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Kent’s PARTA Multimodal Transit Center is Underway

February 13, 2013 in Connections, News, Portage

The Kent Central Gateway (KCG) multimodal facility is a planned transit center that will increase transit accessibility and emphasize multi-modal transportation in Kent, Ohio. This is a collaborative project with Portage Area Regional Transit Authority, the City of Kent, and Kent State University. The U.S. Department of Transportation selected the Kent Central Gateway as a recipient of a Transportation Investment Generating Economic Recovery (TIGER) Grant. The multimodal center was one of two transportation projects in Ohio and among 51 nationwide that received $1.5 billion from the U.S. Department of Transportation. The Kent Central Gateway will be located between Haymaker Parkway (SR 59), E. Main Street (Kent Ravenna Rd), and S. Depeyster Street in Kent, Ohio. This location lies in downtown Kent within one-quarter mile of Kent State University and the Cuyahoga Riverfront. The Gateway Facility will be a catalyst for economic development that will contribute to a vibrant downtown that is seamlessly connected to the university campus. It will also be environmentally friendly by incorporating “green” design features and a model of sustainable development that emphasizes a diverse transportation system. The project is scheduled to be completed in July 2013. For more information about The Kent Central Gateway, visit the website.

The connection between Kent State University and the City of Kent was also recently highlighted in a New York Times article.

 

University Park Alliance: 2013 Urban Innovator Speaker Series

January 30, 2013 in News, Planning and Zoning, Quality Connected Places, Summit

2013 Urban Innovators Speaker Series
Time: 6:30 PM to 8:00 PM
Date(s): 01-30-2013 to 03-20-2013
Price: Free

Reserve now! Seating will be limited to 100 per presentation and reservations are required. Call 330-777-2070 or email info@upakron.com

January 30th and February 20th Speaker Series programs will be held at the Andrew Jackson House – Ballroom at 277 E. Mill Street, Akron, OH 44308, the corner of E. Mill and Union Streets.

March 20th Speaker Series program will be held at Quaker Square at the corner of E. Mill Street and N. Broadway, Akron, OH 44308

January 30th:
Redesigning the Urban Landscape: Developing a Natural Sense of Place – Sabrena Schweyer & Samuel Salsbury, Salsbury-Schweyer, Inc.

February 20th:
Transforming Vacant Spaces: Creating Value from Vacancy in the Urban Footprint – Terry Schwarz, Cleveland Urban Design Collaborative

March 20th:
Cohousing: A Unique Approach to Alternative Housing – Sharon Sykora, Ph.D., Slippery Rock University

UPA’s Urban Innovators Speaker Series features world-class thinkers and practitioners presenting creative approaches to revitalizing our city center. Historically cities have been the engines of the U.S. economy and today play an even greater role in fostering economic growth as incubators of innovation. This series provides a platform for the sharing of best practices and the exploration of ideas to transform thinking and accelerate the kinds of core city investment that will lead to competitive success for Greater Akron in the new urban economy.

The Series is presented by University Park Alliance and underwritten by the Greater Akron Chamber.

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SC2019 Kicks Off Year of Advanced & Renewable Energy

January 17, 2013 in News, Quality Connected Places, Sustainability


Sustainable Cleveland 2019 (SC2019) is a 10-year initiative launched by the City of Cleveland in 2009 that engages everyone to work together to design and develop a thriving and resilient Cleveland that leverages its wealth of assets to build economic, social and environmental well-being for all.

Every year leading up to 2019, Cleveland will focus on one of the key areas fundamental to a sustainable economy. The Sustainable Cleveland Celebration Points are designed to be accessible to all members of the community — households, neighborhoods, businesses, and institutions can all participate, either in collaboration or independently.

Renewable-POST In celebrating 2013 as the Year of Renewable and Advanced Energy, SC 2019 is inviting everyone to attend launch party …

The winds of change… come and join us. Learn how Advanced and Renewable  Energy works  in Cleveland and Northeast Ohio. Learn about solar, wind, hydrogen, fuel cells, bio-energy, energy efficiency and more!

Stop by informational tables to hear how you can save money  and reduce your energy  consumption at work, home, and in your community.

Also come taste samples and purchase your new favorite healthy foods on site.

The event is  FREE and easily accessible via RTA. Parking available at the Willard Garage at regular price.

When: January 31, 2013 at 11:00am – 2:00pm
Where: Cleveland City Hall Rotunda, 601 Lakeside Ave. E., Cleveland, OH 44114
Cost: Free

Contact: Philena Seldon (216) 664-2801 pseldon@cleveland.oh.us

Please note, must have photo ID to enter City Hall

For more information, visit http://sustainablecleveland.org

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Attention Developers and Investors: Smart Growth and Economic Success

January 16, 2013 in News, Planning and Zoning, Quality Connected Places

Smart Growth and Economic Success

Smart growth development is compact and walkable and provides a diverse range of choices in land uses, building types, transportation, homes, workplace locations, and stores. Such development projects are attractive to private-sector interests because they can find a ready market and compete financially. They appeal to local governments because they can be the building blocks of a growing economy and high-quality, economically sustainable neighborhoods and communities while also helping to create a cleaner, healthier environment. Some of the advantages for developers, communities, and local governments associated with smart growth include:

  • Compact development: Using land and resources more efficiently and redeveloping old or neglected areas while retaining existing infrastructure can create economic advantages for real estate developers and investors, businesses, and local governments. Compact development can generate more revenue per acre because it uses land more efficiently. It can reduce the costs of land and infrastructure for individual projects and the costs of providing fire and police protection, utilities, schools, and other public amenities. By locating companies closer together, compact development can create a density of employment that increases economic productivity and attracts additional investment.
  • Walkability: Walkable neighborhoods have well-connected streets and a mix of land uses near each other, making not only walking but also bicycling and transit more convenient and appealing. Projects in walkable neighborhoods command a price premium, earning real estate developers and investors a higher return on investment. Improvements to streets and sidewalks to make them more appealing to pedestrians can benefit local businesses by attracting more customers. In turn, local governments benefit through additional property and sales tax revenue.
  • Range of choices: People and businesses value places that bring together a variety of activities to create vibrant environments. The demand for such places exceeds the supply. Many people in the two largest demographic cohorts, baby boomers and their children, are particularly interested in lively neighborhoods with their daily needs close by. Communities with access to transit also help people reduce their transportation costs, enabling them to save money or spend more on their homes, entertainment, or other things they value. Changing demographics will likely further increase the demand for smart growth development over the coming decades; developers, investors, businesses, and local governments who respond to these market preferences could reap economic advantages.

Smart Growth and Economic Success is the first in a series of reports from EPA’s Smart Growth Program designed to inform developers, businesses, local government, and other groups about the benefits of smart growth development. This report incorporates feedback from a one-day workshop in December 2011 when business leaders, real estate developers, and economic development professionals came together to share their thoughts and make suggestions about how to expand on work in this area. Additional reports will build on this work, exploring how real estate developers and investors can overcome real and perceived barriers to benefit from infill opportunities, how decisions about where to locate will impact the bottom lines of businesses, and why smart growth strategies are good fiscal policy for local governments.Visit the EPA website to download a PDF of the Report.

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New Online Resource Provides Data for Northeast Ohio

January 9, 2013 in Conditions and Trends, News, Tool, Toolkiit

A unique partnership between three leading institutions has released a new tool that provides data on conditions in Northeast Ohio.

The Northeast Ohio Data Collaborative, formed in early 2012, announced the availability of NEO CANDO 2010+. This interactive online data portal provides information about demographic, socioeconomic, and other data that help define and promote understanding of the human landscape of Northeast Ohio. Access NEO CANDO 2010+ at http://neocando.case.edu/index.shtml.

Claudia Coulton, co-director of the Center on Urban Poverty and Community Development at Mandel School of Applied Social Sciences of Case Western Reserve University, explained, “The development of the original NEO CANDO put our region ahead of other parts of the country. This update includes the latest data, has new features, and operates faster, keeping Northeast Ohio at the forefront.”

  

Features of NEO CANDO 2010+

  • Free and publicly accessible resource
  • Easily downloadable demographic and socioeconomic data
  • On-demand mapping based on a Google Maps platform
  • Revised geographies that reflect changes since the 2000 Census
  • Data from the 2010 Census for the entire 17-county Northeast Ohio region including by county, municipality, and some neighborhoods
  • Customizable reports allowing user to select certain indicators or geographies
  • Ability for future expansion to more data sources, such as birth and death records, property information, and health indicators

 

To read the full story at Planetizen, click here.

To learn more about the initiative at the Center for Community Solutions, click here.

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Stark County Education Network for Environmental Sustainability

December 14, 2012 in Stark, Sustainability

Are you interested in learning more about sustainability and what is going on in Stark County? The Stark County Education Network for Environmental Sustainability (SCENES) “facilitates the sharing of information, and takes advantage of  the combination of strengths, and opportunities in effort to raise community awareness and advance sustainable development and a healthy environment.” The project, led by Stark State College,  is supported by a consortium of colleges, universities and environmental groups in and around Stark County. Funding for this effort is provided by the Herbert W. Hoover Foundation.

The SCENES website highlights eight focus areas: Advocacy, Building and Construction, Ecosystems, Energy, Green Business, Green Tips, Transportation, and Waste.  It also features ways to get involved and best practices occurring throughout Stark County. Visit the site at http://www.starkscenes.org/ or read their most recent newsletter by clicking here!

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iNaturalist: Explore, Learn and Record

December 10, 2012 in ACT, Communications, Environment, Toolkiit

A black-capped chickadee, recorded on iNaturalist near Blake Road in Guilford Township (Medina County) on Sunday, December 2, 2012.

“iNaturalist is a place where you can record what you see in nature, meet other nature lovers, and learn about the natural world.”

iNaturalist (http://www.inaturalist.org/) is a smartphone and web-based data gathering program designed to provide an ecological learning and teaching platform for amateur and professional naturalists alike. The world is full of naturalists and many hikers, hunters, birders, and beachcombers record their observations of the environment around them. If the record of observations is comprehensive enough, it may be possible for scientists and land managers to monitor changes in biodiversity, and allow anyone to use the comprehensive record of life to learn more about nature. A comprehensive record of nature is the primary purpose of iNaturalist.

According to its website, iNaturalist began as the Master’s final project of Nate Agrin, Jessica Kline, and Ken-ichi Ueda at the University of California-Berkeley’s School of Information in 2008. Nate and Ken-ichi continued working on the site, along with Sean McGregor, post-graduation. Currently, Ken-ichi Ueda maintains the site in collaboration with Scott Loarie, a climate change researcher at the Carnegie Institution.

A presentation about iNaturalist headlined the most recent meeting of the Lake Erie Allegheny Partnership (LEAP) at the Cleveland Museum of Natural History on November 14. Naturalist Marlo Perdicas, of Metro Parks Serving Summit County, introduced iNaturalist as an innovative tool for data sharing, citizen science, and learning. Perdicas illustrated the potential for iNaturalist as a means to vastly expand natural survey capabilities while fostering a stronger sense of community among iNaturalist users and park staff. She provided examples of how the program is currently utilized in Northeast Ohio, particularly Summit County, and also explored potential for expanded use through an energetic and interactive discussion with the audience.

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Collaborating on Shared Services

November 16, 2012 in Collaboration, Engagement, Tool

Across the state of Ohio, communities are utilizing shared services to improve their operations and reduce costs. Learn more about these opportunities at the upcoming  Shared Services Expo on November 27 at Ideastream from 8:00 to 2:30. The program will highlight successful shared services programs and provide practical advice to those interested in collaborative shared service projects.

Keynote speakers include Former U.S. Senator George Voinovich, Cuyahoga County Executive Ed Fitzgerald and Controlling Board President and Policy Advisor Randy Cole.

Interested in finding out what shared service collaborations are already underway in the region before the Expo? Check out EfficientGovNetwork, a sponsor of the Expo, for details.

Preregistration required due to limited capacity. Registration is $50, and includes a continental breakfast, box lunch and conference materials. For more information

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What’s missing from our Library?

November 13, 2012 in Conditions and Trends, Sustainability, Toolkiit

In developing our Conditions and Trends Platform, NEOSCC staff, Consortium members and over 150 subject-matter experts distilled information from public policy plans, planning initiatives and other resources from across the region into a comprehensive set of findings about our region. These findings are the heart of this Conditions and Trends Platform. They are not a definitive list; instead, they are a starting point for understanding our region. And there are no solutions or recommendations within these findings; any recommendations resulting from NEOSCC’s work will be developed in collaboration with Northeast Ohio’s leaders and residents. This information included 100′s of planning efforts completed and underway throughout Northeast Ohio.

NEOSCC has compiled pre-existing policy plans and initiatives that are available across the Ohio region into a searchable database.  Our question to you is… what is missing?  Visit our Vibrant NEO 2040 Library and let us know.

 

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Learn and Act: Sustainable Planning and Zoning in Stark County

November 2, 2012 in News, Planning and Zoning, Stark, Toolkiit

Throughout Northeast Ohio, different organizations are integrating sustainability into their approaches to planning, operations and decision-making. As part of a recent Energy Efficiency & Conservation Block Grant, Stark County Regional Planning Commission (SCRPC) created the Sustainable Planning and Zoning Handbook.  Created in 2011, SCRPC developed a tool that provides principles, examples and approaches to planning and zoning.

Transportation Page, Sustainable Planning and Zoning Handbook

SCRPC describes the handbook as…

The purpose of this handbook is to provide local communities with guiding principles to assist them in becoming more sustainable. Each section will briefly cover different steps that communities can take to achieve this goal. Examples and/or resources of what other communities are doing will also be provided in each section. The appendix of this document contains sustainability-designed, model zoning ordinances that can be tailored to conform to individual zoning resolutions. Please note that not every principle in this handbook may apply to every community. Do keep in mind, however, that sustainable planning means planning for the future, not just the present; just because an item may not apply today doesn’t mean that it might not be applicable at a later date.

Visit the Stark County Regional Planning Commission website to learn more.

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