The UT Urban Affairs Center

The University of Toledo
Urban Affairs Center


"Leading Economic Development" Seminar on March 27

The Urban Affairs Center and the University of Toledo Press are announcing a half-day seminar entitled Leading Economic Development: A Seminar for Local Public Officials and Civic Leaders on Friday, March 27, from 2:00pm to 4:30pm at the Radisson Hotel on the UT Health Science Campus.

The keynote speakers are Dr. Daniel Johnson, UT President Emeritus and author of the book Leading Economic Development: A Toolkit for Public Officials and Civic Leaders, and Lee Fisher, former Ohio Lieutenant Governor and president, CEOs for Cities.

There will also be a panel discussion of local experts in economic development from the private and public sectors. To register, download and return the form below.

** Download the seminar registration form here **

The Economic Value of the Toledo Public School System

Dr. Neil Reid, UAC Director, and Dr. Oleg Smirnov, Dept. of Economics, have completed an analysis of the Return on Investment and economic value of the Toledo Public School System. TPS, the largest school district in Lucas County and the fifth-largest district on Ohio, has an annual budget in excess of $400 million. It is one of the most valuable public enterprises in Lucas County with a economic footprint that spreads beyond the city limits in the wider local economy. From the Executive Summary:

Altogether, for every dollar of locally-funded public education, the economy receives between $4 and $5.60.

Read the full report here.

UT Press Succeeds by Thinking Small

What started small in 2002 at the UAC has continued in the same vein: the UT Press publishes small volumes concentrating on local histories of Toledo and northwest Ohio.

The Toledo Blade recently published a feature on the UT Press that highights this mission. According to Barbara Floyd, press director, "Nobody has a focus the history of our community. These books are important for that reason. Who else but us would publish a book on the history of people with disabilities in northwest Ohio? We can publish books about a region that we know."

The complete Blade article can be read here.

University of Toledo forms task force to assist on policy issues related to water quality

UAC Director Dr. Neil Reid has been named to serve on "a task force to assist local, state, and federal officials on policy issues affecting water quality, especially that of troubled western Lake Erie", as noted by the Toledo Blade on August 29, 2014:

The University of Toledo Water Task Force was formed in response to this summer's toxic algae bloom that made tap water unsafe for 500,000 customers of the city's water-distribution system, but its scope apparently will not be limited to that. "As a public research university, Ohio taxpayers and U.S. taxpayers have invested in our researchers focused on the Great Lakes and water quality, in general. We have a tremendous return on that investment to offer, and this task force is an effort to create a single portal that governments and organizations can look to for answers and expertise," Frank Calzonetti, a geography professor who is UT vice president for government relations and chief of staff to the president, said.

Click here to read the full article.

Fighting Urban Blight in Toledo

UAC Faculty Research Associate, Professor Dan Hammel of Geography & Planning, appeared on the WGTE 30 show Deadline Now: Fighting Blight in Toledo to share his insights on this issue. From the WGTE web site:

“Last month, The Blade published an eye-opening series about blight in Toledo. While not close to the scale of Detroit's devastation, Toledo has more than its share of abandoned homes and businesses. If you live or work in Detroit, there is a strong temptation to roll your eyes when people talk about blight in Toledo. For us, it would be easy to assume that there isn’t any blight to speak of here. That would be a wrong assumption.”

Click here to watch the program.

UAC Hosts Economic Development Meeting

The Urban Affairs Center hosted a luncheon for Neil Gibson, Director of the Northern Ireland Center for Economic Policy (NICEP) at the University of Ulster ( Mr. Gibson is an Eisenhower Fellow ( 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)

Social Network Analysis Assists Startup Toledo

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 ( 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 ( in downtown Toledo.


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
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.

Recent UAC Studies

Click an item title to view/close it. Archived UAC news items are here.

  • Finding Food in Northwest Ohio
  • Toledo-Lucas County Public Library: Economic Value and Return on Investment
  • Urban gardens boost quality of life, expert says
  • “A State of Inequity in Ohio”: Additional Press Coverage