Sat 21 Jun 2014 11:24AM

Best Practices from The Connected City Conference

DC Dave Caraway Public Seen by 10

We met up in Cleveland with other CEOs for Cities clusters from across the country and traded ideas and lessons learned. Let's capture new ideas that we think might apply to Dayton here.


Laura Wed 25 Jun 2014 9:19PM

I liked that Cleveland had several free trolley's that went around the core. It would be nice to see Dayton some day (after we get some of those new housing units done!) have a free trolley that travels around the core offering free transportation. Just to get more people comfortable with public transportation and drive some traffic around the neighborhoods, etc. Or doing that for weekends like first four to start when there are many visitors to the area.


Laura Wed 25 Jun 2014 9:44PM

Also! There is an exciting new grocery store being built by several partners. They are using a local family to build the store which will be multi-use the chain is called Heinen's. The family is taking a major risk, but it's exciting stuff. They are not concerning themselves or catering to those who drive. They will have a "pick-up" zone for people to pick up their goods after they have ordered them online, but they are trying to reach those within walking distance. This store is an anchor for a larger development that will feature a roof-top dog park (!!!! something we should totally have), county office space, a nightclub (called the Vault...ha) in the basement, among other attractions. I've misplaced my flyer. It is a cool experiment and that we should keep tabs on and learn all we can! (Side note: they got this project going in I think they said 8 or 9 months? A crazy short amount of time. They open in a few weeks, if I recall correctly.)

I got business cards for Fred Geis the developer:
[email protected]
(I told him to think of Dayton for his next project) ;)

Also, got the info for the guy who will run the place once it's open:
Keith Halfmann
Principal & Chief Operating Director
[email protected]

Additional reading (if you read one, read this one):

Additional reading:


Laura Wed 25 Jun 2014 9:51PM

One more thing!!!
On the panel Maggie, Sandy, Peter and I saw, there was an awesome woman named Terry Schwarz who is the Director of the Cleveland Urban Design Collaborative (CUDC), Kent State University. She is involved in a cool initiative called Pop Up City and they have done some super hip projects!

Read about these public engagement/placemaking events here:

She mentioned that they have done several projects to engage folks during the winter months, and I have messaged her about more details on this, and hope to hear from her after she gets back from her vacation July 2. I will let you know what she says!


Laura Wed 25 Jun 2014 10:01PM

I lied to your digital face...last thing for now....
The keynote speaker was Toni Griffin, who worked with Detroit's planning organization. My biggest take-away involved how they engaged the public in feedback about the master plan. They actually thought about how different demographics might likely be reached. This included a phone campaign to call people with families to reach those with children who have a hard time leaving the kids behind to make public readings. They did a moving cart that they took to malls and other public spaces and had "pop-up" displays that engaged people. They developed a computer game to engage teens. All of this in additional to traditional forums. Any information they gathered was published and shared so people felt like they were being heard. It was very focused on building relationships with people.

Is her presentation being shared? Anyone know this? There were also some interesting slides on different types of natural spaces I thought interesting.

Check out the work:


Peter Benkendorf Thu 17 Jul 2014 3:43PM

I second Laura's comment above regarding Toni Griffin's Detroit Future City presentation. From my perspective, this was the most powerful part of the conference because it was about having authentic conversations with the community. This is an approach we need to give serious consideration to in Dayton, as we have too many people who are not in the conversation.

Check out the work:


Poll Created Thu 17 Jul 2014 5:43PM

Free Trolley Around Dayton Downtown Closed Thu 17 Jul 2014 5:45PM

Have an easy and free way to get around downtown. This plus biking may help connect the water front, dragons stadium, 2nd street and the Oregon district (suggestion by Laura E.)


Results Option % of points Voters
Agree 0% 0  
Abstain 0% 0  
Disagree 0% 0  
Block 0% 0  
Undecided 0% 13 DC KN PB DM TO AO EB MS ME L NW VB DB

0 of 13 people have participated (0%)


Dave Caraway Thu 17 Jul 2014 6:06PM

I loved the Cleveland Museum of Art (especially free general admission, wow http://www.clevelandart.org/). The Museum was putting together a large dance that apparently brought people from far and wide, across social classes, together as a community. Seemed like a neat idea.


Val Beerbower Thu 24 Jul 2014 1:34PM

There were a few "best practices" that I think we could adopt for Dayton. One of them was how the city used vacant land. Some of the neighborhoods hardest hit by the population exodus and housing market crisis were showing signs of rebounding through strategic land re-use. Shannon and I toured the east side neighborhoods (not unlike our own Twin Towers/east side) and learned that an enterprising and civic-minded group of people established their own mini development group and were buying properties either to flip or demo. Some flipped homes now were on double lots, giving people a desirable amount of yard space that may encourage them to consider purchasing the home. We also saw entire blocks razed and replaced with urban farms. Work was under way on a vineyard and winery, which would contribute toward the group's financial sustainability. Maybe Dayton could re-organize or modify the community development programs to empower neighborhood associations to find resources to take over problem properties. It could work with the land bank program; perhaps there could be a year-long class or training session that would help people identify potential homes to flip versus ones to raze. Just thinking of ways to "outsource" the vacant housing problems while strengthening neighborhoods and empowering residents.