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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)

Cleveland ponders smart growth and complete streets as an antidote to abandonment

Marc Lefkowitz  |  05/02/13 @ 4:00pm  |  Posted in Vibrant cities, Transportation choices, NEO Sustainable Communities

Smart Growth America president Geoffrey Anderson assured Cleveland that it can learn from other slow market cities how to reposition itself, and compete for talent, with a focused investment on complete streets. “Market economies will move faster, and laggards will be left behind,” he told a small crowd gathered at Levin College to hear Cuyahoga County’s plans to pursue Complete Streets. Even...

Downtown urban center<br />The centers of Cleveland, Akron and other cities are the vibrant hearts of the region.  Villa Carabelli in Little Italy<br />Infill development is restoring well-designed density to Cleveland neighborhoods. Cyclist at Market Square in Ohio City<br />Cities make low-energy, low-mileage lifestyles possible. Tremont stroll<br />Young families are choosing city life in neighborhoods like Tremont in Cleveland.Historic county seat<br />In rural areas, town centers like Chardon are locations for redevelopment. City and country<br />One of the best ways to conserve farmland and natural areas is to build great cities that attract more people.
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Northern Ohio is drifting into an abandonment crater

Marc Lefkowitz  |  04/30/13 @ 2:15pm  |  Posted in Vibrant cities, Transportation choices, NEO Sustainable Communities

If Northeast Ohio doesn’t correct course soon, its future will be stained with abandonment. Analysis provided by Boston firm Sasaki & Associates for the Northeast Ohio Sustainable Communities show abandoned property in the 12-county region, including Cuyahoga County where it mushrooms from 26,000 today to many multiples of that by 2040.

<br /><br />Abandoned in the city<br />Construction of homes in new communities has outpaced household growth, causing surplus old homes to be abandoned and the region's urban cores to decline.Encouraging, but not enough<br />Walkable, mixed-use redevelopment projects, such as Uptown in Cleveland's University Circle, are encouraging, but they are not happening at a large enough scale to counter-balance the loss of urban population and tax base.

Vibrant NEO 2040: What Future Do You Want for Northeast Ohio?

 |  04/07/13 @ 4:00pm  |  Posted in NEO Sustainable Communities

Most of us agree that we have to protect the things we love and value about Northeast Ohio. We have to make sure that we are using our resources wisely and not wasting them. We need to strengthen our economy and make our region healthier. And we need to get better at solving problems and withstanding challenges.

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How much walkable urbanism is enough?

Marc Lefkowitz  |  02/05/13 @ 4:00pm  |  Posted in Vibrant cities, NEO Sustainable Communities

We still hold that the Northeast Ohio Sustainable Communities Consortium has the unenviable task of getting our region to face its demon—unchecked sprawl, fueled by highway expansion. And to acknowledge that our assets—parks within a mile for 90 percent of us and well-built city centers—are the building blocks to our future prosperity.

Great Bennies<br />Sasaki calculates the big benefits of the Euclid Corridor. The firm consulted on the street scape and BRT design. (Photos: Sasaki Associates).<br /><br />Take me to the river<br />Sasaki produced a riverfront revitalization plan for PittsburghGot game<br />Sasaki produced a plan to build a district around Ohio State's Horseshoe.

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