This past week, Greater Ohio, the statewide think tank and advocacy center for statewide initiatives on revitalization and sustainable growth, published a retrospective on its work over the last decade. Greater Ohio’s areas of focus include the following:

  • Investing in community transformation by transforming neighborhoods
  • Restoring the engines of prosperity to compete in the 21st century by reviving Ohio’s Legacy Cities
  • Increasing opportunities for job growth and redevelopment through brownfield revitalization
  • Working to better connect people to places and workers to jobs through transportation innovation
  • Leading the way on the path to reform through transformative changes in governance, and
  • Protecting Ohio’s most abundant natural resource by modernizing infrastructure

Greater Ohio defines “Legacy Cities” this way: “These cities, which have long industrial histories, population loss, and current populations of 250,000 to 30,000, are the backbone of Ohio. Nearly a third of the state’s population lives within their regions, and over a third of the state’s GDP is produced by their residents and businesses, making them important places now and in the future.”

In north central Ohio, both Mansfield and Marion are included in this designation.

In its piece entitled “A Decade of Impact,” the organization notes its track record of work interfacing with and assisting these communities. It also shares a vision for the future of this effort:

“Going forward, GOPC is focused on assisting smaller legacy cities in strengthening their civic capacity and building on their unique quality of place to thrive in the 21st Century economy. GOPC is promoting state investment in catalytic quality-of-place projects in small legacy cities, and supports an expansion of JobsOhio’s mission to include broad support for creating quality places where workers want to live, work, and play.”

Other areas of Greater Ohio’s focus, including infrastructure, neighborhood revitalization, and others, have obvious local importance.

A PDF version of A Decade of Impact can be accessed here.

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