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NEOSCC Board approves release of Vibrant NEO 2040 Vision, Framework and Products

December 18, 2013 in Products, Scenario Planning, Tool, Toolkiit, Vibrant NEO 2040

NEOSCC Board approves release of Vibrant NEO 2040 Vision, Framework and Products

Member organizations to now consider Vision for approval

The Board of Directors of the Northeast Ohio Sustainable Communities Consortium (NEOSCC) yesterday voted to release the Vibrant NEO 2040 Vision, Products and Framework documents to NEOSCC member organizations for review, consideration and potential vote of approval.  The NEOSCC Board will take a final vote on approval of the Vision at its February 25, 2014 meeting.  You can review the board meeting presentation above.

 “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.”

This fall, NEOSCC and the Vibrant NEO 2040 team presented the objectives and potential recommendations during a series of public meetings, seven subject matter caucuses and to its board. Utilizing the feedback received, nine recommendations and 41 initiatives emerged as the foundation for the Vibrant NEO 2040 Vision and Framework.

“We recognize the recommendations and initiatives are not “one size fits all” solutions,” added Mr. Morrison.  “We understand that some of initiatives will not be applicable to all parts of the 12-county region. Lastly, 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.”

The recommendation and initiatives, derived through a comprehensive development process over the course of 2013 and driven by the preferences and values of Northeast Ohio residents, are essentially steps and tools for realizing the Vision NEO 2040 Vision.

The nine Vision NEO 2040 Recommendations, and their related Initiatives, are:

Please note that NEOSCC recognizes that the recommendations and initiatives are not “one size fits all” solutions.  We understand that some of initiatives will not be applicable to all parts of the 12-county region. Lastly, 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.

1.       Focus new residential and commercial development on sites within established communities

  • Initiative 1.1: Encourage infill and redevelopment through the use of tax credits and other direct and indirect public incentives.
  • Initiative 1.2: Fix it first: continue to privilege projects that maintain the existing road network in a state of good repair, rather than building additional capacity.
  • Initiative 1.3: Improve the ability of municipalities and townships to analyze the long-term impacts of new development and better manage their own development.
  • Initiative 1.4: Continue development throughout the region in accordance with local zoning requirements and preferences, but prioritize public subsidies to projects within the region’s established communities.
  • Initiative 1.5: Require the users of new sewer extensions that serve previously unsewered areas to pay the full cost of service.
  • Initiative 1.6: Consider instituting a land value tax to replace existing improvement-based property assessment and taxation methods.

2.       Develop a robust network of regional job centers connected by multimodal transportation corridors within and between counties

  • Initiative 2.1: Strengthen regional job centers—and the corridors that connect them—by diversifying and intensifying land uses and investing in strategic local economic development within them.
  • Initiative 2.2: Use transit oriented development (TOD) to create stronger, more accessible, regional job centers.
  • Initiative 2.3: Implement a tiered approach to local parking requirements.

3.       Pursue the remediation, assembly, marketing, and redevelopment of abandoned properties at both the local and regional levels

  • Initiative 3.1: Develop and maintain a regional vacant industrial and commercial properties database and criteria for determining the most appropriate successive use, whether for redevelopment, green infrastructure, food production, or parks, or natural areas.
  • Initiative 3.2: Expedite permitting and remove barriers for adaptive reuse of abandoned buildings and empty lots.
  • Initiative 3.3: Expand and coordinate existing land bank efforts to acquire, assemble, manage, and dispose of vacant properties throughout the region.
  • Initiative 3.4: Identify, evaluate, and—where appropriate—pursue the reuse of vacant and abandoned industrial sites endowed with significant preexisting infrastructure that could provide unique opportunities for regional economic development. Advocate for a brownfield redevelopment fund and promote these sites through a large-scale marketing campaign.

4.       Encourage a higher frequency of mixed-use development and a range of diverse, affordable housing options

  • Initiative 4.1: Include mixed-use designations and/or planned unit overlay districts in zoning codes throughout the region.
  • Initiative 4.2: Include traditional small-lot, compact single-family and townhouse residential designations in zoning codes throughout the region.
  • Initiative 4.3: Offer financial incentives to developers that incorporate affordable housing units into their projects and implement inclusionary zoning in markets with widespread affordability gaps.
  • Initiative 4.4: Offer financial literacy and housing education programs for tenants and homeowners. Focus on areas in established communities where investments in housing are underway.

5.       Enhance and coordinate the region’s rail and bus services

  • Initiative 5.1: Invest in a regional network of bi-directional public transit connections between Northeast Ohio’s major job centers.
  • Initiative 5.2: Create a network of high-frequency express and local transit routes connecting the region’s job centers. Prioritize infill development in the corridors served by these routes. In the short and medium terms, upgrade high-performing existing bus routes and create new bus routes in designated corridors. In the long term, upgrade the highest-demand routes into commuter rail service.
  • Initiative 5.3: Coordinate the region’s transit systems for joint marketing, information technology, and fare media, including information regarding private transit resources such as university/health system shuttles, private bus services, airport transportation, etc.
  • Initiative 5.4: Evaluate the condition of all existing rail trackage and rail crossings to determine what investments would be necessary to bring substandard infrastructure up to standard for freight and passenger service.

6.       Enhance walking and cycling as transportation options to increase regional mobility and improve public health

  • Initiative 6.1: Expand the existing bicycle lane and trail system and connect it to regional transit hubs via on-and-off street facilities.
  • Initiative 6.2: Repair existing sidewalks and crosswalks and add new ones as needed wherever a fixed-route bus service is in operation.
  • Initiative 6.3: Promote “Complete Streets” through regional policy and the identification of local champions.
  • Initiative 6.4: Collaborate with school districts and local communities to further develop safe routes to school, encouraging walking and biking, and site new schools in walkable locations.

 7.       Preserve our natural areas for future generations, provide outdoor recreation opportunities, and develop a regional approach to protecting air, water, and soil quality

  • Initiative 7.1: Expand and connect the existing network of parks, trails, rivers, lakes, and natural areas through continued partnerships with private land owners, land conservancies, land trusts, community members, and local governments.
  • Initiative 7.2: Support and expand green infrastructure options for flood control and general water management, both at the local level with projects like green alleys and bioswales, and at the regional level with a network of large, upstream water retention areas.
  • Initiative 7.3: Improve regional quality of life and health by focusing on the interface between natural and human systems in the areas of flood mitigation, storm water run-off, and clean beaches and the water quality of our lakes, rivers, and streams.
  • Initiative 7.4: Strengthen and expand watershed partnerships that foster communication and collaboration between upstream and downstream communities across all 15 Northeast Ohio watershed geographies.
  • Initiative 7.5: Expand collaboration between existing natural resource districts and consider the creation of new districts where appropriate.
  • Initiative 7.6: Develop and maintain a natural resources inventory of the region.

 8.       Support sustainable agriculture and the local food system in Northeast Ohio

  • Initiative 8.1: Support the expansion of community supported agriculture (CSAs), farmer cooperatives, farm-to-school programs, and other existing mechanisms that support sustainable agriculture and enhance food access.
  • Initiative 8.2: Partner with individual landowners, the food processing industry, and local organizations to protect agriculturally valuable land for future generations.
  • Initiative 8.3: Review and amend local ordinances to allow for small- and moderate-scale urban farming on occupied and vacant parcels that are environmentally safe for growing food.
  • Initiative 8.4: Support the work of local food initiatives to share best practices and identify policies of regional significance.

 9.       Increase collaboration among the region’s government agencies to expand information sharing and find more cost-effective means of providing essential services

  • Initiative 9.1: Study privatization and public-private partnerships as means to fund critical infrastructure projects that cannot be funded solely through public dollars.
  • Initiative 9.2: Utilize joint procurement strategies and the sharing of facilities, staff, and other resources wherever possible to save money on the provision of public services.
  • Initiative 9.3: Identify one or more organizations that will host and maintain the technical resources created by NEOSCC so that they will remain current, accurate, and available for future regional visioning and planning.
  • Initiative 9.4: Align MPO/COG/ODOT transportation model inputs and continue to collaborate, share information, and align policy objectives across the multiple regional planning agencies of Northeast Ohio.
  • Initiative 9.5: Foster greater engagement between MPOs/COGs and organizations/initiatives that address natural resources, parks, sewer, public health, housing, education, private business investment, and economic development.
  • Initiative 9.6: Sustain the momentum of NEOSCC by continuing to convene stakeholders to identify and address regional issues and to advance the region’s collaborative capacity.

In addition to the Vision, the Board also reviewed and approved the Action products, developed by NEOSCC to encourage, equip, and support Northeast Ohioans to learn, share, create, and act together to build a more vibrant future this year.  The Vibrant NEO 2040 Vision and these products are meant to inspire and guide decision-making at the MPO, COG, and local level to ensure that land use, transportation, and environmental considerations are simultaneously addressed by their processes

The Action Product are:

  1.  Dashboard: a visualization tool that communicates a set of indicators and metrics, against which progress toward the Vibrant NEO 2040 vision will be measured.
  2. Tool Kit & Best Practices: implementation tools and techniques to realize the regional preferred vision developed through Vibrant NEO 2040.
  3. Policy Recommendations: a framework for analyzing the effects existing policies have on the region and determining what may be needed to create desired change.
  4. Pilots: emerging best practices that show promise in moving the region towards the Vibrant NEO 2040 preferred vision.

The Action Products are aligned with final Vibrant NEO 2040 Vision themes, recommendations & initiatives. The Dashboard & Policy Recommendations are higher-level and aligned with recommendations.  The Tools, Best Practices & Pilots are aligned by initiative.

Vibrant NEO 2040 in the News

October 25, 2013 in Engagement, Scenario Planning, Vibrant NEO 2040

In the Record-Courier today, the paper endorses the Vibrant NEO 2040 Vision saying:

The better way to confront our future is to deal with what is here, cleaning up the mess, shouldering our obligations to leave a better world for all.

That’s the kind of thinking the people behind Vibrant NEO 2040 are trying to stimulate and hats off to them for doing so.

You can read the entire piece here.

We were also featured in the Warren Tribune-Chronicle recently as well:

Laying out a future for the entire northeastern Ohio region – plans that include economic development, revitalization of jobs and creation of quality living environments – is a daunting task, and one that Vibrant NEO has boiled down to three major components it presented Thursday.

Continue reading here.

You can also check out the coverage in Lorain County Morning Journal here, the Cleveland Plain Dealer here and WKSU here.

Less than 2 weeks until Vision Sessions!

September 25, 2013 in ACT, Engagement, Scenario Planning

Over the course of the last year, the Northeast Ohio Sustainable Communities Consortium (NEOSCC) engaged residents, elected officials, and experts throughout our 12-county region in a rigorous scenario planning process. Our goal throughout this process has been to work out what choices we can make now that will give our region the greatest chance for success in the future. Two sets of past events drew hundreds of Northeast Ohio residents from all over the region to give their feedback.

The final phase of our project will synthesize a shared vision around our region’s priorities and assets based on that feedback—then provide recommendations on how we might get there.

This upcoming set of events will present to the public its proposed Vibrant NEO 2040 Vision, a strategic and inspirational roadmap for the future of the region that has been built upon everything we have heard and learned to-date. This work will answer the questions, “where do we want to go, and how will we get there?” Each Vision Session will include an interactive presentation with polling, followed by an informal open house and Q&A session.

Information about the first two set of events, which allowed us to build up to the proposed plan, can be found on our website: Phase One Workshop and Open Houses.

Online registration for all workshops is available at the links below. Prior registration is not required, but is encouraged. 

 

Mon., October 7:

Lorain County Community College (Spitzer Conference Center)

1005 North Abbe Road, Elyria, OH 44035

6:00PM Registration/6:30-8:00PM Program

http://tinyurl.com/vision-LCCC

 

Tues., October 8:

 

Akron Urban League

440 Vernon Odom Boulevard, Akron, OH 44307

6:00PM Registration/6:30-8:00PM Program

http://tinyurl.com/vision-Akron-Urban

 

 

Weds., October 9:

 

Harvey Rice Elementary School

2730 E. 116th Street , Cleveland, OH 44120

6:00PM Registration/6:30-8:00PM Program

http://tinyurl.com/vision-Harvey-Rice

 

 

Thurs., October 10:


Raymond John Wean Foundation

147 West Market Street, Warren, OH 44481

10:30AM Registration/11:00-12:30PM Program

 

 

Youngstown State University Williamson Conference Center

221 North Hazel Street, Youngstown OH 44503

6:00PM Registration/6:30-8:00PM Program

 

http://tinyurl.com/vision-YSU

 

Mon., October 14:

 

Fairview Park Gemini Recreation Center

21225 Lorain Road – Fairview Park, Ohio 44126

6:00PM Registration/6:30-8:00PM Program

http://tinyurl.com/vision-Gemini-Rec

 

Tues., October 15:

PARTA Kent Central Gateway

201 East Erie Street – Kent, Ohio 44240

10:30AM Registration/11:00-12:30PM Program

http://tinyurl.com/vision-PARTA

 

Tues., October 15:

Stark State College Silk Auditorium

6200 Frank Avenue Northwest, North Canton, OH 44720

6:00PM Registration/6:30-8:00PM Program

http://tinyurl.com/vision-Stark

 

Weds., October 16:

Kent State University Ashtabula Campus Blue and Gold Room

3300 Lake Road West – Ashtabula, Ohio, 44004

6:00PM Registration/6:30-8:00PM Program

http://tinyurl.com/vision-Ashtabula

 

Thurs., October 17:

Lake Erie College Morley Music Hall

391 West Washington Street – Painesville, Ohio 44077

6:00PM Registration/6:30-8:00PM Program

http://tinyurl.com/vision-Lake-Erie

 

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 Cleveland.com 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.

Vibrant NEO 2040: Northeast Ohio’s Opportunity

July 24, 2013 in ACT, Vibrant NEO 2040

NEOSCC AND VIBRANTNEO 2040

We often receive questions about what our initiative is about.  Here are thirteen facts about VIBRANTNEO 2040 and the opportunity for Northeast Ohio. Our open houses are less than a week away, join the conversation.  Details on locations and times can be found here.

VIBRANTNEO IS A LOCAL INITIATIVE. NEOSCC is made up of local governments, agencies, and organizations from across Northeast Ohio that have come together to create a means to work together toward goals for Northeast Ohio that we all share.  All decisions to accept, pursue and implement VibrantNEO 2040 will need to be made at the local level, through our region’s Metropolitan Planning Organizations, Councils of Government, and our County, Municipal, Village, and Township governments.

VIBRANTNEO 2040 WILL BE A VISION BASED ON SHARED VALUES. Developing VibrantNEO 2040 is an opportunity for Northeast Ohioans to explore the region’s long-term development patterns and think together about what we want for the future of our region. VibrantNEO 2040 will reflects the values, voices and vision of Northeast Ohioans and will be a roadmap to a stronger Northeast Ohio.

VIBRANTNEO 2040 WILL BE A “FRAMEWORK” As a “framework,” VibrantNEO 2040 will be a structure of policies, practices and relationships that better align the region’s decision-making and enhance the ability of the Northeast Ohio citizens and governments to make the big and small decisions.

VibrantNEO 2040 IS FOCUSED ON THE LONG-TERM IMPACT OF HOW WE USE LAND AND RESOURCES. Land-use affects many things and, as a result, VibrantNEO 2040 is a broad initiative.  But it is not all encompassing. NEOSCC believes in the importance of recognizing the relationships among land use, transportation, infrastructure investment, and environmental quality and VibrantNEO 2040 will promote integrated regional land use and housing, transportation, and capital investment planning.

VibrantNEO 2040 is based on data and analysis. Currently, many decisions are made and practices are carried out in Northeast Ohio in the absence of accurate and accessible region-wide or local data. Vibrant NEO 2040 aspires to provide this missing information and articulate the region’s choices clearly and unambiguously. NEOSCC has drawn together information and expertise from all across the region and from throughout the country to help create VibrantNEO 2040. Local government agencies and organizations have contributed thousands of hours of time and data from more than 200 pre-existing local planning and policy initiatives have been reviewed and analyzed.  Hundreds of volunteer experts and social scientists focusing on transportation, infrastructure, housing, economic development, environmental quality, planning and design, and many other areas have worked side-by-side with NEOSCC staff and its team of consultants to ensure VibrantNEO 2040 reflects our best thinking and deepest understanding of our region.

THE PROCESS TO CREATE VIBRANTNEO 2040 IS BROAD, TRANSPARENT AND INCLUSIVE. The VibrantNEO 2040 process actively seeks increased participation and decision-making by populations that have been left out of such processes in the past and has already involved thousands of Northeast Ohioans through its workshops, public meetings, speaking engagements, media relations, advertising, online communication, surveys, and publications.

NEOSCC firmly believes that facilitating an open and honest public process like VibrantNEO 2040 requires defending everyone’s right to offer an opinion, even if that opinion is that the public process should just go away.  Protecting and encouraging a diversity of thought and points of view enriches the process and its results. Everything NEOSCC does is chronicled on its website, www.vibrantneo.org.

VIBRANTNEO 2040 RESPECTS AND WILL PROTECT THE RIGHTS OF PROPERTY OWNERS.  Planning, when done correctly, protects the rights of property owners by helping to ensure land is put to its highest and best use, resources are carefully managed, and property values aren’t undermined.  NEOSCC clearly stated its commitment to property rights in its goals for VibrantNEO 2040:

Goal 3: Respect Choice

Preserving our quality of life, expanding choices for Northeast Ohio’s citizens and respecting local government and individual property rights are essential principles for this process.

VIBRANTNEO 2040 WILL EXPAND THE CHOICES AVAILABLE TO NORTHEAST OHIOANS. The ways that Northeast Ohio is currently using land and resources limit our choices about where and how we live, how we travel, what natural and built resources we have at our disposal, and how we spend public dollars.  By working together developing and implementing VibrantNEO 2040, residents and local governments will share data, develop common approaches to shared priorities, focus efforts and resources, eliminate duplication, and, ultimately expand the choices available to them. 

PARTICIPATION IN VIBRANTNEO 2040 IS A CHOICE. While local government has been and will continue to be crucial to the development and implementation of VibrantNEO 2040, there is nothing about the VibrantNEO 2040 process that would force a local government to participate or change. Every local government, organization and individual participating in creating VibrantNEO 2040 is doing so by choice.

VIBRANTNEO 2040 IS BEING DESIGNED TO HELP LOCAL GOVERNMENTS BE MORE EFFECTIVE AND EFFICIENT. NEOSCC is developing products through the VibrantNEO 2040 process to enable the public, local agencies, and Northeast Ohio communities to inform, prioritize, align, and coordinate actions to advance our quality of life, sustainability, and resiliency. VibrantNEO 2040 will also help eliminate waste of resources and leverage regional assets, investments, and opportunities to their fullest potential. Two key ways that VibrantNEO2040’s success will be judged are how well it spurs local action and equips decision makers, planners, experts and residents with tools to implement the goals of their communities.

VIBRANTNEO 2040′S IMPLEMENTATION WILL BE UP TO LOCAL GOVERNMENTS. Once VibrantNEO 2040 is complete, it will be presented to local governments and their constituents for review and consideration. It will be up to local governments and their constituents to decide if adopting and implementing the recommendations from the Vibrant NEO 2040 Vision and Framework and using the tools that NEOSCC is developing is in their best interest.

VIBRANTNEO 2040 WILL HAVE NO EFFECT ON MUNICIPAL BOUNDARIES. VibrantNEO 2040 is being designed to protect and preserve the things we value most about Northeast Ohio and one of those things is our local communities, with their rich histories and commitment to self-determination. Many of these communities have participated in NEOSCC since its inception; VibrantNEO 2040 will be a tool to strengthen local governments, not undermine them.

VIBRANTNEO 2040 DOES NOT ADDRESS ISSUES OF REVENUE AND TAXATION.  While VibrantNEO 2040 will make recommendations about where financial resources may be deployed to have the greatest impact and how Northeast Ohio can achieve greater efficiency in its use of built and natural resources, how local governments generate financial resources is well beyond its scope and is a matter left to local governments and residents to decide.

A Letter to the Region

April 29, 2013 in Engagement, Scenario Planning

Join Us this week! We all have our reasons for loving Northeast Ohio, and because we love this region, we want to see it thrive and grow, just as we want to see the challenges facing our region addressed and put behind us.

The Northeast Ohio Sustainable Communities Consortium (NEOSCC) is working to help residents preserve and build upon what we value, and fix those things that are challenging. NEOSCC is a regional collaboration of public agencies, elected officials, philanthropic and non-profit organizations, colleges and universities and community members. Our mission is the development of Vibrant NEO 2040, a vision for how to make Northeast Ohio a more vibrant, resilient, and sustainable place to live and work.

To develop that vision, we need a solid understanding of the “facts on the ground,” so NEOSCC started by convening over 150 experts from across Northeast Ohio to study over 200 existing policy studies and planning documents and assess the region’s demographic trends and development patterns over the past 4 decades.

The picture that we’ve found, available at cat.neoscc.org, is nuanced. This region, inarguably, has a wealth of assets which are a magnet for new residents and businesses, and a foundation on which to build future endeavors.

There are also clear, unsettling and economically challenging aspects of our region’s long-term development patterns. Over the past four decades, the percentage of our region’s land which has been developed has grown by more than 21%, but our population has declined by about 7%. This means, quite simply, that as a region, we are maintaining more infrastructure and have more housing and commercial property than we can support with a slightly smaller population than we had in 1970.

The consequences of this pattern can be seen throughout the region—from weak housing markets in many of our region’s core city neighborhoods  and first suburbs to the decline of our region’s downtown retail districts and—more recently—the abandonment of shopping malls and retail strips in many of the region’s suburbs.  It can also be seen in the debates—often heated—between the leaders of long-established and newly-developing communities about how best to invest the region’s scare infrastructure resources in their respective communities. The question for the region is stark: How can we maintain the quality and economic vitality of our already-developed communities while meeting the emerging needs of communities experiencing the pressures of new development?

This region’s future will be decided by how we answer that question, how we deal with challenges like development without population growth, and by how we connect and leverage the unique assets of our people and places.  At NEOSCC, we understand that we can only tackle these questions together, as a region.

In order to create a vision for a sustainable future, we have to figure out what choices we can make now that will give us the greatest chance for success.  To do this, we are using a tool called Scenario Planning, and we hope you will be a part of this effort.

Scenarios summarize likely future outcomes based on what we know about the present and what we know about how the world works.  (Every weather forecast, for example, presents a scenario for the future, based on what meteorologists know about the current weather and what they know about how weather patterns develop.)

VibrantNEO 2040’s scenarios will tell stories about our possible futures, based on where Northeast Ohio is today and the choices we might make about how we use land and how we invest.  Our Scenario Planning process uses different scenarios to try and answer some important questions: What will Northeast Ohio look like in the future if we keep doing what we’re doing? What if we pursue different priorities?  What scenarios and priorities lead to the best potential future for our region? How do we prioritize our choices given limited resources? And finally, what does the preferred vision of Northeast Ohio’s future look like?

The first round of Vibrant NEO 2040 Scenario Planning Public Workshops focuses on the “Business-As-Usual” scenario.  It outlines what Northeast Ohio’s future will look like if we keep doing what we are currently doing – 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.

Once we know what will happen if we keep doing what we are doing, then we can start to ask how the future might change if we do some things differently.  It’s the first step in a three-phase process that we will be conducting over in the coming months.

As a region, we face tough but important questions, and the answers can only come from the people of Northeast Ohio.  That’s why we hope you will take advantage of at least one of the several opportunities this year to add your voice, perspective and ideas to the Scenario Planning process.  The initial opportunity is just around the corner; the first round of workshops take place across the region at convenient locations on April 30, May 1 and May 2, from 6:30 to 8:30 PM.  Visit VibrantNEO.org and register for the location and day most convenient for you, and join us as we begin to work toward a common vision for a more vibrant, resilient and sustainable Northeast Ohio.

Less than 1 week… Will you help create NEO’s Future?

April 24, 2013 in Engagement, Scenario Planning

What are you doing April 30, May 1 or May 2?  Creating NEO’s Future Depends on You?

Speak up and voice your opinions about OUR home!

What brought you to Northeast Ohio?

What keeps you here?

What do you value most about Northeast Ohio?

What will keep you and your family here in the future?

The Northeast Ohio Sustainable Communities Consortium (NEOSCC) will be hosting a series of workshops to create a vision for a Vibrant NEO in the year 2040. Workshops will be two hours long and will be held at various locations throughout the region.  Please feel free to pick the time and location that is most convenient for you, regardless of your county of residence.

Your help is needed to help NEOSCC focus the workshops on issues that are most important to YOU – today and in the future!

CLICK ON THE BLUE LINKS BELOW TO REGISTER! ALL WORKSHOPS WILL BEGIN 6:30 PM.

April 30

Oberlin (Lorain, Medina, and western Cuyahoga)
The Oberlin Inn, 7 North Main Street, Oberlin, OH 44074

Warren (Mahoning, Trumbull and Ashtabula)
John F. Kennedy High School, 2550 Central Pkwy Ave SE, Warren, OH 44484

May 1

Cleveland (Central Cuyahoga and inner-ring suburbs)
Third Federal Savings & Loan (Auditorium), 7007 Broadway Avenue, Cleveland, OH 44105

Canton (Wayne and Stark)
The Metropolitan Centre, 601 Cleveland Avenue NW, Canton, OH  44702

May 2

Akron (Summit and Portage)
Akron Urban League, 440 Vernon Odom Boulevard, Akron, OH 44307

Warrenville Hts. (Lake, eastern Cuyahoga, and Geauga)
Corporate College – East, 4400 Richmond Road, Warrensville Heights, OH 44128

What future do You want for Northeast Ohio?

April 12, 2013 in ACT, Engagement, Scenario Planning

Interested in learning more about the Vibrant NEO process and the schedule for the rest of the year?  Download our new overview piece, What future do YOU want for Northeast Ohio?

 

The Oberlin Project

April 11, 2013 in Sustainability

The Oberlin Project, a Joint venture between the City of Oberlin and Oberlin Ohio

The Oberlin Project is a joint effort of the City of Oberlin, Oberlin College, and private and institutional partners to improve the resilience, prosperity, and sustainability of the Oberlin Community. The City of Oberlin is located in southwest Lorain County, less than 10 miles from Elyria. In 2012, the city was named a “Best Hometown” by Ohio Magazine.[1] Oberlin College & Conservatory is a four-year liberal arts college and conservatory of music. Founded in 1833, the school counts approximately 2,900 students.[2] The Oberlin Project’s aim is to revitalize the local economy, eliminate carbon emissions, restore local agriculture, food supply and forestry, and create a new, sustainable base for economic and community development.[3]

The Oberlin Project was founded by Professor David W. Orr and is currently managed by Bryan Stubbs. David Orr is the Paul Sears Distinguished Professor of Environmental Studies and Politics and Special Assistant to the President of Oberlin College. The Oberlin Project was formed out of David Orr’s vision of full-spectrum sustainability: an all-encompassing joint venture by the City and College to create a thriving, sustainable and environmentally friendly community in Oberlin. In the summer of 2009, the College joined four otherwise disparate objectives into an overarching initiative in affiliation with the City of Oberlin: 1) Revitalize the local economy; 2) Eliminate carbon emissions; 3) Restore local agriculture and forestry; and 4) Use the entire effort as an educational laboratory relevant to virtually every discipline. The result is The Oberlin Project.[4]

Professor Orr invites all to imagine Oberlin City and College within a vibrant Northeast Ohio:

Imagine Oberlin with a vibrant 24/7 downtown featuring local foods, arts, and music, powered by energy efficiency and sunlight. Imagine arriving from (Cleveland) Hopkins airport on a light-rail coming through a 20,000 acre greenbelt of farms and forests that terminates close to a new, deep green hotel with a cuisine featuring local foods. Imagine your college reunion held in an adjacent solar powered conference center. Imagine a Green Arts District in which great college strengths in music, the arts, and drama are joined to those in the sciences as the backdrop for performances, exhibitions, lectures, and an ongoing conversation on the most important issues on the human agenda, all having to do with whether and how civilization might endure and flourish in radically altered biophysical conditions.[5]

Additional information about The Oberlin Project is available through their website: http://www.oberlinproject.org/. This site includes opportunities to provide support, become better engaged, and read blogs and media updates. Questions about the Project may be directed to either Managing Director Bryan Stubbs (Bryan.Stubbs@oberlin.edu) or Assistant Director Heather Adelman (hadelman@oberlinproject.org).


[1] http://www.ohiomagazine.com/Main/Articles/Best_Hometowns_2012_4489.aspx

[2] http://new.oberlin.edu/about/index.dot

[3] http://www.oberlinproject.org/

[4] http://www.oberlinproject.org/about/executive-director/david-w-orr

[5] Ibid.

Have you signed up yet? Less than three weeks until first Vibrant NEO Work Shop

April 10, 2013 in ACT, Engagement

Help create a more sustainable Northeast Ohio

The VibrantNEO process uses public workshops to look at the future of our Northeast Ohio.  What will it look like in 2040 if we keep doing what we’re doing?  What are the potential outcomes if we do things differently?  To answer these questions, we need to understand our values and priorities.

This first round of VibrantNEO public workshops revolves around a scenario called “Business‐As‐Usual.”  It outlines what Northeast Ohio’s future will look like if we keep doing what we are currently doing.  We need your help to define what we value and what’s most important to this region as we start to create a vision for Northeast Ohio’s future.  We can only answer these questions together!

Pick a date and location that’s most convenient for you and join us!  All events begin with an open house and registration from 5:30 – 6:30 PM.

Workshops take place from 6:30 – 8:30 PM.

Click on the links below to RSVP or for more information go to http://vibrantneo.org/workshops/.

Tuesday, April 30:

Lorain, Medina, and western Cuyahoga counties The Oberlin Inn

7 N Main St

Oberlin OH 44074

http://tinyurl.com/VibrantNEO-Oberlin-043013

 

Tuesday, April 30:

Mahoning, Trumbull and Ashtabula counties John F. Kennedy High School

2550 Central Parkway Avenue SE

Warren, Ohio 44484

http://tinyurl.com/VibrantNEO-Warren-043013

 

Wednesday, May 1:

Central Cuyahoga county and inner-ring suburbs Third Federal Savings & Loan

(auditorium)

7007 Broadway Ave.

Cleveland OH 44105

http://tinyurl.com/VibrantNEO-Cleveland-050113

 

Wednesday, May 1:

Wayne and Stark counties

The Metropolitan Centre

601 Cleveland Ave., NW

Canton OH 44702

http://tinyurl.com/VibrantNEO-Canton-050113

 

Thursday, May 2:

Summit and Portage counties

Akron Urban League

440 Vernon Odom Blvd.

Akron OH 44307

http://tinyurl.com/VibrantNEO-Akron-050213

 

Thursday, May 2:

Lake, eastern Cuyahoga, and Geauga counties Cuyahoga Community College – Corporate College East

4400 Richmond Rd.

Warrensville Heights OH 44128

http://tinyurl.com/VibrantNEO-WH-050213