The Northeast Ohio Sustainable Communities Consortium, a public initiative in Northeast Ohio that focuses on achieving a sustainable and resilient future for the region, is currently launching an extensive public engagement initiative that will take place over the next few months. Freshwater Cleveland reported recently that NEOSCC is beginning to create a sustainability plan for the region, and hopes to target key demographics like young professionals and urban planners for input on their strategic plan. The NEOSCC initiative is funded in large part by a $4.25 HUD Sustainable Communities Initiative grant from the Partnership for Sustainable Communities.
Partnership in the News
The Department of Agriculture’s Rural Development Office recently held a roundtable discussion in Ogden, Iowa with local residents and representatives from the Department of Housing and Urban Development and the Environmental Protection Agency’s field offices. Bill Menner, the USDA Director of Rural Development for Iowa, described the roundtable in his blog on March 16th as, “A great opportunity to talk with rural residents, business owners, and leaders about the issues facing their communities – and the opportunities that exist.”
It was also an opportunity to speak with Steve Eggleston, HUD’s Iowa and Nebraska Field Office Director, and David Doyle, Sustainable Communities Coordinator for EPA Region 7; continuing the collaboration between USDA and Partnership agencies.
With the help of the Environmental Protection Agency Smart Growth Implementation Assistance program, the Spokane Tribe of Indians will work with technical experts to address water infrastructure needs in Wellpinit, Washington. According to an article re-posted on the Environmental Expert website:
The Spokane Tribe requested assistance to support their development of a comprehensive water infrastructure plan that will focus on water and sewer system challenges in Wellpinit. The community faces future challenges of summer water shortages, drinking water delivery, pipe and pump failures, and design and maintenance of sewage management systems.
Tulsa city leaders met with Environmental Protection Agency staff to discuss beginning the cleanup of a brownfield site for redevelopment. Tulsa’s News Channel 2 reports:
Project organizers have met with citizens for several months, scouting possible sites for cleanup and redevelopment. Three sites have already been designated for cleanup.
“Environmental protection really equals economic growth and development,” said David Lloyd with the EPA. “This is a way for cities to reuse sites, use infrastructure, clean the environment and promote economic development.”
Three years of work have paid off, with the release of Somerville, Massachusett’s first 20-year comprehensive plan, reports the Somerville Journal.
“This is an extraordinary achievement made possible by the hard work of hundreds of community-minded contributors both inside and outside government,” said Mayor Joe Curtatone at the event. “Because it is based on so much public input and review, it truly represents a consensus view of our values and priorities as a community.”
A study commissioned by the Saint Paul Area Chamber of Commerce, the Minneapolis Regional Chamber, and the TwinWest Chamber, as reported by Minneapolis-St. Paul’s KARE 11,
found that 76 percent of Minnesotans polled agree the state would benefit from expanded public transportation. The same poll showed that 69 percent would like to use public transportation more often.
The last master plan for Flint, Michigan was crafted when General Motors was prominent, the city was thriving, and the demands of a growing workforce and population needed to be met. Now, reports The Flint Journal – –
Fast-forward 50 years and Flint is facing the opposite struggle — jobs are gone, homes are empty, people are leaving — and community leaders are poised to craft a new master plan that will attempt to point the city in a new direction.
It will be the first time the city will have a comprehensive look at its former industrial and now-vacant properties, officials said.
Fox19 reports that Cincinnati Mayor Mallory joined by U.S. Department of Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood and Federal Transit Administration Peter Rogoff to kick off construction of a new streetcar line partially funded by a DOT TIGER grant.
The new 3.6-mile streetcar line will connect Downtown and Over-the-Rhine.
The D.O.T. says it will spur Cincinnati’s efforts to revitalize its downtown core by improving access to major employers, the developing riverfront and many area attractions.
Simsbury, Connecticut is one of six New England towns soon to benefit from a technical assistance grant through the Environmental Protection Agency’s Building Blocks for Sustainable Communities Program, reports the Simsbury Patch.
“The EPA is going to send in a private firm to assess things like walkability, such as sidewalks, street crossings and parking,” said Hiram Peck, Simsbury’s Town Planner.
The technical experts will work with the communities on actions they can take to improve the economy, the environment, and quality of life.
The Town of Millis, Massachusetts is soon to benefit from a portion of the $4 million Department of Housing and Urban Development Regional Planning grant awarded to the Metropolitan Area Planning Council, reports the Milford Daily News.
To help spur development of the town center, Millis will participate in a feasibility study with the Metropolitan Area Planning Council to encourage new housing and business opportunities.
Millis is hoping to create a “more vibrant” downtown area, and applied for the study in August, said Town Administrator Charles Aspinwall.