Tuesday, February 13, 2018 from 12:00 PM to 2:00 PM EST
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Cleveland-Marshall College of Law 
1801 Euclid Avenue
Cleveland, OH 44115

Driving Directions 


Charles Bromley 
Ohio Fair Lending Coalition 

February 13th Brown Bag: Five City Property Survey 

Welcome to the 2018 Ohio Fair Lending & Vital Communities conference series! We are excited to kick off this year's round of Brown Bags in conjunction with Cleveland State's Levin College of Urban Affairs. Our theme for the year is Building Equitable Communities. We are excited to explore this important topic and what it means for both Cleveland and Cuyahoga County.

Our first Brown Bag will be a forum on the Western Reserve Land Conservancy's Five City Property Survey. The foreclosure crisis hit Cleveland's inner-ring suburbs hard, particularly on the east side. The impact of high rates of foreclosure, vacancy, and abandonment  has been reflected in the slow housing price recovery of east side suburbs. Since there are limited resources and tools to address blight and market recovery, it's essential that intervention strategies are based on sound data and a solid understanding of current conditions.  

During the summer of 2017, the Cities of South Euclid, Euclid, Garfield Heights, Maple Heights, and Warrensville Heights, obtained a grant from the Cleveland Foundation to undertake a complete inventory of all residential and commercial parcels in their cities. Over 56,000 parcels were inspected, photographed, and a letter grade assigned based on property condition.  This data was gathered and compiled by the Western Reserve Land Conservancy, and integrated with aggregated county and census data into a web based decision making tool for cities and the public created by the Detroit based data analytics firm, Dynamo Metrics with the support of  CWRU's NEOCANDO data base. The result of this survey is a dynamic picture of current conditions in these suburbs, as well as a robust web based mapping tool that clearly shows demographic trends, property condition, and home ownership changes at the neighborhood level, as well as the tax base implication of the demolition and rehab activities undertaken in these communities.  The project provides a hands-on tool for data based decision making, and allows cities to make the most strategic and impactful decisions with limited resources.

Our panelists include: Isaac Robb, Manager of Urban Projects for Western Resreve Land Conservancy; Nigel Griswold, Regional Economist, Co-Founder & Managing Director of Dynamo Metrics; and Ben Calnin, Data Scientist, Co-founder & Managing Director of Dynamo Metrics. Sally Martin, Housing Manager for the City of South Euclid, will serve as moderator of this panel. 

Please note that this forum will be on a Tuesday, rather than a Wednesday.


Isaac Robb is the Manager of Urban Projects for the Western Reserve Land Conservancy. Isaac is responsible for redevelopment scenario planning, supporting urban open space projects, as well as assisting with the Land Conservancy’s property inventory program. A native Oregonian, Isaac holds a BA in Economics from Willamette University and his MA in City and Regional Planning from Cornell University. While pursuing his Master’s degree, he was a planning consultant for the Town of Caroline, New York. He also has experience working and researching housing policy issues for the City of Seattle, Washington. Before dedicating himself as an urbanist, Isaac taught English as a second language to students in China and South Korea.

Ben Calnin is a data scientist with over a decade of specialization in creating analytics-ready data architectures and using them to perform analysis inside and outside of the university environment. As co-founder of Dynamo Metrics, he is leveraging his background in policy relevant research to create analytics systems that weigh policy options and anticipated outcomes to help public, private and community groups find actions that maximize positive impact. Ben led the creation of data systems and performed analysis on the economic impacts of property demolition and rehabilitation programs in Cleveland, Detroit, Ohio statewide and Jackson MI. The findings of this research were used by US Treasury to release over $2 Billion in Federal TARP funds to these and other areas in the US for the demolition of blighted properties. Ben also acted as technical lead on the creation of the Nigeria Assets Decision Support System for the UK Department for International Development and the Office of the Chief Economic Advisor to the President of Nigeria. Most recently, Ben coordinated the creation of the Dynamo Metrics mapping and dashboard system that puts Dynamo's analytics expertise in the hands of municipal and land bank decision makers.

Nigel Griswold is an innovator in the field of spatial econometrics, the study of the effects of distance and proximity on economic activity. Nigel’s work in urban policy began in 2004, when he examined the relationship between blight abatement and housing values in Flint, Michigan, at the behest of Congressman Dan Kildee, who was then treasurer of Genesee County. Nigel’s subsequent research culminated in the decision of U.S. Treasury to allow Hardest Hit Fund money to be spent on demolition of blight. Nigel now focuses on building decision support tools for local government and furthering the use of spatial time series metrics in varying fields of urban and regional social science research.

Sally Martin has served as the Housing Director for the City of South Euclid since 2009. Her main duties are managing residential code enforcement and overseeing the daily operation of the Housing Department. In 2009, Martin launched the grant funded South Euclid Green Neighborhoods Initiative, winning a Crain’s Emerald Award for the project. In addition, Martin helped establish the city’s affiliate community development corporation, One South Euclid, creating the Build-Grow-Thrive Residential Resale program. This program has provided the main income stream for the non-profit. In addition, Martin helps manage the city’s marketing and communications initiatives, and serves on the region’s Vacant and Abandoned Property Action Council where she chairs the delinquent tax committee and has coauthored papers and studies on housing policy issues.   In the summer of 2015, she launched the SEL Experience Project blog to help shift negative community perceptions of the South Euclid Lyndhurst City School District.  Known as a subject matter expert on housing related issues, Martin is a regular speaker at local, state, and national conferences, and serves on the boards of the Cuyahoga Housing Consortium, and Solutions at Work, Inc (SAW). She currently serves as the chair of the executive committee for the Greater Cleveland Reinvestment Coalition.  Martin has a Bachelor’s of Science from the University of Florida College of Journalism and Communications, and has resided with her family in South Euclid since 2001.