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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.

“Treecycling”

December 29, 2012 in Communications, News, Sustainability

As the last post of the year, we thought it would be good to focus on a creating a more sustainable holiday. Every year, there is a debate about which is more environmentally friendly: artificial or natural Christmas trees. Regardless of what you chose this year, you can’t leave it up forever. There are a number of ways you can dispose of your natural Christmas tree to reduce the environmental impact. Here is a great infographic from GOOD.is on some of those the ways. Click on the image below to visit the original post.

A GOOD.is

Measuring Sustainable Progress

November 7, 2012 in Communications, News, Sustainability

Translating sustainability and the triple bottom line  into accessible concepts and actions has long been a difficult aspect of broadening the audience and stakeholders for sustainability initiatives.  This has been particularly true in how everyone can take action.

At its recent Sustainable Cleveland 2019 Summit, The City of Cleveland launched its new dashboard.  The new tool includes performance measures that will help to capture progress made along the 10 year initiative:

Measuring progress is essential to the success of Sustainable Cleveland. The performance indicators measure results, inform strategy, shine a light on what is working and they educate and inspire us through stories and metrics.

The framework focuses on sustainability initiatives in the areas of business, personal/social, built and natural.  Most importantly, the site highlights how you can affect these areas at home, work and in your community.   While some of the measurements have yet to be published, it is definitely worth at look.  Visit the SC 2019 dashboard site to see where you can make a difference!

Learn and Share: Are environmental conditions in Northeast Ohio getting better or worse?

October 31, 2012 in Conditions and Trends, Environment

Photo by Peggy Turbett, The Plain Dealer

With the weather, rainfall and flooding in the news, we thought it an appropriate time to discuss the Environment Work Stream findings.  Are environmental conditions in Northeast Ohio getting better or worse? The answer to that question depends a lot on the type of environmental issue being considered.  Here is a bit of a summary for rainy day reading.

Since the 1970s, the region has made a lot of progress cleaning up what is typically thought of as “pollution.” Industry has reduced emissions from smokestacks and effluent pipes. Wastewater treatment plants are doing a much better job treating sewage. And some of dirtiest sources of industrial pollution have closed down or moved to places with lower environmental standards. As a result, the air and water are cleaner than they used to be.

But other types of environmental issues have been harder to address. These are “nonpoint” sources of pollution — sources that are numerous and dispersed rather than a single point that is simple to regulate and control. For example, the region’s lakes and streams are impacted by polluted stormwater runoff, which flows off countless streets, parking lots, and farm fields. Similarly, the big problem affecting the region’s air quality now is the motor vehicle pollution from more than two million cars and trucks.

Environments Work Stream

These nonpoint sources are a big reason why the region struggles to make further environmental progress. Most Northeast Ohio counties still fail to meet federal air quality standards for ozone and fine particulates. Flooding from stormwater runoff is a persistent and costly problem. And there are disturbing signs that the health of Lake Erie, which had been improving for several decades, may be deteriorating again (lack of data further frustrates understanding of potential trends).

It is important to note that these environmental problems are related to patterns of land use. As development has spread out over more land, there are more paved surfaces and rooftops to shed rain, and people have to drive farther to reach far-flung destinations. The spread of development also affects the diversity of plants and wildlife. And it impacts emerging environmental issues, such as the rising level of carbon emissions that impact the region’s future precipitation patterns and conditions for agricultural production.

Visit our Conditions and Trends Platform to Learn More!

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