative incorporates 12 counties in the northeast Ohio region. The study looked at private lending practices, public sector housing complaints and the community reinvestment act.

Among the data analyzed was that provided by the Home Mortgage Disclosure Act for home purchase loan applications from 2004 through 2011.

Of the 328,557 loan applications originated in the region, 65,149 were denied. American Indian, black, and Hispanic residents experienced a higher rate of loan denial than white or Asian applicants. Black and Hispanic applicants were also issued higher interest rate loans, and black borrowers experienced a rate nearly twice that of white applicants, according to the report.”

“Fair housing data presented on Lake, Geauga counties”
by Betsy Scott, The News-Herald

“The Northeast Ohio Sustainable Communities Consortium is behind the Regional Analysis of Impediments to Fair Housing Choice — a document a number of jurisdictions in the region are required to have by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development or the state, depending on the grant funding agency.

The 2,500-plus-page analysis identified racially and ethnically concentrated areas, measured racial/ethnic isolation and segregation, evaluated access to opportunity areas, and recommended ways to reduce social and economic disparity…

The presentation included the number of housing complaints to HUD from 2004 to 2012 — 31 total in Geauga and 138 in Lake, for reasons including familial status, race and disability. Mortgage loan denials also were reviewed, showing a pattern of higher denials among minorities.

Agency representatives at the presentation disputed some of the data, particularly that which was gathered from a local government survey about fair housing information in their respective communities. They said it didn’t paint an accurate picture…

The results of the fair housing study will be integrated into a planning process for changes to be implemented. They also can be incorporated at the local level, said Anthony Kobak, project manager for NEOSCC.

“Each local entity can accept it as their own analysis of impediments, a portion of it or not at all,” he said. “HUD is concerned with the findings, but moreso how you are addressing them.”"

 

To view the fair housing report online, visit vibrantneo.org/regional-aifhea-draft-report.

To submit comments comments or questions, send to NEOSCC, 146 S. High St., Suite 800, Akron, OH 44308, or email akobak@neossc.org.

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.

Public Hearing for ODOT Major and New Construction Projects

June 4, 2013 in News, Transportation

The Ohio Department of Transportation’s Transportation Review Advisory Council (TRAC) has reviewed and scored applications for this year’s round of major/new construction funding. Major/new projects are defined as those that cost more than $12 million and are critical to the mobility, economic development, and quality of life of Ohioans. ODOT has scheduled public meetings to receive feedback on the draft list of projects.

The public hearing for northeast Ohio that covers ODOT districts 3, 4, 11 and 12 is scheduled for Thursday, June 6 at 9:00 am at the Akron Public Library, 60 South High Street in downtown Akron. For more information.

Take the 2013 National Bike Challenge!

June 3, 2013 in Connections, News, Transportation

  • What is the Challenge?
    The Challenge is an exciting health and wellness initiative that encourages people to bike for transportation and recreation. In 2013, we aim to have 50,000 riders pedaling 20 million miles from May 1, 2013 until September 30, 2013. It is open and free to anyone who lives in the U.S. or works for an organization with U.S. employees.
  • What is the history of the Challenge?
    In 2009, Kimberly-Clark Corporation created an internal Bike Challenge for its more than 50,000 employees. With the help of the Bicycle Federation of Wisconsin, the Challenge was successfully piloted In Wisconsin at the state-wide level in 2011. The Bike Challenge, then called the Get Up & Ride National Bike Challenge, went national in 2012. It had over 30,000 participants riding 12 million miles; 2013 will be the second year the Challenge is national in scope.

Learn more about the National Bike Challenge by clicking on the image above to visit their website!

Public Forum: Transportation as a Civil Rights Issue

May 30, 2013 in Connections, News, Transportation

What Matters to Metros: Register for Community Forums!

May 28, 2013 in Engagement, News

What Matters to Metros

The Fund for Our Economic Future’s What Matters to Metros™: Foundational Indicators for Economic Competitiveness helps community leaders identify factors that are associated with economic growth in mid-sized U.S. metropolitan areas in a post-recession economy. What Matters to Metros™ can serve civic leaders in metros throughout the United States, but the research bears specific implications for the four largest metropolitan areas in Northeast Ohio: Akron, Canton, Cleveland and Youngstown. This research provides data that civic leaders and the Fund can use to ask more strategic questions about how “growth” can be pursued, and to identify their own distinct approaches to get there.

The Fund will be hosting community forums with partners in Northeast Ohio’s four metros in June 2013. You can RSVP by visiting the links below. 

Canton
June 5, 9:30a-11:30a at the Stark Community Foundation (400 Market Ave N, Canton, OH 44702)
Partners:  Stark Community Foundation and the Canton Regional Chamber of Commerce
RSVP: http://wmm65canton.eventbrite.com

Warren/Youngstown
June 20, 8:30a-10:30a, D.D. and Velma Davis Education and Visitor Center, Fellows Riverside Gardens at Mill Creek MetroParks (123 McKinley Avenue, Youngstown, OH  44509)
Partners:  The Raymond John Wean Foundation and the Trumbull 100
RSVP: http://wmm620youngstown.eventbrite.com

Akron
June 24, 10a-12n Quaker Square Inn (135 S Broadway St., Akron, OH 44325)
Partners:  Akron Community Foundation and the University of Akron
RSVP: http://wmm624akron.eventbrite.com

Cleveland
June 28, 8a-10a, location TBD
Partners:  Saint Luke’s Foundation and The Community Foundation of Lorain County
RSVP: http://wmm628cleveland.eventbrite.com