The Second Annual Economic Development 411

November 15th, 2013

The Second Annual Economic Development 411 (ED411) is designed to showcase best practices in economic development for elected officials, community leaders and business leaders in the Columbus Region.

“You are part of the reason why the Columbus Region is realizing an economic development surge and being recognized as a leader in job growth. ED411 will allow you to learn how we can work together to maintain our dynamic and growing economy.”

Friday, December 6
8 a.m. – 2 p.m.
The Ohio Union at Ohio State University
$25 per person, includes continental breakfast and lunch

Last year’s event sold out. To ensure your space, please register here.


The event will feature two acclaimed speakers:

Bruce Katz
, founding director of the Brookings Metropolitan Policy Program and co-author of The Metropolitan Revolution
Mark Lautman, founding director of Community Economics Lab and author of When the Boomers Bail.

ED411 will also include four breakout sessions:

  • Workforce and Talent
  • Site Preparedness
  • Economic Incentives
  • Regional Case Studies

Local and national experts will share their insights and advice on how best to move our communities forward.

For more information, including details on event parking, please visit

This program has been created by our friends at the Mid-Ohio Development Exchange, Mid-Ohio Regional Planning Commission and Columbus 2020.

The Metropolitan Revolution

July 12th, 2013

Bruce Katz and Jennifer Bradley co-authored a new book, The Metropolitan Revolution, published by Brookings Institution Press on June 17th.  The book is about Northeast Ohio’s revolution to become a network that sustains economic prosperity.  Since the release, Katz and Bradley have been traveling across the nation on a tour, talking with reporters and stakeholders about the process underway around Cleveland.  Below are some excerpts from their book.

“Metropolitan areas are so big, complicated and diverse that they don’t need heroes.  They need networks.”

“Enter Voices and Choices, a two-year effort to develop a regional economic competitiveness agenda for Northeast Ohio.  Throughout 2005 and 2006, the Fund connected with more than 20,000 residents of the region in one-on-one interviews, town meetings and workshops about the region’s assets, challenges and priorities.  With these insights gathered, Fund collaborators were able to distill four goals to guide regional action: business growth, talent development, racial and economic inclusion, and government collaboration and efficiency.”

“Stakeholders in the region started BioEnterprise, a non-profit that helps inventors connect with experienced managers, venture capitalists, production facilities, other inventors, state and federal grants and whatever else they need to build their company.”

“The Fund estimates that, during its first nine years, the work of its grantees helped add 10,500 jobs, $333 million in payrolls and $1.9 billion in investments to the region.”

“Too many metros are still looking for the next Bill Gates, Michael Dell or Mark Zukerberg.  But there is a growing appreciation for the power of networks, and we need look no further than Northeast Ohio to see why.  These efforts to use networks to bring about a new economy – built on the foundations of the old economy – are aligned with powerful social, economic and cultural forces.”

To listen to a podcast of Bruce Katz talk about the book and its findings on NPR’s “All Things Considered,” click here.

GOPC Reports Quantify Benefits of Shared Services and Governmental Collaboration

May 28th, 2013

Hancock County Map

Greater Ohio Policy Center today released three research briefs highlighting the numerous benefits government collaboration can bring to local jurisdictions and the Ohio Department Transportation (ODOT).  Developed with financial support from the State of Ohio, these objective reports examine potential statewide cost savings through:

  • facility and equipment sharing between local governments and county engineers,
  • facility integration in counties with a large number of garages owned by ODOT and the county engineer, and
  • modifications to ODOT’s service delivery and fleet management at the county level.

GOPC’s reports estimate that taxpayers statewide could save over $99 million over the next ten years by replicating local shared purchasing programs currently underway or by implementing commonsense reforms to the way service delivery is administered by ODOT and local governments.  GOPC developed these reports in coordination with the Center for Community Solutions as part of a larger research package on shared services opportunities in Ohio.

GOPC is a longtime advocate of right-sizing local government in order to encourage regional decision-making that considers economic development and land use in ways that best benefit Ohio’s metro regions.  These reports outline how our communities can maximize resources and improve the quality of our government services.

Click here to download GOPC’s three reports.


Greater Ohio 2012 Accomplishments

January 18th, 2013

We are proud of the accomplishments we have made in 2012. To fill you in on what’s been going on at GOPC’s office and throughout the state in the past year, below is a list of our accomplishments within our three priority policy areas: Urban Core and Neighborhood Redevelopment, Transportation and Sustainable Growth, and Regional Governance Reform. Together, redeveloping our urban centers, expanding our transportation options, and fostering regional cooperation will contribute to smarter, more sustainable growth, improving our quality of life and economic competitiveness in Ohio.


Raising Our Statewide Profile:

  • Ohio Properties Redevelopment Institute. GOPC hosted this innovative two-day forum that promoted solutions to vacant and abandoned properties. Nearly 200 local leaders from municipalities and non-profit community development organizations across the state attended.
  • Moving Ohio Forward Grant Program. The Ohio Attorney General’s office contracted with the GOPC to provide technical assistance to communities for the Moving Ohio Forward Grant Program, which supports Ohio’s communities undertaking activities to demolish abandoned and vacant residential properties.
  • Panels and Keynotes. GOPC presented on urban revitalization issues over 20 times to a variety of audiences including Ohio code enforcement officers, Cincinnati’s Foreclosure Group, Cleveland’s Vacant and Abandoned Property Action Council (VAPAC), and Heritage Ohio workshop attendees.
  • In the Media. In 2012, GOPC was quoted or cited over 50 times in Ohio’s major newspapers and other publications around the country. In one article about vacant properties, The Columbus Dispatch relied heavily on data and graphs produced by GOPC.

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Common Ground, Not Battleground

December 27th, 2012

By Lavea Brachman, Executive Director, Greater Ohio Policy Center

With the aftermath of the election barely behind us and the so-called “fiscal cliff” looming, political polarization seems unabated.  But beneath the surface and beyond the drama of the national election in “battleground Ohio,” Ohio is less divided in ways that matter to economic progress.  As a bipartisan state policy organization, we are privileged to observe the similarities of governing and good policies among policymakers of both parties.

First, the urban-rural divide characterizing Ohio for decades has quietly and gradually begun to fade away.  Seven major regions in the state exist now, centered around cities. Rural places are increasingly economically dependent on the urban areas and their satellites.  But benefits extend in both directions- for example, urban Columbus-ites enjoy the proximity of the Hocking Hills while those in the Appalachian region benefit from health care and spin off jobs from the city.

Second, for over a decade, policymakers have been turning these regions into the building blocks of the new economy.  Democratic and Republican governors alike embraced the concepts found in a seminal report completed in the mid-2000’s during the Taft Administration, identifying key economic regions in the state and critical industries. A regional economic development approach was initiated under Governor Strickland with now Governor Kasich working on economic redevelopment through on-the-ground regional organizations. While implementation scenarios vary, regional economic growth efforts – corresponding loosely to metropolitan regions — are starting to take hold.
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Greater Ohio Raises Benefits of Regionalism to Local Government Fiscal Officers

October 8th, 2012

On October 3, 2012, Greater Ohio Policy Center spoke at the Central Ohio Association of Government Accountants about the potential for service sharing among local jurisdictions and the importance of such collaboration in paving the way towards local governance reform and regional economic development.

Joined on the panel by Hugh Quill of Public Performance Partners and Steve Campbell, Director of Regional Growth Initiatives at the City of Columbus, Greater Ohio spoke to the benefits of shared services and other collaborative relationships, such as increased service delivery, lower costs and the creation of a more regional culture throughout Ohio.

Greater Ohio Policy Center strongly believes that Ohio must reduce duplication within our local government activities—in a thoughtful and strategic way.  In streamlining how local government delivers services, natural regions can form among former local competitors and excess funds can be direct back into our communities and schools.

As one important route toward sustainable statewide prosperity, reforms among local governance structures and regional approaches to economic development must occur if Ohio wants to compete in the 21st century.

Sprawl costs Ohio families and regional economy, new report shows

July 10th, 2012

By Smart Growth America

The twelve counties that make up Northeast Ohio are home to a community that prides itself on its public art, theaters, parks and hiking trails, and home-grown businesses. Now, a new vanguard of engaged residents are working with a local organization to make Northeast Ohio even better.

The first step in this process is to examine what’s working in Northeast Ohio’s communities, and a new survey from the Northeast Ohio Sustainable Communities Consortium (NEOSCC) does just that. NEOSCC released its Conditions & Trends platform on Tuesday, during the Consortium’s monthly meeting in Youngstown. The extensive inventory of Northeast Ohio’s assets, challenges and year-over-year trends provides a comprehensive assessment of how the region could improve.
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ULI Columbus Presents: Columbus 2050

June 4th, 2012

ULI Columbus and their partners present Columbus 2050, a strategic vision on how we will LIVE, WORK and PLAY in Central Ohio by the year 2050.

Columbus 2050 Description

Over the past 40 years, the population of Central Ohio has grown by 707,000 people, adding 235,900 between 2000 and 2010 alone. If the region grows at even half the rate of the past ten years, 604,000 will be added to the area by 2050. Absorbing a population that equates to the entire city of Boston will take some planning.

In furtherance of its mission to promote the responsible use of land, ULI Columbus, in partnership with the City of Columbus, Franklin County, the Mid-Ohio Regional Planning Commission and The Ohio State University Knowlton School of Architecture, Department of City and Regional Planning, has developed a strategic vision that explores where and how we will Live, Work and Play in Central Ohio in the year 2050. This strategic vision is focused around eight themes: Metro Metrics; The City Wild; Water, Power, Light; Getting Around; Whole Buildings; Full Spectrum Housing; Plan it. Build It; and Click, Learn, Go, Get.

To download the full Columbus 2050 report, click here.

Greater Ohio Moderates Columbus Metro Club Forum on Regionalism

March 15th, 2012

Yesterday Greater Ohio’s Senior Director of Governmental Affairs, Gene Krebs moderated a Columbus Metropolitan Club Forum, “Grow Smart, Grow Regional: Practical Examples of Collaboration.” 

There has been much talk at the state and local level of the possibilities and pitfalls of a more regional approach to government services and government itself.  Sometimes however, it is not always clear what “regionalism” looks and feels like in reality.  This Forum explored “on-the-ground” perspectives from local business, local government, and education leaders of what regionalism and collaboration means in Central Ohio.

The expert panelists included: Bart Anderson, executive director of the Educational Service Center of Central Ohio, Michael Hartley, VP of Government Affairs at the Columbus Chamber of Commerce, and Ginny Barney, partner at the Collective Genius and former city manager of Upper Arlington, a first suburb of Columbus. 

All three panelists discussed numerous “back office” efforts underway in the region which are streamlining operations.  Some examples offered were the sharing of computer tech support among a number of school districts, small villages contracting municipal services from neighboring villages (instead of hiring their own staff and equipment), and managing payroll and other fiscal operations within a centralized location. 

All panelists spoke to the importance of having an attractive region that makes businesses and potential employees move to the area, and all pointed the role regionalism would play in lowering costs, but increasing service quality. 

Ginny Barney, along with Bart Anderson and Michael Hartley, warned that central Ohio still has tough conversations and adjustments ahead as we “retrofit” our educational systems and local governments to an upgraded version that more closely aligns with today’s realities.  All three were optimistic that Central Ohio’s current regionalism efforts were creating a foundation which would keep our region strong in the future.

This Forum was the first in a yearlong series that will shine a spotlight on current efforts in Ohio and beyond that are creating sustainable communities through collaborative, region-focused, relationships.  The next Forum is under development, but will be announced soon.

Forum on Governmental Collaboration at Columbus Metropolitan Club

March 5th, 2012

On Wednesday, March 14th, the Columbus Metropolitan Club will be hosting a lunchtime forum that will explore regionalism efforts currently underway in central Ohio.  Showcasing “on-the-ground” examples of government collaboration, “Grow Smart, Grow Regional: Practical Examples of Collaboration” is part of a year-long series that will highlight efforts in Ohio and beyond that are creating sustainable communities through regionalism and governmental collaboration. 

Offering a range of perspectives on collaboration, shared services and purchasing, mergers, and consolidation, the panelists include Bart Anderson, Superintendent, Educational Service Center of Central Ohio; Ginny Barney, Senior Partner, The Collective Genius and former city manager of Upper Arlington; and Michael Hartley, Vice President, Government Relations, Columbus Chamber. Chester Jourdan of the Mid-Ohio Regional Planning Commission will be moderating. 

Greater Ohio has provided advice for this panel to the Columbus Metropolitan Club and is excited for the opportunities this and future panels will offer in sparking a dialogue among Central Ohioans on governmental innovations underway and transformative changes yet to come.

To attend this exciting event, tickets can be purchased online at the Metro Club’s website or by phone 614-464-3220.  The event will be Wednesday, March 14th from 12-1.15 at the Athletic Club of Columbus, 136 E. Broad Street.