The Ohio Land Bank Conference

September 15th, 2014

By Nicholas J. Blaine, Project Coordinator

Last week, on September 11, I attended the Thriving Communities Institute’s 4th annual Ohio Land Bank Conference in Columbus, Ohio. The event brought together experts in the field to discuss best practices and share successes from Ohio’s 22 land banks. As a new staffer for GOPC, I saw the event as a wonderful opportunity to learn more about the role of land banks in building a sustainable Ohio.

TCI-14-conf

The morning began with remarks from Jim Rokakis, Vice President of the Western Reserve Land Conservancy and Director of its Thriving Communities Institute. The conference covered a wide range of topics, from the basics of vacant property management to how hemp can be used to promote sustainable growth. Read the rest of this entry »

The 2014 Candidate’s Forum

August 25th, 2014

By Alison Goebel, Associate Director

OARC-CandidatesForum2014-Panel_cropped

The lunchtime panel at the 2014 Candidate’s Forum discussed transportation, economic development, infrastructure, and regionalism. Pictured from left: Teresa Lynch, Judge-Executive Gary Moore, Simon Kennedy, Beth Osborne, and William Murdock.

On August 22, 2014, the Greater Ohio Policy Center co-hosted the 2014 Candidates’ Forum, sponsored by the Ohio Association of Regional Councils. Focused on transportation, economic development, infrastructure, and regionalism, the forum included remarks and a question-and-answer session with each Gubernatorial campaign and an excellent lunchtime conversation with national panelists.

Candidate for Lieutenant Governor, Sharen Nuehardt, spoke in the morning, emphasizing the commitment she and Candidate Fitzgerald have to support local communities’ investments in transportation and infrastructure.

At lunch, the Forum brought together Simon Kennedy, associate partner at McKinsey & Company, the global management consulting firm; Teresa Lynch, principal of MassEconomics, a firm that assists communities in executing regional economic development strategies; Judge-Executive Gary Moore, president of the National Association of Regional Councils, the professional voice for regional planning organizations; and Beth Osborne, vice president at Transportation for America, a research and advocacy organization focused on advancing transportation reforms.

The panelists all emphasized the need to rethink community-making as a critical component for attracting and retaining jobs, businesses, and talent. Updated digital and physical infrastructure, connectivity among modes of transportation, and a strategic focus on what a region does best economically, were themes raised by the panelists. Some time was also spent on the role of congress in preventing strong economic development planning—without a multi-year transportation budget, local governments are unable and unwilling to make the resource-intensive investments that prepare a region for long term economic success and sustainability. Read the rest of this entry »

GOPC Co-Sponsors 2014 Candidate’s Forum

August 13th, 2014

 

OARCevent

GOPC is co-sponsoring the Ohio Association of Regional Council’s 2014 Candidates’ Forum next week on Friday, August 22 at the Hilton Columbus at Easton Town Center.

At the event, the 2014 Gubernatorial Candidates have been invited to share their platforms related to transportation, infrastructure, and economic development to the state’s top political, business, and civic leaders.

A panel of national experts will also be discussing the role of transportation, infrastructure, economic development, and regionalism in preparing Ohio for long-term success.

Click here for more information and to register to attend the Forum.

 

Transforming Legacy Cities for the Next Economy

July 15th, 2014

On July 4th, GOPC Executive Director Lavea Brachman presented to La Fabrique de la Cité’s international conference, “Tools for Optimizing the City,” in Lisbon, Portugal.

Her presentation, titled “Transforming Legacy Cities for the Next Economy,” can be viewed right here:

Click the image above to be redirected to the video.

Click the image above to be redirected to the video.

Her slides from the presentation are available here:

In her presentation, Lavea cites several critical next strategies that can be used to transform legacy cities for the next economy, including:
  • Use economic growth to increase community and resident well-being
  • Build stronger local governance and partnerships
  • Increase the ties between cities and their regions
  • Make change happen through strategic incrementalism
  • Consider a special paradigm for smaller/medium-sized cities

For more information about Lavea’s trip to Portugal and what she learned while she was there, click here to read her blog post, “Presenting & Learning Tools for Optimizing Cities in Portugal.”

Lavea Brachman to Present at International Seminar

July 2nd, 2014

By Raquel Jones, GOPC Intern

Lavea Brachman, Executive Director of the Greater Ohio Policy Center, will be attending and presenting at La Fabrique de la Cité’s international symposium in Lisbon, Portugal from July 2nd through July 4th.

This year, the topic of discussion will focus around the question, “What tools can be used to optimize the city?” Participants will evaluate new methods and tools that could possibly help to ease the economic, social, ecological, and energy-related concerns that currently face cities all over the world. This three-day event will host a variety of experts from around the globe who will lead discussions on related issues in hopes of sparking innovative ideas and solutions.

Brachman will be speaking on the last day of this conference on the subject of “Transforming Cities for the Next Economy.” She will use case studies of legacy cities in Ohio and throughout the U.S. to give this international audience workable models and tools for communities striving to fix many of the economic, social, and environmental problems that they face in this new age.

 

GOPC Co-hosts Roundtable on Regenerating Legacy Cities

May 21st, 2014

Mayors from post-industrial cities in the Northeast and Midwest have convened at the Lincoln Institute of Land Policy today in Boston to begin a two-day workshop in strategies for revitalization.

The chief executives in attendance are Toledo, Ohio, Mayor Michael Collins; Gary, Ind., Mayor Karen Freeman-Wilson; Syracuse, New York Mayor Stephanie Miner; Pittsburgh Mayor William Peduto (who was featured in a recent article on innovative practices in cities in The American Prospect); Dayton, Ohio, Mayor Nan Whaley; and Huntington, West Va. Mayor Steve Williams.

The Roundtable on Regenerating Legacy Cities, organized by the Lincoln Institute, the Center for Community Progress, and the Greater Ohio Policy Center, also includes public and private sector practitioners, foundation leaders, and scholars. Alan Mallach, a leading authority on Legacy Cities, will be joined by Tamar Shapiro, president and CEO of the Center for Community Progress, and Lavea Brachman, executive director of the Greater Ohio Policy Center. Brachman and Mallach were co-authors of the Lincoln Institute Policy Focus report Regenerating America’s Legacy Cities, which recommends the approach of “strategic incrementalism” for cities wrestling with job and population loss.

The Roundtable is set to be an open, pragmatic conversation about strategies to foster sustained revitalization of our nation’s older industrial cities. The dialogue centers on three central themes: fostering neighborhood change and revitalization; building effective community and anchor institution partnerships; and building effective regional strategies for economic development. Participants will learn from experts and each other, and return home with new ideas, strategies and insights.

The conference began on the evening of May 20 with a presentation by Xavier De Souza Briggs, Vice President of Economic Opportunity and Assets, at the Ford Foundation. The next day begins with a workshop led by Stephen Goldsmith, former mayor of Indianapolis, and currently director of the Innovations in American Government Program at Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government.

The Lincoln Institute of Land Policy is a leading resource for key issues concerning the use, regulation, and taxation of land. Providing high-quality education and research, the Lincoln Institute strives to improve public dialogue and decisions about land policy. Lincoln Institute on Twitter: @landpolicy Hashtag #LegacyCities

GOPC’s Executive Director, Lavea Brachman, and Associate Director, Alison Goebel, will both be presenting and are providing live coverage of the event on our @GreaterOhio Twitter account.

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.

PROGRAM HIGHLIGHTS

The event will feature two acclaimed speakers:

Bruce Katz
, founding director of the Brookings Metropolitan Policy Program and co-author of The Metropolitan Revolution
and
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 columbusregion.com/ED411.

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

Tours de Cleveland and Philadelphia

October 18th, 2013

Last week, Greater Ohio traveled to Cleveland and Philadelphia both to learn from local experts and to share knowledge.

On Monday, Lavea and I took a road trip up to Cleveland. Our first stop was to University Circle, Inc. where we met with UCI President Chris Ronayne. We learned about the great work UCI is doing as part of a unique “anchor district.” In other words, University Circle is a district with a multitude of anchor institutions contributing to its strength. We’re interested in learning more about other anchor districts and how they can support legacy cities and their communities!

Next, Lavea gave a presentation to the Cleveland Metropolitan Bar Association’s Environmental Law Section about the Clean Ohio Fund and the future of the brownfield revitalization program. Click here to view the presentation.

Finally, we went on a tour of Slavic Village and met with some of the partners of Slavic Village Recovery LLC, including representatives from Forest City Enterprises Inc., Safeguard Properties, and Slavic Village Development Corporation. The public-private partnership intends to renovate up to 300 homes within the next three years, which will have a transformative effect on the neighborhood. When asked what he thought of the new developments in the community, a local resident said he thought that it is great for the neighborhood. Another resident even offered to help mow the lawns of the newly renovated homes. Greater Ohio is keenly interested in learning about Slavic Village Recovery’s strategy for helping to stabilize the neighborhood over time.

Lavea traveled to Philadelphia on October 11th to participate on a panel at the University of Pennsylvania’s Legacy and Innovation conference. The interdisciplinary conference was sponsored by the Provost at Penn and hosted in partnership with PennDesign, Initiative for Global Environmental Leadership (IGEL), Penn Institute for Urban Research, PennMedicine, PennLaw, Wharton, PennEngineering, and Next City.

The stated purpose of the conference was to:

“[…] bring together regional and national thought leaders in economic development, urban policy and planning, design, and innovation to discuss a future for the Philadelphia region, with the intention that these lessons learned, new ideas, and identified new frontiers can be applied to other metropolitan areas across the country and the world.”

Lavea participated on a panel titled, “Legacy Cities, Legacy Assets.” Lavea was the co-author of the recently published report “Regenerating America’s Legacy Cities” and was able to add value to the discussion on legacy cities’ assets and how they can influence regional economic performance. The panel was moderated by Diana Lind of Next City , and included John Grady of the Philadelphia Industrial Development Corporation, Patrick Kerkstra of the blog City Junto, and Ted Dahlburg of the Delware Valley Regional Planning Commission.

Coincidentally, Emilie Evans recently wrote an article about the “Regenerating America’s Legacy Cities” report for the National Trust for Historic Preservation, called Regenerating America’s Legacy Cities: A Review from Detroit.” Check it out!

June 18: GOPC and Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland Host Third Small Communities Workshop

June 10th, 2013

The Three C’s: Comprehensive Community Code Enforcement

On June 18, “The three c’s: comprehensive community code enforcement” will discuss how to develop and implement code enforcement strategies based on strategic community development and neighborhood priorities; the importance of collecting liens; using nuisance abatement powers more aggressively; engaging residents and nonprofits as the eyes and the ears of the community; and evaluating changes to state and local law/modernizing codes to better fit the community’s current condition.

Please click here to register.

http://greaterohio.org/outreach/small-community-workshops

Attending the American Planning Association National Conference

May 8th, 2013

By John Gardocki, GOPC Undergraduate Intern

The APA held its national conference in Chicago this year with the theme of “Planning Big.”  The conference was in April and I was fortunate to have the opportunity to attend the conference as a student member of the APA. The planners and speakers were willing to share their unique experiences in all the panels and to discuss the challenges the planning sector commonly faces.

View of Chicago Skyline from Millenium Park. Photo by John Gardocki.

 

The keynote on the second day of the conference was developed to inspire the next generation of planners to be creative in the design of the American city form. Xavier De Souza Briggs, an associate professor at MIT; gave the keynote, “Inventing the Next American Economy: Why Planning Matters and Where the Pitfalls Lie.” He stressed that all cities are looking to retain and gain jobs; however, the current economics of tax incentives will not entice the technology jobs that sustain the 21st century graduate.

Earl Blumenauer, a U.S. Congressman representing Portland, Oregon, spoke as well about what Congress must do to enhance the planner’s job of sustaining America for generations to come.  He is an advocate for the Partnership for Sustainable Communities initiative created by President Obama to unify projects in the Environmental Protection Agency, Housing and Urban Development Department, and the Department of Transportation.

My experience at the conference has inspired me to think creatively about planning since a one-size-fits-all approach does not work in every city that needs revitalization. Chicago is investing in an elevated train railway to become a hotspot of activity, while Cincinnati is investing in its riverfront.  Both ideas are specific to the needs of each city.