Type: Public event

Lessons from Youngstown – Planning for a Smaller, Greener City

Date & time

Mar 19, 2014, 4:00-5:30 pm EDT


Weill Hall

Free and open to the public. Reception to follow. Discussants: Ian Beniston, Deputy Director, Youngstown Neighborhood Development Corporation Hunter Morrison, Director, Northeast Ohio Sustainable Communities Consortium Initiative John Russo, Visiting Research Fellow, Virginia Tech University's Metropolitan Institute (Arlington) Moderators: Margaret Dewar, Professor, Urban and Regional Planning, University of Michigan June Manning Thomas, Centennial Professor, Urban and Regional Planning, University of Michigan About the panel:

In 2005, Youngstown released its innovative "2010 Plan," which accepted that Youngstown would not grow yet could still become a better, smaller city. A decade out, what have we learned? Panelists will include Hunter Morrison, one of the planners who led "Youngstown 2010" and now Executive Director of the Northeast Ohio Sustainable Communities Consortium; Ian Beniston, Deputy Director of the Youngstown Neighborhood Development Corporation; AND John Russo, Visiting Research Fellow at Virginia Tech's Metropolitan Institute and co-author of Steeltown. June Thomas and Margaret Dewar will moderate the discussion. They are professors of Urban & Regional Planning at the University of Michigan's Taubman College and co-editors of The City After Abandonment. About the discussants:

Ian Beniston is the Deputy Director of the Youngstown Neighborhood Development Corporation (YNDC) in Youngstown, Ohio and is responsible for its day to day operations. His duties include financial and staff management, program and resource development, communication strategies, and development of partnerships among diverse stakeholders. In the past three years, Ian has raised over eight million dollars in public and private resources for neighborhood development. He holds a Master of City and Regional Planning from The Ohio State University and a Bachelor of Arts in Sociology from Youngstown State University. He is a member of the American Institute of Certified Planners. Ian resides in Youngstown with his wife and two Irish Wolfhounds. More information about Ian and the Youngstown Neighborhood Development Corporation can be found at www.yndc.org.

Margaret Dewar is Professor of Urban and Regional Planning in the Taubman College of Architecture and Urban Planning, University of Michigan. Her research concerns what cities become following abandonment, a major transformation affecting many cities in the United States but one in which urban planners usually have little role. She has written several articles that identify political relationships, institutions, laws, and other factors that make a difference in outcomes following abandonment under the same market conditions. She is co-editor with June Manning Thomas of The City After Abandonment (Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press, 2013). June Manning Thomas, PhD, FAICP, is Centennial Professor of Urban and Regional Planning, Taubman College of Architecture and Urban Planning, at the University of Michigan, with a joint appointment in Residential College. Her books include Redevelopment and Race: Planning a Finer City in Postwar Detroit, the co-edited Urban Planning and the African American Community, and Planning Progress: Lessons from Shoghi Effendi, as well as several other books, journal articles, and book chapters.

Hunter Morrison is the Director of the Northeast Ohio Sustainable Communities Consortium Initiative (NOSCC). Before acting as Director of the NEOSCC, Hunter worked as the Director of the Center for Urban and Regional Studies at Youngstown State University. The Center was established for the purpose of understanding applied research addressing issues of urban and regional development and providing technical assistance to local government, social service organizations, and businesses. Prior to this he was Director of the Cleveland City Planning Commission and was responsible for Civic Vision 2000, a $3 million initiative that resulted in the comprehensive updating of the City's Downtown Plan, Citywide Plan, and Zoning Code. Civic Vision received the 1992 American Planning Association National Planning Award for Comprehensive Planning. Under his direction, the department was responsible for the development of master plans for North Coast Harbor District, site of Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and the Cleveland Browns Stadium; the Playhouse Square Theatre District, site of the country's second largest performing arts center; and the Gateway Sports District, home of Jacobs Field and Gund Area. The Gateway project was awarded an Urban Design Citation from Progressive Architecture in 1990, an Honor Award for urban design from the American Society of Landscape Architects in 1991, and the AIA Urban Design Award in 1996. Prior to joining the City of Cleveland in 1980, he worked for the Hough Area Development Corporation, a neighborhood development organization in Cleveland; for private consulting firms in Boston, and for the cities of Nairobi and New York. Hunter has taught at the Harvard Graduate School of Design and at Cleveland State University's Maxine Goodman Levin College of Urban Affairs. Hunter holds degrees in city planning and political science from Yale College, city planning from the Harvard Graduate School of Design, and business administration from Cleveland State University.

John Russo is a Visiting Research Fellow at Virginia Tech University's Metropolitan Institute (Arlington) and the former co-director of the Center for Working-Class Studies and coordinator of the Labor Studies Program at Williamson College of Business Administration at Youngstown State University. He has published widely on labor and social issues. In recent years, he has published three books with Sherry Linkon, Steeltown USA: Work and Memory in Youngstown (8th printing, University Press of Kansas, 2002), Reading Work: An Online Resource on Critical Reading and the Meaning of Work (2011), and an edited volume entitled New Working-Class Studies (ILR Press, 2005). He is currently working on a book critical of Smart Shrinkage (?), Urban Redevelopment and the Entreprenuerial City. Since 2008, Russo has done over 250 interviews with journalists from around the world on issues relating to economic, organized labor, working-class voters, deindustrialization, econmic redevelopment and changes in the nature of work. He is the co-editor and contributes regularly to the Working-Class Perspectives blog, and he has contributed op-eds to, among others, Newgeography and The New York Times. While recently retired, he continues to act as labor and business consultant, translating his scholarly expertise on labor and urban issues to journalists, labor unions, and the financial sector.

Sponsored by: University of Michigan Center for Local, State, and Urban Policy (CLOSUP) The Detroit School Series