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June 2013 Archives

The 12-county Northeast Ohio Sustainable Communities Consortium introduced its "business as usual" scenario and hosted a series of public workshops. The "business as usual" scenario presented a vision of how the region would look in 2040 if current development patterns continue. It said that urban sprawl combined with flat population figures would lead to the abandonment of 10.5% of the region's housing stock. Research by Tom Bier of Cleveland State reached a similar conclusion. Nearly 600 people attended the six public workshops, participating in several planning exercises. A Plain Dealer editorial noted that "there's still time to reverse course."

The scenario planning exercise continued with the release of ImagineMyNEO, an interactive tool built on the open-source CrowdGauge framework. It places users in the role of a regional planner, asking them to identify their priorities for the region, select policies and practices, and allot limited resources. The NEOSCC will hold more open houses and workshops later this year.

NOACA conducted an evaluation of its Transportation for Livable Communities Initiative (TLCI) program (PDF). The report examined the program's accomplishments and shortcomings, and made recommendations for improving its effectiveness.

West Life looked at how Lakewood's Birdtown neighborhood has become home to independent businesses and an urban farm. Lakewood City Council is considering a proposal to create a mixed use zoning overlay for the neighborhood.

Update: residents and city officials discussed neighborhood issues at a community meeting.

In the annual State of the Air report from the American Lung Association, Cuyahoga County again received an F for its ozone levels, and its grade for 24-hour particulate levels improved to a C. The report ranked the eight-county Cleveland metropolitan area as having the nation's 20th-highest levels of year-round particulate pollution, an improvement over last year's 14th-place ranking. The area experienced a spike in the number of poor air quality days in 2012, but both the region and the country generally have seen increases in air quality.

The first annual report of the White House Council on Strong Cities, Strong Communities, commonly known as SC2, says that its "teams are helping each pilot city to think more creatively about how programs could better work together to help achieve local goals, and they are learning lessons and testing new approaches that have national applicability." Cleveland is one of seven cities participating in the program. HUD also selected a consortium to operate the SC2 National Resource Network.

Parma's Stearns Homestead is partnering with Cleveland Crops to establish a 17-acre urban farm at the historic site. The farm will grow fruits and vegetables, and will be the largest of Cleveland Crops' eight urban farms.

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