"We can turn this into anything we want it to be," the mayor said while giving an update of the city's progress during a two-hour discussion and networking meeting of Mr. Bell's "Future of Toledo" Initiative that he formed in 2010 with the goal of moving the city forward.
The mayor said he has been pleased that there is a positive spirit engulfing the city -- and that it is mainly coming from Toledo's younger people.
"It is amazing the energy that young people have," Mr. Bell told the crowd at the Valentine Theater downtown. "They are so positive about what Toledo can be."
Young people, he said, are resettling the downtown area, starting new businesses or creating new opportunities, and generally finding innovative ways to solve old problems.
Mr. Bell said Toledo needs to get more aggressive with promoting its brand and telling outsiders what the city offers because that a lack of awareness about Toledo continues to be one of the city's biggest problems.
"Most people don't know what Toledo's about. But when they get here, they get excited," he said.