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Check out “The Plan”

gdtnplan-logoThe public and private sectors in Greater Downtown Dayton have joined forces to create a bold, unified plan for the region’s center city called A Greater Downtown Dayton Plan. It will establish a very tactical, deliberate game plan for the future of our Greater Downtown and identify collaborative ― not competitive ― strategies for creating a more vibrant city.

For more background on the Plan, see the information at the bottom of this page.

Read Drafts of the Preliminary Plan Recommendations:
More than 200 volunteers have been working to compile the public’s ideas and to research and develop preliminary Plan recommendations. Below are the draft recommendations, along with supporting documents, maps, renderings and other resources.

Join the Discussion!
Many members of the public have contributed ideas, and you can still do so. Visit the discussion threads in the forum at DaytonMostMetro.com or join us on Facebook under A Greater Downtown Dayton Plan to stay in the loop.

Tell Us What You Think!
Your input is needed to help finalize the Plan recommendations. What’s missing? What do you like? What should be the top priorities? Download and fill out our Public Input Form, give your ideas and help shape downtown’s future!


Plan Background and More Info
For additional background information on the Greater Downtown Dayton Plan and how we got to where we are now, check out the following documents and resources:


Gallup study finds economic conditions have no bearing on where people love to live?

NEWS RELEASE | FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: Marc Fest, Vice President of Communications, (305) 908-2677
Economy Not Key
In Residents’ Love For Where They Live

Gallup and Knight Foundation Study Explores
What Makes People Emotionally Attached to Their Communities

MIAMI, FLA. (Sept. 29, 2009) – A Gallup study of 26 U.S. communities has found that the worst economic crisis in decades is not a key factor in attracting and retaining residents.

“While the pain from the recession is deep, other factors far outweigh economics when it comes to determining how emotionally attached people are to their communities,” said Warren Wright, managing partner for Gallup, which conducted the study with funding from the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation.

In fact, a community’s social offerings (fun places to gather), its physical beauty and its openness to new and different people are most important to making residents love where they live, the study found.

“The findings are particularly important in a globalized economy, where cities are fighting for the talented workers they need for a vibrant workforce and economy,” said Paula Ellis, Knight Foundation’s vice president for strategic initiatives. “Local leaders, city officials and residents can use this information to better understand their community – and strengthen it to be a destination where people want to live, work and play.”

While the current economic crisis doesn’t seem to make a difference in residents’ love for their community, the study found that positive feelings do have a connection to local GDP growth.

The Soul of the Community survey was designed to explore this connection between economic growth and residents’ emotional attachment to their community. The latest results, from year two of the three-year study, suggest a significant correlation between the two.

Within a smaller microcosm, such as a company, Gallup has been able to show that increasing employees’ emotional connection to their company leads to improved financial performance of the organization. Researchers continue to explore if the emotional connection to the place where one lives drives economic growth for these communities in a similar way. Gallup’s previous work in U.S. communities and abroad shows that in fact emotional connection does drive economic growth.

In addition, the study also made several conclusions that will interest leaders concerned with keeping top workers:

Openness to college graduates continues to be a challenge for the communities studied, and an obstacle to stemming brain drain and keeping talented students in town after graduation day;
New residents are the least attached of any demographic group to their community – and were even less attached in 2009, as compared to the previous year;
Residents who are more satisfied with their jobs are more likely to have an emotional connection to their community.
Knight Foundation is already funding projects with direct ties to the study’s recommendations.

For example, in Tallahassee, where social offerings is the #1 driver of community attachment, Knight Foundation funded the first Tallahassee Film Festival and the Get Gaines Going project, which is revitalizing a main thoroughfare. These efforts to create cultural spaces where residents can meet and create a sense of place are particularly important to the capitol city, which wants to entice its local college graduates to stay in the area, build a career and help diversify the local economy.

“A creative and diverse workforce is the key to Tallahassee’s future. With guidance from the Soul of the Community study, we can continue to find ways to get there by attracting new talent and keeping our local college graduates in town,” said Mike Pate, Knight Foundation’s Tallahassee program director.

The communities surveyed vary in population size, economic levels and how urban or rural they are. Gallup randomly surveyed a representative sample of more than 10,000 adults from Feb. 17 to April 25, 2009, by phone.

The following communities were included in the survey: Aberdeen, S.D., Akron, Ohio, Biloxi, Miss., Boulder, Colo., Bradenton, Fla., Charlotte, N.C., Columbia, S.C., Columbus, Ga., Detroit, Mich., Duluth, Minn., Fort Wayne, Ind., Gary, Ind., Grand Forks, N.D., Lexington, Ky., Long Beach, Calif., Macon, Ga., Miami, Fla., Milledgeville, Ga., Myrtle Beach, S.C., Palm Beach, Fla., Philadelphia, Pa., San Jose, Calif., St. Paul, Minn., State College, Pa., Tallahassee, Fla., Wichita, Kan.

For complete survey findings, visit www.soulofthecommunity.org.

Track the conversation on Twitter with the tag #SOTC09 and Knight Foundation at twitter.com/knightfdn.

About Gallup

Gallup has studied human nature and behavior for more than 70 years. Gallup’s reputation for delivering relevant, timely, and visionary research on what people around the world think and feel is the cornerstone of the organization. Gallup employs many of the world’s leading scientists in management, economics, psychology, and sociology, and our consultants assist leaders in identifying and monitoring behavioral economic indicators worldwide. Gallup’s 2,000 professionals deliver services at client organizations, through the Web, at Gallup University’s campuses, and in 40 offices around the world.

About the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation

The John S. and James L. Knight Foundation advances journalism in the digital age and invests in the vitality of communities where the Knight brothers owned newspapers. Knight Foundation focuses on projects that promote community engagement and lead to transformational change. For more, visit www.knightfoundation.org.


Poster campaign gets press!

images-7“This is Dayton” celebrates Dayton, Gasper said. And, it’s proof that a small group of people can make a big difference in changing perceptions.

The group hopes the posters inspire people to explore the region.

There are two incorrect perceptions that the group is trying to combat, Gasper said. “That there’s nothing to do or it’s not safe downtown, neither of which are really true. If you were alone in a river, or a forest or even in your own house, you might feel uneasy. If there’s nobody around, you feel vulnerable.

“Everybody feels there’s a lot of crime, but really it’s a sense of isolation.”

So, the group is trying to get more “feet on the street” downtown, Gasper said.

For the full article by Arundi Venkayya Cox in Sun, Sept 20th Dayton
Daily News, click here


What’s the Park Levy about?

n101329758478_9991A 1.8 replacement mill levy has been placed on the ballot for the November 3 election for the Five Rivers MetroParks. The replacement levy would allow the parks to continue to provide clean safe access to nature and recreational facilities for all residents, close to home and free.

The levy accounts for 80% of the park system’s operating budget and is the only levy for Five Rivers MetroParks. This issue replaces an existing levy that expires next year. If this replacement issue doesn’t pass before the current levy expires, Five Rivers will lose 80% of its revenue. Without that funding, Five Rivers would be effectively unable to operate the parks for public access.

This revenue stream is critical to the park’s success and ability to serve our community:

•Keep clean, safe parks, close to home
•Keep protecting undeveloped natural areas for today and for future generations
•Keep accessible hiking, fishing, kayaking, mountain biking, and other outdoor recreation activities right here in Montgomery County

We need your help! Our entire campaign must  be paid for and run by volunteers.   We know times are tough but we are hoping you can spare $10, $20, $50, $100 to help the campaign get the word out.  Click here to make a donation to the Five Rivers MetroParks Levy Committee.

We also need lots of volunteers! If you would like to volunteer any time at all – from 2 hours to 20 (or more) hours — click here to sign up!

Visit campaign headquarters located in the northeast corner of Kettering Tower for more info or to volunteer. Thank you!  Let’s work together to protect this community asset.


Miami Valley Cycling Summit

The Aug. 14 Miami Valley Cycling Summit, part of the Drive Less Live More campaign, is a call for action for those who are interested in transforming the region to a healthier, more vibrant community.

This is an opportunity for residents and community leaders to get informed, exchange ideas and share their thoughts. It’s time to take an active role in making the Miami Valley a better place to live, work and play.  The participation and representation of the entire region is vital to the success of the bike friendly movement and the vibrancy of the Miami Valley.

Featured Guest: Jeff Mapes, Opening Keynote: Read More >>
Jeff is senior political reporter for The Oregonian and the author of “Pedaling Revolution: How Cyclists Are Changing American Cities.”

Grassroots Social: Read More >>
Registered attendees will enjoy food, beverages, entertainment and productive conversations with “bike minded” individuals, with the goal of ultimately forming a grassroots organization to support the Miami Valley in being the first Bike Friendly Region in Ohio.

Volunteer: Read More >>
Be a part of helping the Miami Valley become the first bike friendly region in Ohio.