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Keep Akron Beautiful Initiative

April 9, 2013 in ACT, Quality Connected Places

Keep Akron Beautiful is encouraging all area residents to get involved in the 2013 Great American Cleanup™, by participating in the 32nd annual Clean Up Akron Month during April 2013. This year, we are cleaning up for an entire month, with the culmination event taking place on SUPER SATURDAY, April 27, 2013 at the Akron Zoological Park. We look forward to cleaning up with you, your civic groups and your families in April.

For 32 years Keep Akron Beautiful has been working to recruit thousands of civic-minded volunteers to adopt a public parcel of land to clean during Clean Up Akr
on Week. This year, Akron volunteers will be joined by volunteers from 1,200 affiliates of Keep America Beautiful around the country to participate in the Keep America Beautiful Great American Cleanup, the nation’s largest community improvement program that harnesses 4 million volunteers to build vibrant communities. Each year, we engage volunteers to take action in our community through programs that deliver positive and lasting impact through events focused on waste reduction, recycling, beautification and community greening

Policies and Strategies in Shrinking Cities

April 4, 2013 in Mahoning, Planning and Zoning, Quality Connected Places

On Thursday, March 28, the Youngstown Neighborhood Development Corporation, Technical University of Dortmund, Germany (TUD), and German Marshall Fund (GMF) hosted a workshop in Youngstown titled: Policies and Strategies in Shrinking Cities: The Case of Youngstown, Ohio. The event was attended by more than 60 people including: stakeholders from throughout Youngstown and the Mahoning Valley and representatives from the cities of Cleveland, Pittsburgh, and Akron.

The invitation only workshop included a site visit of abandoned industrial sites with potential for reuse, an expert panel discussion, and presentation of redevelopment ideas from urban planning students from the Technical University of Dortmund.

The expert panel discussion included Alan Mallach, Brookings Institution; Lavea Brachman, Greater Ohio Policy Center; Professor Thorsten Wiechmann, Technical University of Dortmund, Germany, and Ian Beniston, YNDC. The students’ redevelopment ideas included opportunities to reconnect Youngstown to its riverfront and industrial heritage and integrated best practice ideas from the Ruhr Valley in Germany. A final plan based on their work will be released this summer.

To view the presentation visit YNDC.

To learn more please contact the YNDC via phone at 330.480.0423 or via email info@yndc.org!

Oberlin Project: Rethink Your Ride

April 1, 2013 in ACT, Transportation

The Oberlin Project is launching another Rethink Your Ride Alternative Transportation Challenge from today through April 21.

From their website

2013 Rethink Your Ride Alternative Transportation

Last year during the Fall Rethink Your Ride Challenge, participants avoided over 3,700 single occupancy vehicle miles during the six-week competition. This year the Oberlin Project is coordinating this community-wide alternative transportation challenge in association with Oberlin College’s Ecolympics event for those who live, learn, work, and play in Oberlin. The Ecolympics is a competition between dorms to reduce electricity and water. In addition, there will be dozens of events aimed at education and integrating principles of sustainability into the entire Oberlin community.

Transportation and housing costs can account for as much as 45% of a household income. Using alternative methods of transportation for local shopping and daily commute to work may create a healthier lifestyle, reduce transportation expense while also reducing carbon emissions. The goal is to “Rethink Your Ride” and eliminate at least one trip of single miles traveled in a personal vehicle week and replacing it with walking, biking, car-sharing, Oberlin Community Connector Bus or other low-carbon modes of transportation while also helping the community reduce carbon emissions. We encourage all Oberlin community members, Oberlin College staff and students to develop healthy yet sustainable travel habits that eliminate carbon emissions. This is a fun and friendly three-week challenge that begins on Monday, April 1 through Sunday, April 21.

For more information visit The Oberlin Project.

REGISTRATION OPEN! Vibrant NEO Workshops

March 22, 2013 in ACT, Engagement, Scenario Planning

CLICK ON THE LINKS BELOW TO REGISTER: 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 REGISTER

CLICK ON THE LINKS BELOW TO REGISTER

Tues., April 30:
Lorain, Medina, and western Cuyahoga counties
The Oberlin Inn
7 N Main St
Oberlin OH 44074
Register:  http://tinyurl.com/VibrantNEO-Oberlin-043013

Tues., April 30:
Mahoning, Trumbell and Ashtabula counties
John F. Kennedy High School
2550 Central Parkway Avenue SE
Warren, Ohio 44484
Register: http://tinyurl.com/VibrantNEO-Warren-043013

Weds., May 1:
Central Cuyahoga county and inner-ring suburbs
Third Federal Savings & Loan (auditorium)
7007 Broadway Ave.
Cleveland OH 44105
Register: http://tinyurl.com/VibrantNEO-Cleveland-050113

Weds., May 1
Wayne and Stark counties
The Metropolitan Centre
601 Cleveland Ave., NW
Canton OH 44702
Register: http://tinyurl.com/VibrantNEO-Canton-050113

Thurs., May 2:
Summit and Portage counties
Akron Urban League
440 Vernon Odom Blvd.
Akron OH 44307
Register: http://tinyurl.com/VibrantNEO-Akron-050213

Thurs., May 2: 
Lake, eastern Cuyahoga, and Geauga counties
Cuyahoga Community College – Corporate College East
4400 Richmond Rd.
Warrensville Heights OH 44128
Register:http://tinyurl.com/VibrantNEO-WH-050213

Share: What makes Northeast Ohio Vibrant?

March 20, 2013 in Engagement, News

Lakewood Beach

The story of the Northeast Ohio region begins with you. What makes Northeast Ohio special for you? What would you change if you could? MyVibrantNEO is an opportunity for local residents to share their experiences with NEOSCC and the broader region. Submissions can be in many formats, including photos, videos, essays, songs, poems, and more!
Northeast Ohio is your region, and it’s important for you to share why you love it and what you would improve. Using your input, we can gain further understanding of what we can do to encourage a more vibrant and sustainable future for Northeast Ohio. We would love for you to be involved in this ongoing conversation!

 

NEOSCC has already received some submissions, but it’s not too late to let your voice be heard! Some of the submissions thus far include photos of locals enjoying the Mahoning Riverfest, the sunset at Lakewood Park, and locals enjoying a canoe excursion at the Trumbull Canoe Trails Club Picnic. Submissions will be displayed on NEOSCC’s website, and the best submissions will become a part of NEOSCC’s ongoing engagement campaign! And, of course, you will be credited whenever your submission is used.

To view the submission gallery or upload your entry click here.

Share your piece of Northeast Ohio with NEOSCC, and tell the region what you love about your community!

What Can I Do Today?

Thriving Communities Institute: From Vacancy to Vitality

March 19, 2013 in ACT, Conditions and Trends, economic development, Housing, News, Toolkiit

In 2011, the Western Reserve Land Conservancy launched an effort to combat the devastating impact of abandonment and disinvestment on Northeast Ohio’s core cities. Entitled the “Thriving Communities Institute,” the initiative targeted the reduction of vacant residential properties, primarily through demolition. These properties, according to Institute Director Jim Rokakis, reduce property values in our neighborhoods. Studies show that one vacant property on a street will significantlyreduce the value of adjacent homes. Soon, due to loss of value, foreclosures and “bank walk-aways,” the nearby homes become vacant as the disease spreads. Soon the entire neighborhood is dead and diseased, having been destroyed by this contagious and toxic process. Then the adjacent areas are infected and the disease spreads further … predictably, relentlessly, and with devastating consequences.

The impact of disinvestment in the urban core also has negative implications for the region’s natural environment. Depressed urban markets drive potential residents further away from the center and into suburban and exurban communities. The demand for housing and retail services away from the core increases development pressure on previously undeveloped open spaces and agricultural lands. The abandoned housing left behind prevents reuse of urban properties for urban gardens, parks, and greenways. Residential vacancies cause unnecessary consumption of “greenfield” land for development while prohibiting the repurposing of unoccupied land for environmental remediation; it is a two-edged sword.

According to Director Jim Rokakis, Thriving Communities Institute is already lending its hand to transform vacant and unproductive properties into new opportunities to attract economic growth, to bring green space to the region’s cities, and to support safe, beautiful neighborhoods. In working with community leaders in Northeast Ohio, the Institute has learned that urban revitalization is a process, one with many steps supported by great partnerships. Thriving Communities is helping secure vacant, unhealthy properties by establishing and supporting county land banks throughout the region. County land banks provide counties with much-needed ability to quickly acquire foreclosed and vacant property. These land banks can safely hold a distressed property, clean its title, and prepare it for a better day. The goal is to secure vacant properties – which would otherwise attract crime, lower neighboring home values, and incur public services costs – so that they can be put to better use in the future.

Additional information about the Thriving Communities Institute is available through their website: http://thrivingcommunitiesinstitute.org/. This site includes opportunities to provide support, become better engaged, and share stories or photographs. Questions about the Institute may be directed to either Jim Rokakis (jrokakis@wrlandconservancy.org) or Robin Thomas (rthomas@wrlandconservancy.org).

What Can I Do Today?

Earthfest 2013

March 14, 2013 in Environment, News, Sustainability

Join Earth Day Coalition for EarthFest 2013 at this year’s new location, the Cuyahoga County Fairgrounds, on Sunday, April 21 from 10am-5pm. In partnership with the Sustainable Cleveland 2019 initiative, we will be celebrating Advanced and Renewable Energy. Presented and organized by Earth Day Coalition since 1990 and now in its 24 year, EarthFest is Ohio’s largest environmental education event and the longest running Earth Day celebration in the nation.

NEW this year:

• Advanced and Renewable Energy exhibit area next to the Fairgrounds’ dramatic 500kW wind turbine and Energy Education Center. Attendees will learn first hand about exciting initiatives in our region as well as home products and conservation methods that utilize advanced energy sources, minimize emissions and maximize efficiency. Additional exhibit areas will include 175+ exhibitors in Clean Transportation (with Ride-and-Drive), Local and Sustainable Food, Green Home Improvement, NEW Lawn & Garden, Health and Fitness, Community Works and Family Fun. Also, visit the NASA Glenn Research Center Village at EarthFest.

• Families will have a fun-filled day with amusement rides, inflatable obstacle courses, petting zoo, urban farm animals, a beekeeper exhibit and more!

• Guests will enjoy microbrews, all-day chef demos and a huge selection of healthy and delicious local food from your favorite food trucks, such as Izzy Schrachner’s StrEat Mobile Bistro. (Look for a list of trucks and menus in our upcoming eblasts and on our website).

• Listen to all-day music and the best of Northeast Ohio singer-songwriters, musicians and bands on multiple “Party with the Planet” entertainment stages organized by students enrolled in Cuyahoga Community College’s entertainment booking class.

• Ride your bike to EarthFest, park at the Ohio City Bicycle Co-op valet station at the Bagley Road Fairgrounds entrance and get FREE admission to EarthFest.

• Take walking tours of Baldwin Wallace University’s solar, wind, composting and green building installations led by students from the university.

• Visit the regularly scheduled flea market repurposing event which will take place on the Fairgrounds during EarthFest and receive a dollar off admission to EarthFest.

Admission:
$3 ages 2-11; $5 ages 12+; FREE under age 2, for anyone who rides and parks their bike at the Fairgrounds entrance, and to guests who ride RTA’s Redline (regular fare) from any station to Brookpark Rapid Station and take the free EarthFest shuttle to the Fairgrounds.

We are accepting entries for the Hope and Stanley Adelstein Awards for Excellence annual K-12 Earth Day Art, Poetry and Essay contest. Cash prizes will be awarded at 11am Welcoming Ceremonies. Brochures are available on our website.

Exhibitor and sponsorship opportunities are available. Call (216) 281-6468 or visit www.earthdaycoalition.org for more information.

Help spread the word about EarthFest! Download an EarthFest flyer here to print, forward to friends and share through social media!

 

Green Buildings & the Effect on Human Health

March 13, 2013 in Engagement, News

From the Northeast Ohio Chapter of the US Green Building Council….

Healthcare is an ever-evolving industry; from the tools and technology that specialists, doctors and nurses rely on and the role of hospital design in providing comfort and care, to the sustainable building practices that reduce facility costs. Keeping informed of these trends is now more important than ever as 2013 brings more changes to health care and hospitals.

The NEOGBC is conducting a  panel discussion led by Skanska’s Elizabeth Heider, immediate past chair of the U.S. Green Building Council as we explore green building and human health trends.

Additional panelists include: Monica Green, principal of Westlake Reed Leskosky, Matthew Pietro, sustainability specialist of University Hospitals Health System, Chris Parkinson, interim director of Cleveland Clinic’s Office for a Healthy Environment and Andrew Quirk, senior vice president / national director of Skanska’s Healthcare Center of Excellence.

Date: Tuesday, March 19th
Time: 7:30am breakfast / networking, 8:00 – 9:30 panel discussion / Q&A
Location: CWRU Ford Auditorium in Allen Memorial Medical Library 11000 Euclid Avenue in Cleveland 44106
Cost: $10 students / $20 Chapter Members and CWRU Employees / $30 Non- Members

Register at http://www.eventbrite.com/event/5725214270#

 

Join The Oberlin Project for a Local Food Event

March 12, 2013 in News, Quality Connected Places

Saturday March 16th
10:30am-1:30pm
Oberlin High School, 281 North Pleasant Street
This pop-up event will bring together interested members of the Oberlin community, area farmers, and food buyers in Lorain County for a day of learning, sharing, and connecting. This event will feature a local market, three (3) local food films, and local food presentations. The local food films and speakers are listed on the back of this flyer.
This event is free and open to the public.
www.oberlinproject.org 

 

 

Local Food Hub Pop Up Event Presentations & Cinema Schedule

In conjunction with the Oberlin Project’s Pop-up Local Food Hub, are local food presentations each half-hour and local food films produced by three local film-makers. These presentations and movies will present creative and innovative ways that communities in Ohio engage local food systems to support health, environmental sustainability, and a stronger local economy.

Local Food Hub Pop Up Presentation Schedule – Oberlin High School Auditorium:

10:30 a.m. Glenn Gall – Healthy Food, People, Farms, Planet
11:00 a.m. Ruby Beil – Sustainable Agriculture at Lorain County Community College
11:30 a.m. Chet Bowling – Oberlin Kitchen Incubator
12:00 p.m. Tracie Haynes/Dave Sokoll – Neighborhood Food Development
12:30 p.m. Nick Swetye – The New Agrarian Center/City Fresh
1:00 p.m. Frank Whitfield – Local Foods and Youth Education/Engagement

Each presentation is 10-15 minutes with 10-15 minute question and answer session.Local Food Hub Pop-Up Event Cinema – Oberlin High School Library:


10:30-11:30 Network Theory – Athens, Ohio
– Network Theory (Brad Masi, MikaJohnson, 2013) looks at how communities in Southeast Ohio engage local food systems to build a more resilient economy and a more inclusive democracy. (Topics: food hubs, rural self-reliance, network weaving, staple foods, local food processing, business to business connections)

11:30-12:30 PolyCultures – Cleveland and Northeast Ohio – PolyCultures – Food Where We Live (Tom Kondilas, 2009) looks at the inter-connected efforts between urban and rural communities in Northeast Ohio to grow a healthy and sustainable regional food system. (Topics: urban food access, ecological farming, urban agriculture, local economies)

12:30-1:30 For the Love of Food- Oberlin, Ohio – For the Love of Food (Brad Masi, Mika Johnson, 2012) looks at the past and present of Oberlin’s pioneering efforts to localize its food supply, learning from those on the ground doing it and their perspectives about the future of local foods in the community. (Topics: entrepreneurship, homesteading, education, youth)

The Pop-Up Cinema is a collaboration between: Art + Practice, LESS Productions, and Blue Heron Productions. These films star the many diverse members of Ohio communities that are coming together to grow a stronger and more resilient local food supply. The films feature inter-connected vignettes, so come in and out as you please and see what best practices you might want to apply to your community!

These events will help you learn, connect, and share your ideas about local foods. We encourage you to share you thoughts and ideas about your vision of local foods in Oberlin using the “idea wall” areas during this event.

Free and Open to the Public! 

Hey! – SAVE THE DATE – Vibrant NEO Public Work Shops

March 6, 2013 in Engagement, News, Scenario Planning

What are Vibrant NEO 2040 and Scenario Planning?

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 our land and how we invest our resources. Once we create these scenarios, we will be able to compare how successful they are at achieving our common goals for the region, judge which choices would be best for Northeast Ohio’s future, and create a shared vision and framework for the future around those choices.

You are invited to attend an upcoming workshop to share your voice in the conversation. We have selected six city locations throughout the region for your convenience. Pick a date and location that works for you!

April 30:

Oberlin (Lorain, Medina, and western Cuyahoga)

Warren (Mahoning, Trumbull and Ashtabula)

May 1:

Cleveland (Central Cuyahoga and inner-ring suburbs)

Canton (Wayne and Stark)

May 2:

Akron (Summit and Portage)

Warrenville Hts. (Lake, eastern Cuyahoga, and Geauga)

ALL WORKSHOPS WILL BEGIN 6:30 PM.

Exact locations and registration will be available soon.