Sarah Lown, Bridge Builder
Revitalizing the land which yesterday was a steel mill and is today a brownfield is just one of the many tasks which lay before Sarah Lown
, as the Director of Economic Development for Eastgate Regional Council of Governments
, is responsible for facilitating the process by which area leaders can plan for transportation, economic development or environmental improvements.
Within Eastgate, Lown's goal is to identify projects that would successfully be funded through the U.S. Economic Development
Administration (US EDA).One of her
most recent projects is the construction of the Walton Avenue Bridge in 2005.That project gave access to 800 acres of brownfields in Youngstown
, Campbell and Struthers to enable new development to occur.
For the past several years, Lown
has concentrated her
efforts on revitalizing former industrial areas -- brownfields -- along the Mahoning River corridor, which is the heart and soul of the Valley.She is also the current president of the Mahoning River Consortium, which is working to clean up the River and the land along its banks.Lown
grew up in New England and moved to Youngstown
15 years ago.Two things helped revitalize the New England town she
grew up in.
"What I saw work was two things: artists, who saw the beauty of the New England landscape and its low cost historic homes, and industrial consortia to attract economic growth.Revitalization has to take place on many fronts like that in order to be sustainable and attractive to new investment."
And what should the next step be for Youngstown?Lown
believes there needs to be a continued effort to clean up the corridors going in and out of town which removes a tremendous psychological barrier to new investment.