Rebuilding Place in the Urban Space

"A community’s physical form, rather than its land uses, is its most intrinsic and enduring characteristic." [Katz, EPA] This blog focuses on place and placemaking and all that makes it work--historic preservation, urban design, transportation, asset-based community development, arts & cultural development, commercial district revitalization, tourism & destination development, and quality of life advocacy--along with doses of civic engagement and good governance watchdogging.

Monday, May 09, 2011

Neighborhood organizing resources

Leo Romero of Our Blocks is going to be doing a presentation for the "Someone’s Done That Already: the Best Practice of Using Best Practices" session of the June 2 Craigslist Foundation Boot Camp on Empowering Communities, so he sent a request out to a group of us, asking for our suggestions on resources. It happened that I had been thinking about this because I had prepared (and since, had been expanding) a list of community revitalization resources to pass out at a workshop I presented at in Baltimore a few weeks ago.

Some of the resources suggested by others look to be quite interesting, such as the self-help oriented Neighborhood Problem Solving Manual from Salinas, California, and a variety of "Knowledge-sharing resources from Diane Dyson," especially the meta-listings resources page from the United Way of Toronto.]

The City of Salinas complements the Manual with:

a Neighborhood Leadership Academy, which involves members of the public in co-creating their own curriculum, and then implementing it to develop local neighborhood projects or ideas for the community. This sort of concept, in which the public develops curriculum, projects, ideas, programs, etc., and provides them to the local government, or simply notifies the local government of what they are doing, as opposed to the other way around, is a very positive development in terms of participation and community involvement, and is a classic example of where people can use something like the Neighborhood Problem Solver to help organize efforts for projects that flow out of a Neighborhood Leadership Academy.

Pretty interesting. The City of Savannah has a small grants program that operated similarly. And Toronto has what they call "BUGs, or Bicycle User Groups, and a small funding program to support the efforts of various BUGs that are created. Similarly, London has a small grants program for bicycle-related projects initiated by community groups and other stakeholders.

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