An Initiative A Day 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.

On February 25, the NEOSCC Board voted unanimously to approve and endorse the Vibrant NEO 2040 Vision, Framework and Action Products.  We are sharing an “Initiative A Day” so you can gain a better understanding of the vision and framework!  If you would like to read all of the Initiatives, you can download them here: Recommendation and Initiatives.  You can access a pdf of the entire vision chapter here.  The vision chapter contains all 41 initiatives, development strategies, indicators, and matrices that identify how the recommendations, initiatives and indicators all relate.

Show your support for Vibrant NEO 2040 by adding your name to our Champions of Vibrant NEO 2040 list here.

Initiative 9.5: Foster greater engagement between MPO’S/COG’S and organizations/ initiatives that address natural resources, parks, sewer, public health, housing, education, private business investment, and economic development. 

WHAT THIS MEANS. The Vibrant NEO 2040 visioning process brought the region’s MPOs and COGs into contact with a wide spectrum of organizations, initiatives, and stakeholders with which they do not regularly engage. These include philanthropies, metroparks, community and economic development agencies, housing agencies, health districts, universities policy centers, private developers, advocacy groups, and natural resource management entities. The alternative scenarios created during the process showed how the transportation and community development work of MPOs and COGs interacts with the region’s many other systems and attributes to produce outcomes that affect livability. These relationships should be further explored to inform more substantive planning and policy-making in the future.

WHY THIS IS IMPORTANT. The alternative scenario exercise illustrated the value of interdependent systems thinking—how one decision or physical pattern in one system impacts the performance of others, yielding a chain of impacts that eventually affects the environment of that same system. If the ambitious objectives set forth in this plan are to take shape, not to mention the initiatives proposed above, the level of involvement and communication between MPOs, COGs, and stakeholders in a variety of areas must continue and increase. This is especially true of economic development and business entities, as many of the initiatives proposed above address how infrastructure investments and land use policy should be made to strengthen economic development prospects in the region.

GETTING IT DONE. Many of the initiatives proposed above involve MPO and COG leadership, or view them as a catalyst for further action or a source of research and information support. Taken together, these initiatives provide a roadmap for how MPOs and COGs can engage in the work of organizations and efforts taking place in other areas of focus:

• Natural resources—7.1, 7.2, 7.6

• Parks—7.1

• Sewer—1.3, 1.5

• Public Health—3.1, Recommendation 6,   Recommendation 8

• Housing—Recommendation 1, Recommendation 4

• Education—6.4

• Economic Development—Recommendation 1, Recommendation 3

POLICY: Build stronger local governance and partnerships: While the growth of new economic sectors and stronger markets will ultimately transform cities, those changes may not take place unless the cities themselves build new and stronger local governance structures, reorganize operations, and build greater capacity. Partnerships must be created to bridge the public, nonprofit, and private sectors.

Lead Metropolitan Planning Organizations, Councils of Governments; Universities; Nonprofit Organizations; Special Purpose Districts or Agencies; Municipalities, Townships, Counties
Target Community N/A
Implementation Complexity High

These recommendations, initiatives, and products, are not one-size-fits all and some aspects of the initiatives won’t be applicable everywhere in the 12-county region. The Vibrant NEO 2040 Vision, Framework and Products are intended inspire and guide decision-making at the Metropolitan Planning Organization (MPO), Council of Government, and local levels to ensure that land use, transportation, and environmental considerations are simultaneously addressed by their processes. Ultimately, the implementation of Vibrant NEO 2040 is up to Northeast Ohio’s communities and residents. But regardless of the applicability of each initiative to any particular part of the region, the goal for each community within the Vision is the same: stability, prosperity, and a high quality of life for all of its residents.