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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?

 

Imagine MyNEO!

April 2, 2013 in Communications, Engagement, News, Sustainability

In May, NEOSCC will be launching an on-line engagement tool entitled Imagine MyNEO! Based on an open source software called Crowd Gauge, Imagine MyNEO! will allow the entire region to share their priorities with the Vibrant NEO process.
As an introduction to the new tool, we have included an article by Sarah Madden of Sasaki Associates (our Scenario Planning consultant).  It includes background about the creation of the tool and some examples of its previous use.

Gauge the values, priorities and preferences of the crowd.

by Sarah Madden, Sasaki Associates

Web-based technology can help planners promote literacy about planning issues and increase public engagement. We already deploy sophisticated data analysis and modeling tools, but many of these tools are more suitable for back-of-house number crunching than for interactive public engagement. This divide between tools for technicians and tools for engagement is significant:  despite all of the public- and client-facing communication work we do, few of today’s data modeling or scenario planning tools were built to be inviting to lay audiences. We need to apply our technological design prowess to facilitating interaction and better engaging the very people our work supports.

Faced with the challenge of engaging people across a spread-out region, Sasaki, PlaceMatters, and the Des Moines Area Metropolitan Planning Organization (DMAMPO) partnered to build a new tool—called CrowdGauge—to help communities achieve better public participation and understanding of trade-offs. CrowdGauge is an open-source framework for creating educational online games. It first asks users to rank a set of priorities, then demonstrates how a series of actions and policies might impact those priorities. The third part of the sequence gives users a limited number of coins, asking them to put that money towards the actions they support most.

We first developed the platform in partnership with the Des Moines Area MPO (DMAMPO) as part of The Tomorrow Plan, a regional plan for sustainable development in the Central Iowa region. The original game, named DesignMyDSM, can be played at designmydsm.thetomorrowplan.com. The study region included 480,000 residents, 17 cities, approximately 540 square miles, and parts of four counties—requiring an outreach strategy that went beyond in-person open houses and workshops. DesignMyDSM captured over 1000 unique users in the region, and was especially effective in the under-40 demographics who typically would not have participated in a traditional community engagement process.

CrowdGauge is entirely open-source and available under the permissive MIT license. Currently, Sasaki is preparing to apply the CrowdGauge platform to the Northeast Ohio Sustainable Communities Consortium Initiative (NEOSCC) in spring 2013, and Denver-based PlaceMatters is beta testing the software for use on other HUD-funded regional planning projects.

As web-based technologies grow in both functionality and beauty, planners have the opportunity to create new places for people to enjoy expressing ideas, solving problems, and realizing goals. Most importantly for planners, web technologies offer the opportunity to help ask interesting questions and confront tradeoffs. Visual design, information architecture, and usability are increasingly important to match the strength of our technical muscle with the complexity of the human experience—which means designing with clarity and user experience in mind.

In the spirit of open source, we are pleased to share this front-end tool with the planning community. We are excited to see the clever applications and brilliant new iterations we will all build next.

 

Credits for information and photo/graphics: 
Sarah Madden, Sasaki
smadden@sasaki.com
crowdgauge.org
designmydsm.thetomorrowplan.com

 

Digi-NEO…facts about Northeast Ohio

March 15, 2013 in Conditions and Trends, Connections, Engagement, Environment, News, Quality Connected Places, Transportation

During the course of developing the NEOSCC Conditions and Trends Platform, we developed 33 findings across the subject matter areas of economic development, transportation, housing, the environment and quality connected places in Northeast Ohio.  In order to communicate some of these findings, we have developed the Digi-NEO program which highlights different facts about the region’s successes as well as its challenges.

Visit our Digi NEO Gallery to learn more about our region.

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! 

Common Wealth Inc. Launches 30 Mile Meal Project

February 20, 2013 in News, Quality Connected Places, Sustainability, Trumbull

Please join the Common Wealth, Inc. on February 28th to learn more about 30 Mile Meal, a new regional food project. Natalie Woodroofe of the Athens County Visitors Bureau and Leslie Schaller of ACEnet will give a short luncheon presentation on the project. They will also unveil the 30 Mile Meal website, introduce additional media platforms, talk about events and discuss overall plans for this year!

At lunch, businesses will be recognized that promote local farmers by using local products. If there is a restaurant, store or other business you would like to nominate, please forward the name, contact information and the local product used.

At this time, there are nine partners committed to this project. If you are interested in becoming a partner and commit to doing so before February 28th, you will be recognized as a Founding Partner in all communications. Please use the contact information below to request a membership form.

Meeting information:

Thursday, February 28, 2013
From 12 p.m. until 1:30 p.m.
In the Raymond John Wean Foundation’s Western Reserve Room:
147 W. Market Street, Warren OH 44481

For this event, we suggest a donation of $10. If planning to attend, please RSVP by responding to this email.

The 30 Mile Meal is a local food branding and promotional campaign which aims to provide a shared identity for our many farmers, specialty food producers, retail markets, food events, and independently-owned eateries and bars featuring locally-sourced menus. The effort will help spur economic development and create tourist destinations based on regional food fare.

For anyone interested in obtaining membership forms or attending the luncheon, please contact Christina Perry.

Via Good…Infographic: How to Have a 100-Mile Thanksgiving

November 20, 2012 in ACT, Communications, News, Sustainability

With Thanksgiving just a few days away, we wanted to share a recent post from the Good website proposing a 100 mile Thanksgiving challenge.  Happy Thanksgiving!

In the spirit of using less fuel and supporting local farms and food artisans, we challenge you to try a 100-mile Thanksgiving. A 100-mile Thanksgiving uses ingredients sourced from within 100 miles of your dinner table. Think of it as an opportunity to celebrate local food, rather than an obligation to source every last ingredient from within 100 miles. Food miles, or the amount of miles a certain product has traveled to its final destination, are an important consideration when trying to reduce your carbon footprint and the amount of oil and gasoline used in making a meal.

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