Vibrant NEO 2040: Northeast Ohio’s Opportunity


We often receive questions about what our initiative is about.  Here are thirteen facts about VIBRANTNEO 2040 and the opportunity for Northeast Ohio. Our open houses are less than a week away, join the conversation.  Details on locations and times can be found here.

VIBRANTNEO IS A LOCAL INITIATIVE. NEOSCC is made up of local governments, agencies, and organizations from across Northeast Ohio that have come together to create a means to work together toward goals for Northeast Ohio that we all share.  All decisions to accept, pursue and implement VibrantNEO 2040 will need to be made at the local level, through our region’s Metropolitan Planning Organizations, Councils of Government, and our County, Municipal, Village, and Township governments.

VIBRANTNEO 2040 WILL BE A VISION BASED ON SHARED VALUES. Developing VibrantNEO 2040 is an opportunity for Northeast Ohioans to explore the region’s long-term development patterns and think together about what we want for the future of our region. VibrantNEO 2040 will reflects the values, voices and vision of Northeast Ohioans and will be a roadmap to a stronger Northeast Ohio.

VIBRANTNEO 2040 WILL BE A “FRAMEWORK” As a “framework,” VibrantNEO 2040 will be a structure of policies, practices and relationships that better align the region’s decision-making and enhance the ability of the Northeast Ohio citizens and governments to make the big and small decisions.

VibrantNEO 2040 IS FOCUSED ON THE LONG-TERM IMPACT OF HOW WE USE LAND AND RESOURCES. Land-use affects many things and, as a result, VibrantNEO 2040 is a broad initiative.  But it is not all encompassing. NEOSCC believes in the importance of recognizing the relationships among land use, transportation, infrastructure investment, and environmental quality and VibrantNEO 2040 will promote integrated regional land use and housing, transportation, and capital investment planning.

VibrantNEO 2040 is based on data and analysis. Currently, many decisions are made and practices are carried out in Northeast Ohio in the absence of accurate and accessible region-wide or local data. Vibrant NEO 2040 aspires to provide this missing information and articulate the region’s choices clearly and unambiguously. NEOSCC has drawn together information and expertise from all across the region and from throughout the country to help create VibrantNEO 2040. Local government agencies and organizations have contributed thousands of hours of time and data from more than 200 pre-existing local planning and policy initiatives have been reviewed and analyzed.  Hundreds of volunteer experts and social scientists focusing on transportation, infrastructure, housing, economic development, environmental quality, planning and design, and many other areas have worked side-by-side with NEOSCC staff and its team of consultants to ensure VibrantNEO 2040 reflects our best thinking and deepest understanding of our region.

THE PROCESS TO CREATE VIBRANTNEO 2040 IS BROAD, TRANSPARENT AND INCLUSIVE. The VibrantNEO 2040 process actively seeks increased participation and decision-making by populations that have been left out of such processes in the past and has already involved thousands of Northeast Ohioans through its workshops, public meetings, speaking engagements, media relations, advertising, online communication, surveys, and publications.

NEOSCC firmly believes that facilitating an open and honest public process like VibrantNEO 2040 requires defending everyone’s right to offer an opinion, even if that opinion is that the public process should just go away.  Protecting and encouraging a diversity of thought and points of view enriches the process and its results. Everything NEOSCC does is chronicled on its website,

VIBRANTNEO 2040 RESPECTS AND WILL PROTECT THE RIGHTS OF PROPERTY OWNERS.  Planning, when done correctly, protects the rights of property owners by helping to ensure land is put to its highest and best use, resources are carefully managed, and property values aren’t undermined.  NEOSCC clearly stated its commitment to property rights in its goals for VibrantNEO 2040:

Goal 3: Respect Choice

Preserving our quality of life, expanding choices for Northeast Ohio’s citizens and respecting local government and individual property rights are essential principles for this process.

VIBRANTNEO 2040 WILL EXPAND THE CHOICES AVAILABLE TO NORTHEAST OHIOANS. The ways that Northeast Ohio is currently using land and resources limit our choices about where and how we live, how we travel, what natural and built resources we have at our disposal, and how we spend public dollars.  By working together developing and implementing VibrantNEO 2040, residents and local governments will share data, develop common approaches to shared priorities, focus efforts and resources, eliminate duplication, and, ultimately expand the choices available to them. 

PARTICIPATION IN VIBRANTNEO 2040 IS A CHOICE. While local government has been and will continue to be crucial to the development and implementation of VibrantNEO 2040, there is nothing about the VibrantNEO 2040 process that would force a local government to participate or change. Every local government, organization and individual participating in creating VibrantNEO 2040 is doing so by choice.

VIBRANTNEO 2040 IS BEING DESIGNED TO HELP LOCAL GOVERNMENTS BE MORE EFFECTIVE AND EFFICIENT. NEOSCC is developing products through the VibrantNEO 2040 process to enable the public, local agencies, and Northeast Ohio communities to inform, prioritize, align, and coordinate actions to advance our quality of life, sustainability, and resiliency. VibrantNEO 2040 will also help eliminate waste of resources and leverage regional assets, investments, and opportunities to their fullest potential. Two key ways that VibrantNEO2040’s success will be judged are how well it spurs local action and equips decision makers, planners, experts and residents with tools to implement the goals of their communities.

VIBRANTNEO 2040’S IMPLEMENTATION WILL BE UP TO LOCAL GOVERNMENTS. Once VibrantNEO 2040 is complete, it will be presented to local governments and their constituents for review and consideration. It will be up to local governments and their constituents to decide if adopting and implementing the recommendations from the Vibrant NEO 2040 Vision and Framework and using the tools that NEOSCC is developing is in their best interest.

VIBRANTNEO 2040 WILL HAVE NO EFFECT ON MUNICIPAL BOUNDARIES. VibrantNEO 2040 is being designed to protect and preserve the things we value most about Northeast Ohio and one of those things is our local communities, with their rich histories and commitment to self-determination. Many of these communities have participated in NEOSCC since its inception; VibrantNEO 2040 will be a tool to strengthen local governments, not undermine them.

VIBRANTNEO 2040 DOES NOT ADDRESS ISSUES OF REVENUE AND TAXATION.  While VibrantNEO 2040 will make recommendations about where financial resources may be deployed to have the greatest impact and how Northeast Ohio can achieve greater efficiency in its use of built and natural resources, how local governments generate financial resources is well beyond its scope and is a matter left to local governments and residents to decide.

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Comments (1)

Congratulations to California who’s citizens are fighting their own “local” One Bay plan that is so very similar to what is being offered above as VibrantNEO. Perhaps Cleveland and Akron, like Detroit, have no future and the future is actually smaller communities, smaller governments, that are better able manage their money, their children’s education, and their residents’ future – an option NOT provided in the “ImagineMyNEO” game. VibrantNEO is discrimminatory to the disabled and the poor. As you can tell by the recent urban renewal, high rises with small retail stores is the direction that will be “sustainable”. Smart meters will be implemented so that central air can be turned off for periods during the day. Do you know how hot high rises get without central air, how fast the food goes bad in a warm fridge? Ultimately this plan makes it so you work within 20 minutes of where you live. Limited parking spaces to reduce cars. If you are poor, you probably can’t afford the parking spaces that will cost more. You will be limited to finding a job within your 20 minute sphere of mostly small retail businesses. Has anyone taken a bus from Cleveland Clinic to downtown? Its a very long ride and just think if you have to ride to go to a new job & back. Don’t forget that after you take the bus to and from work you are to maintain your local “city plot” for fresh vegetables. Food will be more expensive, because they can’t buy quantity if the stores are small. Highland Square still doesn’t have a grocery, after they drove out the last one for trying to make a 3% profit! When will city planners come up with a new idea, not just one repackaged as “green”. High rises were called tenements in the early 20th century, we tore down the “projects” in the 70’s and 80’s (projects were the answer to the tenement slums), and now we’re building “luxury apartments” as the panacea again (future “projects”). Higher the density, higher the crime. ODOT wants to take out Akron’s one way streets and put back in the 2-way streets. Really? Really? In California and Arizona the EPA is using the “Clean water act” to restrict building houses, businesses, and to take away land rights. And all this utopia will be under the Akron and Cleveland / Summit and Cuyahoga County government oversight. Who do you think are the people in attendance at these meetings? – the Akron, Cleveland, Summit, and Cuyahoga government workers – job security! Is this really the future you want for your children? If it is, then you better start taxing the electric cars and bicycles or you will probably not have any roads maintained. There won’t be any cars fueled by gasoline (which is a “natural” resource folks) to pay the gasoline taxes to build the roads. That “20 minute sphere” of living your life is closing in. And for the twentysomethings – how do you think your phones, music, coffee bars, and electric cars are powered – natural gas and coal powered plants. And the future will bring the EPA clean-up of toxic electric cars’ dead batteries, something the environmentalists are turning a blind eye to now. VibrantNEO is not unique but is a national plan – check out:

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