As we near the conference, we see even more collaborative innovation in Akron, notes on a big better block

Image: Fitzwater Photography

Our 31st annual conference is just one week away, and we are so excited to travel to the Greater Akron Area. As we began planning this a few months ago with our area host committee, it became increasingly obvious that our theme this year must celebrate the region of invention. It must note the true collaborations coming out of the area. Thus: Igniting Collaborative Innovation.

The conference’s titular workshop (though ALL nine workshops are really solid) will be Thursday morning. Featuring five panelists, from the Knight Foundation, Akron Public Schools, East Akron Neighborhood Development Corporation, and two people listed in this blog from GreenCityBlueLake: Jason Segedy from AMATS and Tina Ughrin.

In May, Akron’s North Hill neighborhood pulled off one of the biggest Better Block programs in the country.  A busy section of the neighborhood saw speeding cars drop from 40 mph to 20. Sidewalks were widened. Fresh food was available. Bike lanes were implemented. People came out. In droves. And it came about through community collaboration. Residents were heavily involved.

“Officially we recommended the city adopt it,” says Segedy. “The city wants to see this kind of thing happen. We presented to the mayor and his cabinet last week. Not only did they learn a lot, they were impressed that actual residents made this happen. It reinforced this was a true collaboration.”

The story of Akron is truly one of invention and collaboration. Check out this story. And check out Akron next week with us.

Source: In Akron, redrawing the lines on Main Street renews a social contract | GreenCityBlueLake | Sustainability in Northeast Ohio at The Cleveland Museum of Natural History

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