GOPC publishes reports relating to a wide range of sustainable growth issues. Please email us at to report a broken link.

How Are Ohio’s Small and Mid-Sized Legacy Cities Faring?

Ohio’s small and mid-sized legacy cities—older industrial cities with populations greater than 20,000 situated in metropolitan areas with less than 1 million residents—are important contributors to Ohio’s economy and social fabric. Like Ohio’s larger legacy cities—Cincinnati and Cleveland—these cities faced decades of serious challenges stemming from population loss and the decline of large-scale manufacturing that were further compounded by the Great Recession.

GOPC conducted an analysis into how the economic health of small and mid-sized legacy cities compared to Ohio’s larger legacy cities and Columbus, the state’s only major non-legacy city, from 2000 to 2014.

Click Here for more information and to download the report

Green Infrastructure for Stormwater Control Memo

Greater Ohio Policy Center is conducting research and analysis to develop solutions to modernize Ohio’s aging water and sewer infrastructure in a manner affordable to Ohio cities.

Approaches to water infrastructure are changing rapidly, with “green” alternatives to traditional stormwater capture and filtration -- such as rain gardens, green roofs, and permeable pavement -- becoming more commonplace, and cities exploring how to reuse vacant or abandoned property for this purpose.

Click Here to Read GOPC's Analysis Memo


Transportation Policy Reform Memos

GOPC is a leading advocate for policy reforms that will support a diverse and modernized transportation system in Ohio. To bolster policy recommendations offered in spring 2016, GOPC has published a series of research memos that outline strategies to sustainably support and enhance all the modes that make up Ohio’s transportation system. Topics include:

  • An analysis of one model Ohio might draw from in undertaking a comprehensive reform of transportation funding.
  • The benefits of adjusting existing federal “flex funds” to meet demand for improved public transportation.
  • Three recommendations for improving the impact of Ohio's state gas tax.

Click here for more information and to download these memos


Meeting Needs of Opportunity Neighborhoods

Interim Report: Meeting the Financing Needs of Opportunity Neighborhoods in Ohio" (March 2016) identifies credit gaps facing 52 opportunity neighborhoods in eight of Ohio’s largest cities. This report provides an interim analysis as part of an on-going Project analyzing these challenges and, in particular, the role Community Development Financial Institutions (CDFIs) can play in finding solutions.

Click here for more information and to download the report


Akron Urban Health and Competitiveness 

"62.4 Report" (February 2016) finds that Akron has not kept pace with peer cities in the Midwest and Northeast. Akron’s performance on indicators of urban health and competitiveness was compared to five similarly situated cities: Erie, Pennsylvania, Fort Wayne, Indiana, Hamilton, Ohio, Syracuse, New York, and Worcester, Massachusetts. Still, although Akron faces serious economic and demographic challenges, the city is well-positioned to confront them.

Click here for more information and to download the report


 Infrastructure and Brownfields Needs Assessment 

"An Assessment of Ohio Cities’ Water and Sewer Infrastructure and Brownfield Sites Redevelopment: Needs and Gaps" (November 2015) describes infrastructure and brownfield challenges facing communities and identifies opportunities and accessible tools that can be used to make upgrades.

Click here for more information and to download the report

Click here for details on Phase II of the project


Taking Stock of Ohio County Land Banks

"Taking Stock of Ohio County Land Banks: Current Practices and Promising Strategies" (May 2015) assesses the current state of land banking in Ohio in the context of community revitalization and highlights promising county land bank programs that have the potential to contribute to sustainable economic and community redevelopment throughout Ohio.

Click here for more information and to download the report


Documenting the Slavic Village Recovery Project

"Documenting the Slavic Village Recovery Project: An Early Analysis of a Model for Neighborhood Revitalization in Cleveland, Ohio" (Fall 2014) provides an independent analysis of an innovative model for neighborhood recovery being piloted in a Cleveland neighborhood, finding promising results for this block-by-block holistic approach to revitalization that combines demolition and rehabilitation.

Click here for more information and to download the report


Redeveloping Commercial Vacant Properties in Legacy Cities

Redeveloping Commercial Vacant Properties in Legacy Cities: A Guidebook to Linking Property Reuse and Economic Revitalization (May 2014) offers a comprehensive set of tools and strategies for redeveloping commercial vacant properties and business districts in legacy cities.


Click here for more information and to download the report


Achieving Healthy Neighborhoods

"Achieving Healthy Neighborhoods: Evaluating the Impact of Housing Investments in Weinland Park,” (March 2014) is a data-driven report that considers whether the Columbus neighborhood of Weinland Park is achieving long-term health and stability.

Click here for more information and to download the report


Regenerating America's Legacy Cities

In "Regenerating America's Legacy Cities," (May 2013) Lavea Brachman, Executive Director of GOPC, and Alan Mallach, senior fellow at the Center for Community Progress and nonresident senior fellow at the Brookings Institution, argue for “strategic incrementalism” to revitalize cities like Youngstown, Cleveland, Baltimore and Flint. The report was published by the Lincoln Institute for Land Policy.

Click here for more information and to download the report


Investing in Brownfields

"Investing in Brownfields: The Economic Benefits of the Clean Ohio Revitalization Fund" (April 2013) finds that the Clean Ohio Revitalization Fund generates jobs, business growth and tax revenues for Ohio.

Click here for more information and to download the report



Shared Services Research Briefs

GOPC's three shared services research briefs identify $99 million in savings that governmental collaboration can bring to local jurisdictions and the Ohio Department of Transportation over the next decade. Click here for more information on these reports.

"Coordinating Efforts Between Counties and Smaller Jurisdictions: Shared Purchasing and Capital Costs on Roadway Maintenance and Facilities" (May 2013)

Download Brief (PDF)



"Transportation Storage Facility and Equipment Sharing: Integration Efforts between County and ODOT" (May 2013)

Download Brief (PDF)



"Opportunities for Increased Efficiencies and Service Improvements at the Ohio Department of Transportation" (May 2013)

Download Brief (PDF)



Best Practices for Community Revitalization & Stabilization

This online repository of best practices and policy recommendations provides new and innovative ways to stabilize neighborhoods and revitalize communities, particularly in the face of the vacant and abandoned property crisis. As GOPC finds examples of successful strategies of revitalization from across the state, region, and country, we will periodically update this "living" collection of resources that are intended for use by local practitioners, community development leaders, and local and state government officials who work with small, medium, and large communities.

Click here to view the online repository of best practices for community revitalization & stabilization


Sales Tax Analysis

GOPC's report, "Sales Tax Analysis Report: Horse and Buggy Tax Structure Holding Ohio Back" (May 2011) demonstrates that Ohio’s county-based sales tax structure is misaligned with regional shopping trends.

Click here for more information and to download the report



Shaping the State

GOPC's report, "Shaping the State: Overview of Key Demographic Trends Facing Ohio and Implications for Policy-making and Ohio’s Future Competitiveness," (October 2010) provides a comparative analysis of demographic trends in Ohio, its metros, and the nation from 2000 to 2008.

Click here for more information and to download the report


Ohio's Cities at a Turning Point

In "Ohio’s Cities at a Turning Point: Finding the Way Forward," (May 2010) co-authors Alan Mallach and Lavea Brachman outline seven basic premises to inform any vision for a smaller, stronger future and subsequent strategies for change in Ohio's eight largest cities. This report was published by the Brookings Institution’s Metropolitan Policy Program.

Click here to download the full report


Restoring Prosperity to Ohio

An outgrowth of GOPC's partnership with the Brookings Institution’s Metropolitan Policy Program, "Restoring Prosperity: Transforming Ohio’s Communities for the Next Economy" (February 2010) is a comprehensive blueprint for transitioning Ohio into an economy that is export-oriented, lower-carbon, and innovation-fueled.

Click here for more information and to download the report


ReBuild Ohio

ReBuild Ohio, a major initiative of Greater Ohio, was a consortium of local governments, nonprofits, and civic organizations that was formed to address vacant and abandoned property issues in Ohio. The consortium published the report "$60 Million and Counting: The Cost of Vacant and Abandoned Properties in Eight Ohio Cities" (February 2008) to quantify the impacts of the vacant property crisis in Ohio and to advocate for state-level reforms.

Click here for more information and to download the report