• Planning Livable Communities
  • Volume 19, Number 3
  • Managing Editor: Mark D. Shroder
  • Associate Editor: Michelle P. Matuga

Planning Without Agency: Vibrant NEO 2040

Kathryn Wertheim Hexter
Sanda Kaufman
Cleveland State University

Since the 1970s, Northeast Ohio has experienced the ill effects of sprawl, as a declining population exerted pressure to develop previously undeveloped land. Local elected officials, planners, and policymakers have long recognized their interdependence and the need for a strategy to sustain the region. However, structural, political, and administrative fragmentation has challenged efforts to develop and implement such a strategy. With no entity having regional authority to implement plans at a regional scale, efforts had not progressed beyond talk.

In 2010, a newly formed Northeast Ohio Sustainable Communities Consortium (NEOSCC) obtained a U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development Sustainable Communities Initiative grant to develop Vibrant NEO 2040, a regional planning framework for sustainable development NEOSCC built a land use map for the 12 counties comprising its area of interest. It collected land use, fiscal, transportation, and environmental data and public preferences. It produced forecasts and constructed four alternative development scenarios, which it submitted to the public for consideration.

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