The University of Toledo
Urban Affairs Center
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.
UAC Staff Member Named to Mayor-Elect's Transition Team
UAC Assistant Director Sue Wuest has been named to the transition team of Mayor-Elect D. Michael Collins. Ms. Wuest will serve on the Neighborhood/safety/community relations committee. She was one of the 45 people gathered at the Maritime Academy of Toledo on Saturday, November 16, 2013; the meeting was covered by the Toledo Blade.
Snyder Memorial, location of the UAC
Current UAC Updates
Click an item title to view/close it. Previous 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.