Vibrant NEO game goes live

Imagine MyNEO, an online application that lets users play the role of regional planner and address policy codes to create a more vibrant, resilient northeast Ohio, is up and running today.

The online tool is part of the Vibrant NEO program developed by the Northeast Ohio Sustainable Communities Consortium to assess the future of greater northeast Ohio area and determine steps to make it a more sustainable community.

“Our goal with Imagine MyNEO is to ask residents ‘What would this region look like in the future if you are in charge?'” Hunter Morrison, NEOSCC’s executive director, said. “Users can share their priorities for the future and make the kinds of policy choices necessary to help create that future, and all in an engaging way.”

Imagine MyNEO first prompts users to complete the sentence, “I want to live in a northeast Ohio where ” It then allows users to sort through various policy options to aid in the community they would like to see and then gives them a set amount of virtual coins to pay for improvements.

Area organizations, including the Trumbull County Planning Commission and Eastgate Regional Council of Governments, have been working with Vibrant NEO.

Vibrant NEO has been holding a series of public sessions, inviting locals to participate in scenario planning to assess the future of the region.

About 600 participants turned out to the first of three workshops held across the region – one at John F. Kennedy High School in Warren and two more at other sites around the region at the end of April. The “Business as Usual” workshop took a look at what the region would look like if no changes are made.

The next round of workshops will be held around July to address alternative scenarios to the first workshops. At the final workshop to be held in September, participants will assemble a “preferred scenario” that will be included in the 2040 vision for northeast Ohio.

“I thought it was an interesting project that goes beyond the borders of our normal area,” said Bill Miller, director of the Trumbull County Planning Commission and member of the Vibrant NEO Board.