The mission of the Center is to strengthen the practice of planning and community development through independent research, technical assistance, and civic education and engagement . The Center works in partnership with public, private and non-profit organizations, local governments, and development and planning professionals. The director of the center is Kathryn W. Hexter. Affiliated faculty include Dr. Wendy Kellogg, Professor of Urban Planning and Environmental Studies, and Department Chair/ Associate Dean of the Maxine Goodman Levin College of Urban Affairs and Dr. Brian Mikelbank, Associate Professor.
Areas of Expertise:
Community Planning Program
The Center houses the Community Planning Program formerly The Countryside Program, which moved to the Levin College in 2006. The program is coordinated by Ms. Kirby Date, AICP, a professional community planner and landscape architect. The Center provides training and technical assistance to local communities and is home to the Best Local Land Use Practices program, the local government outreach component of the Ohio Balanced Growth Initiative, a project of the Ohio Lake Erie Commission and the Ohio Water Resources Council. Other projects include case studies evaluating storm water site development practices, a comprehensive plan for Southington Township, and a downtown district plan for the village of Jefferson.
Housing and Research Policy Program
The Center produces studies and reports for use by elected officials, policy analysts, planners, nonprofit development corporations, and the private sector focused on strengthening the housing market in Northeast Ohio. Recent publications include:
The Forum program is the College's state-of-the-art civic education and engagement program. Known as the place "where the community gathers to discuss challenges, create opportunities, and celebrate accomplishments," the Forum is a catalyst for thoughtful public debate, innovative thinking, new ideas, and timely action addressing critical issues that impact Northeast Ohio. Since its inception in 1998, the Forum has tackled a broad range of civic issues including the lakefront plan, economic growth and development, affordable housing, immigration, education, the convention center, poverty, race and sustainable development. The work of the forum is based on the premise that an informed and engaged citizenry is a valuable asset for the region's future growth and prosperity. In 2005, the Forum was recognized by Northern Ohio Live as "a springboard for economic and social progress throughout the region" and in 2003 received the national CivicMind award for its Millennium Program, which worked with area high school students to introduce them to careers in public service.