Strengthening Neighborhoods Through Data

Tuesday, October 21, 2014
4:00-6:00 p.m.
Bonda Bond Room 254
Maxine Goodman Levin College of Urban Affairs
Cleveland State University
About this Forum

Cleveland’s community developers and residents now have access to improved tools for revitalizing neighborhoods. These tools were developed by Strong Cities, Strong Communities (SC2) Fellows, Timothy Kobie and Christopher Alvarado, during their two-year placements with the city of Cleveland departments of Building and Housing (B&H) and Community Development (CD) respectively. This event is part of the SC2 Fellowship Impressions and Impacts series that will be held throughout the fall in the SC2 Cities. Tim and Chris will discuss how these tools can be used to strengthen neighborhoods.

About the SC2 Projects:

Using City Land Bank lots to strengthen neighborhoods. The City of Cleveland's Land Bank holds over 12,000 vacant parcels and receives more than 400 applications for reuse each year. With annual maintenance costs of roughly $400 per parcel and the associated negative impact each vacant and unimproved plot can have on neighborhoods, the City is compelled to expediently sell these properties to citizens who are in the best position to properly maintain them, while ensuring that each application undergoes a thorough review process. While embedded at the City's Department of Community Development, SC2 Fellow Christopher Alvarado put in place a process for reviewing how efficiently CD and planning staff examined applications. From his perspective now as Executive Director of Slavic Village Development, a community development corporation director, he will provide suggestions on how City professionals, councilpersons, and Community Development Corporations (CDCs) can further streamline the application approval process to reach common goals for dtrengthening neighborhoods and decreasing municipal expenses.

Leveraging technology for community benefit. Cleveland’s Department of Building and Housing is continually looking for ways to leverage new or existing technology to improve plan review, permitting, and code enforcement. These efforts help B&H staff do their jobs better, but also provide transparency to the public through Accela’s Citizen Access. For CDCs who can also use Citizen Access, B&H and the Department of Community Development have partnered with Case Western Reserve University and others in the creation of the Neighborhood Stabilization Team Web App (NST). NST serves as a data warehouse where CDCs can upload their data and also find data from B&H and other governmental agencies. The many data points that B&H collects also make it possible for the Department to do a large amount of analysis and performance review. As an SC2 fellow, Timothy Kobie, working with B&H staff, developed a methodology to rank properties for demolition and created a monthly report to track properties for the CDC Code Enforcement Partnership.

For more information see: The SC2 Management team is pleased to invote you to Strengthening Neighborhoods Through Data.


Forum programs are free and open to the public.