The University of Toledo
Urban Affairs Center
The 2014 schedule for the Discover Downtown Walking Tours is now available. There are new tours this season and we have added some new twists to some old tours. We also have some tours that are in neighborhoods that are near Downtown. There is also a special tour on June 12 - see the next article!
It is very exciting for us to be able to do this because it means that Downtown Toledo is evolving, growing, and strengthening ... there is always something new happening!
Discover Downtown Toledo Tours Special Event: Waite High School
UAC is pleased to offer a special event: a walking tour of Waite High School on June 12, 2014. The tour of the newly renovated school (named for Toledoan Morrison R. Waite, a US Supreme Court Justice) celebrates it 100th anniversary!
Social Network Analysis Assists Startup Toledo
On April 24 UAC Director, Dr. Neil Reid, gave a presentation to StartUp Toledo.
The title of Dr. Reid's presentation was "Social Network Analysis: What Your
Position in a Network Says About You". StartUp Toledo
(www.startuptoledo.com) meets monthly and provides a forum for local
innovators, entrepreneurs, and creatives to come together to network, discuss
ideas, and listen to inspiring presentations. April's meeting was held at
Joenstas' Gallery (http://joenstas.com/) in downtown Toledo.
UAC Hosts Economic Development Meeting
In April the Urban Affairs Center hosted a luncheon for Neil Gibson, Director
of the Northern Ireland Center for Economic Policy (NICEP) at the University of
Mr. Gibson is an Eisenhower
Fellow (www.efworld.org) and is on an eight week tour of the United
States visiting various cities across the country to learn more about economic
development programs and initiatives. Attending the luncheon at The Toledo Club
were a number of local leaders who are engaged in various economic initiatives
in northwest Ohio. Dr. Neil Reid, UAC Director, will have follow up
conversations with Mr. Gibson to explore collaborative opportunities between
the UAC and the NICEP.
Left to right: Neil Gibson (Northern Ireland Center for Economic Policy), Dan Johnson (President Emeritus of University of Toledo), Ford Weber (President/CEO Lucas County Improvement Corporation)
Lucas County is Losing Residents
UAC Director Neil Reid was quoted in an article in the March 28, 2014 Toledo Blade that discussed the declining population of Lucas County as well as those of other Ohio counties. The article states: "With a net loss of more than 800 residents, Lucas County is following Ohio's trend of losing more residents than it’s gaining, according to the most recent U.S. Census Bureau annual reporting estimates." In contrast, Wood County showed an increase of about 550 people. Dr Reid suggests that the estimates suggest a regional stabilization in population:
"There is not much shifting, and this could be part of a trend,” Mr. Reid said. "This could be the light at the end of the tunnel and we might start seeing things starting to pick up in the housing market."
Trending Now ...
by Neil Reid, UAC Director
Welcome to the inaugural issue of Trending Now, a publication of The Urban Affairs Center at the University of Toledo. Three to four times a year, we will bring you what we consider to be cutting edge developments in the area of economic development and growth. Each issue will have a thematic focus and will cover an industry or an economic trend that we believe is new, exciting, and trending. Whatever the topic Trending Now will cover it from a variety of perspectives — national, regional, and local.
The focus of this first issue is America’s burgeoning craft beer industry. Commercial production of craft beer in one of America’s fastest growing industries.
>> Read the first issue of Trending Now
Snyder Memorial, location of the UAC
The Urban Affairs Center is an applied research unit of The University of Toledo. UAC is located in the Snyder Memorial building within the Department of Geography & Planning. Our web site is hosted by the UT Center for Creative Instruction. Our mission is to enhance the economic vitality and quality of life of Toledo and its metropolitan region. We strive to make this site useful and accessible to the our community, and we welcome your comments.
Important UAC Updates
Click an item title to view/close it. Archived UAC news items are here.
- Finding Food in Northwest Ohio
Ken Meter of Crossroads Resource Center has completed a study for UAC, one which suggests that improving northwest Ohio's local food system could have a huge impact on the region's economy:
... our analysis of the region's farm and food economy shows that $3.6 billion leaks out of Northwest Ohio each year as residents farm and eat, since farmers farm at narrow margins to produce commodities for export, while consumers eat food imported from far away.
... localizing the food economy will be the most effective way to turn the $3.6 billion leakage into economic opportunity. Already, Toledoans are taking the first steps required to create this transformation. A solid core of growers and consumers have formed a vibrant farmers' market, which helps Toledoans build strong connections while trading in locally produced food.
The study details how local growers are, among other methods, experimenting with "tilling new vegetable farms and testing innovative greenhouse technology that has been developed in Belgium and Holland". Local officials are exploring the possibilities of reclaiming urban brownfields for food production, and "the Northwest Ohio Food Council is poised to create a more strategic vision that will encompass the growth of effective clusters of food-related businesses, more focused attention to the food needs of low-income residents, greater coordination across counties, and more sustained innovation."
- Toledo-Lucas County Public Library: Economic Value and Return on Investment
The UAC and Toledo-Lucas County Public Library (TLCPL) jointly initiated a study to determine the economic impact and the return on investment (ROI) of the Libary on northwest Ohio. According to the Executive Summary from the study, TLCPL provides 2.86 Return on Investment (i.e., for every $1 spent, the Library returns $2.86), and the economic value of public services provided by TLCPL in 2011 is placed in the range of $118M to $136M per year.
Read the full report and the appendix.
- Better Together: How the Maumee Valley Growers Came to Be
- Urban gardens boost quality of life, expert says
Mr. Ken Dunn, who runs a recycling an urban gardening group in Chicago, believes that "Communities such as Toledo can build value through urban agriculture", according to the Toledo Blade in their April 26, 2012 article. Mr. Dunn spoke at an event co-sponsored by the UAC.
- “A State of Inequity in Ohio”: Additional Press Coverage
UAC's study on Funding and Service Disparities between Municipalities and Townships in Montgomery County, Ohio has garnered more press coverage, this time an online article in The Press asserting that "Township taxes could go up, if state acts on UT study".
- UAC Staff Edits Book: Local Food Systems in Old Industrial Regions
Dr. Neil Reid (UAC Director) and Paula Ross (UAC Research Associate) have collaborated with Jay D. Gatrell of Indiana State University in the editing of a new book about local food systems: Local Food Systems in Old Industrial Regions. Published by Ashgate Publishing, this book explores the "explosion of interest in local food systems-among policy makers, planners, and public health professionals, as well as environmentalists, community developers, academics, farmers, and ordinary citizens. The book represents a first attempt to provide a systematic picture of the opportunities and challenges facing the development of local food systems in old industrial regions." Click the above link for more information.