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Over BUILT - Northeast Ohio is maxed out and teetering

Marc Lefkowitz  |  05/06/16 @ 9:00am  |  Posted in NEO Sustainable Communities

This week, we take a second look at the Center for Neighborhood Technology’s 2011 “Broadening Urban Investment to Leverage Transit (BUILT) in Ohio” report. In it, CNT explains how Greater Cleveland over build its infrastructure, which led to across-the-board vulnerabilities during the Recession. CNT’s plan, which still holds, is to kick start the moribund real estate market by turning from expansion...

Maxed out<br />In many outlying areas in Greater Cleveland, three in ten properties have either a second mortgage or home equity loan. Should some of these homeowners fall behind on payments because of job loss or higher fuel costs, another round of home foreclosures could unfold.Blind faith<br />Sprawl without growth has left Greater Cleveland with a legacy of vacant units, mounting transportation costs, government debt, and tens of thousands of excess properties. Perversely, these development trends hurt municipal revenues and cripple local capacity to regulate land use development and transportation
investments. Nevertheless, the Ohio Department of Development and NOACA project these trends to continue through 2030.Road to ruin<br />Only four out of ten Greater Cleveland households live in neighborhoods where the combined cost of housing and transportation is at or below the H+T affordability benchmark of 45 percent of Area Median Income.

Before it's filed away, VibrantNEO deserves a closer look

Marc Lefkowitz  |  05/27/14 @ 3:00pm  |  Posted in NEO Sustainable Communities

What is the bottom line for Vibrant NEO 2040: A vision, framework and action products for our future? We spent some time with the encyclopedic, final report compiled by the $4 million Northeast Ohio Sustainable Communities Consortium (NEOSCC) and discovered, it has a lot to offer the region, including a vision for a more sustainable future. The 219-page, coffee table-size book...

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Big questions for regional sustainability

Marc Lefkowitz  |  10/14/13 @ 3:00pm  |  Posted in NEO Sustainable Communities

As the ‘citizen’ planning effort, VibrantNEO, nears the finish line —and presents this month its vision for a more sustainable Northeast Ohio—ultimate success will rely on answering questions like this:

Resilient and connected places<br />VibrantNEO prioritizes development and conservation

Utah has what Northeast Ohio wants: Secret sauce for Sustainable Communities

Marc Lefkowitz  |  06/03/13 @ 10:00am  |  Posted in NEO Sustainable Communities

Congress for New Urbanism (CNU) capped two decades as the champion of smart growth with its 21st annual conference in Salt Lake City, Utah—the site of the largest state investment in transit anywhere in the U.S.

Quality connected places<br />Salt Lake City's $300 million streetcar line leads to downtown and new development like City Creek Center (pictured).All aboard the new train<br />Salt Lake City got a boost from Envision Utah, a plan that turned values of clean living as transit-oriented development.Green Bikes<br />Bike share is a popular two-wheeled public transit service in Salt Lake City.On track with bikes<br />Miles of bike lanes, cycle tracks (seen here) and green sharrow lanes create a cohesive bike network in Salt Lake City. <br /><br />
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Building ourselves into bankruptcy

David Beach  |  05/08/13 @ 3:00pm  |  Posted in Vibrant cities, NEO Sustainable Communities

The more we keep building communities like we have in the past 20 years, the poorer we will get. That’s what will happen if current trends continue, according to a recent analysis by the Northeast Ohio Sustainable Communities Consortium.

Sprawl costs us all<br />Low-density development in new locations drives up the overall cost of maintaining the region. Fiscally unsustainable<br />In 2010, the 12 counties of Northeast Ohio were almost balancing spending and revenue. However, all counties will be running deficits in 2040 if current trends continue. (Northeast Ohio Sustainable Communities Consortium)Costly infrastructure of sprawl development<br />One reason for the increasing cost of local government is the  burden of extending infrastructure to new development in rural areas. (Northeast Ohio Sustainable Communities Consortium)

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