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.

Friday, December 15, 2017

An outline for integrated equity planning: concepts and programs

This comes up not just because of mentions in comment threads, but an email thread on the Pro-Urb e-list, which Interesting, on a theoretical basis I have been thinking about this since 2013, when I spent 3 months on grand jury duty and realized that DC spends about $4 billion/year (criminal justice, police, fire, medical, health care, welfare, schools) on the most impoverished parts of the city, but just to keep them "the same."

I came up with the idea of "a Marshall Plan" for wards 7 and 8 in DC, as well as the Latino-dominated Takoma Langley Crossroads area in Montgomery and Prince George's Counties in nearby Maryland, although I haven't fully articulated it.

It's based on the "Signature Streets" concept I have been developing since 2010, originally for transportation, in terms of integrating civic assets and programming into one system. I think it's the root or foundation for integrated equity planning.
Public Realm as an Interconnected system, Slide from presentation, Leadership and the Role of Parks and Recreation in the New Economy, David Barth
Public Realm as an Interconnected system, Slide from presentation, Leadership and the Role of Parks and Recreation in the New Economy, David Barth

I haven't yet aimed to develop this into a massive position paper. And I need someone great at graphic design to help me express it graphically. David Barth gave me permission to use/modify his "integrated public realm framework" and I want to add to it "subway style iconography" for the linkages.

His linkages are just transportation. For me they are also civil society and organizations; media and communications; education; social services; politics and governance; etc.

While Mayor Bowser didn't execute this concept the way I suggested, she did create a new position "Deputy Mayor for Greater Economic Opportunity," based on my conversations with her campaign people.

The program (Woodlawn, Birmingham, Alabama) mentioned in the Pro-Urb thread is interesting. Here and there are similar efforts, such as Price Philanthropies focus on the City Heights neighborhood in San Diego (responded to by the city's Jacobs Foundation with an effort in another neighborhood). But even though the City Heights effort is cool and smart to focus all its efforts and monies on one neighborhood, when I went to check it out, I did wonder "that's all you get for a couple hundred million dollars?"

I haven't addressed the concept for awhile, but I have strung a bunch of best practices that are models. The thing is that most of these best practices are one offs, and need to be integrated into a more overarching and complete program. Here goes:

Conceptual underpinnings
- integrated public realm framework/Signature Streets as the foundation of integrated equity planning
- social urbanism concept in Medellin, Colombia, creating new civic assets in neighborhoods (Library Parks) and better transit connections in topographically challenged areas (escalators, gondola systems, etc.). They've experienced serious decrease in crime/murder. It's funded in part from monies from the publicly owned utility ("'Social urbanism' experiment breathes new life into Colombia's Medellin" Toronto Globe & Mail; "Medellín's 'social urbanism' a model for city transformation," Mail & Guardian) - citizenship culture concept of Antanas Mockus (Former Mayor of Bogota)
- positive deviance model (see the Harvard Business Review article "Your Company's Secret Change Agents," 2005)
- the five point framework in Community Economic Development Handbook by Mihalio Temali
- Main Street commercial district revitalization model
- Social capital/community capital
- Asset Based Community Development (ABCD Institute, Chicago)
- Transformational Projects Action Planning (blog entry)
- Broken Windows Policing (as opposed to Zero Tolerance Policing), ("The state of "broken windows" versus "problem oriented policing" strategies in 2016: Part 1, theory and practice)
- Building Neighborhood Confidence, by Rolf Goetz
- special service districts as funding mechanisms

- Community Safety Partnership, Los Angeles
- Operation Ceasefire, Boston ("Straight Outta Boston," Mother Jones Magazine)
- High Point, NC program focusing on domestic violence ("How High Point, N.C., Solved Its Domestic Violence Problem," Governing Magazine)

- United Way Toronto repositioning, spending all its resources on specific targeted neighborhoods (Building Strong Neighborhoods)
- immigrant integration program in Marseille
- "Elm Street" neighborhood revitalization approach -- adapted from Main Street model by State of Pennsylvania, program has since been deemphasized under later administrations
- settlement house model
- Neighborhood Centers Inc., Harris County, Texas
- neighborhood housing improvement programs  including by Mercer University in Macon and the Neighborhood Housing Services program more generally
- Toronto Tower Renewal Program
- East End initiative, Richmond, Virginia
- Grow South initiative, Dallas
- City Heights Initiative, Price Philanthropies, San Diego

- Toronto's programs dealing with multunit buildings
- San Francisco Green Benefits District
- environmental justice programs generally ("Environmental injustice is rising in the US. Minorities and the poor pay the price," Guardian)
- Push Buffalo Green Development Zone

- proposal for social and community programs integrated into St. Anthony Hospital in Chicago (Focal Point Chicago)
- integrated public health clinics and hospital system in Denver
- community health clinics in DC

- schools as combined community centers
- year round school
- enhanced "summer school"
- special assistance programs for Title I schools (Virginia, Montgomery County, Maryland, etc.)
- cooperative high school (a concept of mine)
- various programs with schools including models dealing with immigrants, the Family Resource Center at Rothenberg School in Cincinnati ("Below the Line in Over the Rhine," WCPO-TV)
- the Tacoma Housing Authority's work with elementary schools
- IB as a way to reposition low performing public schools (Rainer Beach High School, Seattle)
-- "Lessons for locals on the power of parents in schools," Seattle Times
-- "More thoughts about connecting communities to schools," 2006

Libraries/Continuing Education/Community Centers
- libraries as combined community centers (Drumbrae Library in Scotland) including as a premier example
- the IdeaStore concept in Tower Hamlets borough, London (combines library + adult education and locates them in highly visible locations in high use districts)
- multi-community centers (Pound Healthy Living Centre, Hampshire County, UK)
- extended hours for libraries and rec/community centers
- "A local community center is helping people conquer inequality," Los Angeles Times

Business development/jobs
- Main Street commercial district revitalization approach
- Community Economic Development Handbook points on microenterprise development and growing good neighborhood jobs
- Evergreen Cooperatives, Cleveland, business and jobs development
- PUSH Buffalo (New York) green jobs program
- West Philadelphia Skills Initiative of the University City District
- supported job settings for people who can work but need support along the way (I wrote about this as a concept)
- food halls/markets as a typology for developing locally owned businesses (Midtown Exchange, Minneapolis; Mercado, Portland; Thai Town Marketplace, LA)
- and incubators
- UpLift Solutions consulting group, Philadelphia on addressing "food deserts"
- community grocery store (Fare & Square, Chester, PA; Mariposa Food Cooperative, Philadelphia; Richmond East End Initiative)

- SRO housing (lots and lots of it)
- DIY/self-help/civic engagement programs in public housing to build social and community capital

- programs to support take up of biking
- improved transit access ("Largest urban cable car soars over 'desperate' commuters of La Paz," Guardian)
- area improvements to improve access to stations
- discounted transit passes based on income (NYC, San Francisco, Edmonton)

- shared spaces for organizations (Nonprofit Centers Inc.)
- shared spaces for arts organizations (many examples)


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At 6:03 AM, Anonymous Charlie said...

Ok, I was not really trying to egg you on.

Buried in there is a lot of cultural stuff - the assumption that work is good.

DC does have programs on that — the EITC Is very generous here, the various workforce housing programs.

If anything I’d make the incentives stronger. Again my $1 per day program for school. Force people into savings program. Want a low income loan for housing — save an extra 10%.

You’ve also go the drug money problem.

Off topic, with a 10K limit on taxes, DC may be very interested in a payrol tax now.

At 8:01 AM, Blogger Richard Layman said...

Dammit, ate my response.

Anyway, it's "coincidence." Yes, you made your point, about 40 examples and thousands of words, but then it came up in the context of a message on an e-list I'm on, and the example touted, I think a Promise neighborhood initiative (I don't mention them as a model 'cause they never got enough resources to do much, but some likely will succeed because of the partnerships created), so I did the outline. Now that it's an entry, I can keep adding to the outline...

Yes, work is important. In the putative Walter Reed thing (that proposal was more than 35,000 words) the one dude was big into workforce, but I kept arguing with him, making the point that there are plenty of best practice training examples, and examples in the area, the issue is more providing a ladder of placements where the person can develop readiness and familiarity but in structured and supported settings. Plenty of hard to help people get training, but wash out in the workplace because they aren't getting support.

(Also read an example of Brown's Supermarkets/Uplift Solutions in Philadelphia and some of their work. They've had great success with ex-prisoners and other types of otherwise hard to employ people based on structured training, linked to the job, AND an on-staff social worker. They're on my mind because there is a "social enterprise" grocery store opening up in Richmond, and I've been feeding them info. It started as me interviewing them for a story, but I want them to succeed, and they are meeting with Uplift Solutions anyway--it's the social enterprise consulting division of the supermarket company.)

And that rather than "team" with for profit contractors, create the functional businesses and do the work.

The problem is that he is an example of my adage, "your organization/effort is only as strong as your weakest link." He was just too out there, and even I couldn't deal with him after awhile even though he has the best of intentions.

The other problem was that DC had already froze its intentions for Walter Reed, even though our counter proposal was much better in terms of jobs and business development. But that was further exacerbated by the other principal, an MD and adjunct medical professor who wanted to create a graduate health campus and biotech research and business development initiative. He couldn't deal with the other guy either, and I got painted with that. But more importantly he couldn't land an MOU with a credible university institution to move the program forward, to get the city to stop in its tracks (my proposal even outlined an argument justifying the city's previous course and a way out of it).

So we just couldn't move it forward. (I am proud of the proposal though. It wasn't just the schools and research but also maker space and a multifaceted arts center on the European model, like La Friche in Marseille or cabelfactory in Helsinki.)

At 8:01 AM, Blogger Richard Layman said...

so yes, incentives, drug money problem etc. reading the teacher blog you recommended, one of his was how a dude diddled a bunch of people and skipped school, saying he was in basic training (it was about how teachers need to make friends with the attendance secretary).

So yes, provide more incentive, say $10 for each day you're in all your classes, and at the end of the year provide access to say 25%, with the rest building in your account.

I need to learn more about Bolsa Familia and that program in Northern California that I've written about etc., but the point is that while EITC is great, like with the workforce thing, you need to pair it with more focused programmatic assistance.

2. TAXES. yes, things are f*ed. That's another thing I haven't written about yet.

Cities are deliberately being f*ed and what we might call "progressive social society" through other tax changes, even though they seem to be keeping the historic preservation and new markets credits (as a sop to developers in all likelihood, not because it can help cities) although in a diminished way.

WRT your point about property taxes, if the proposal remained the same--no SALT, property tax deduction only, it would have encouraged the city to raise property taxes because they'd be deductible. But yes, going after wage taxation would be a good strategy.

I was "processing" a box of miscellaneous papers in the basement and there was a Mass Transit mag. from 2014. I can't remember the city and agency featured in the monthly cover story feature, but they got something like not quite 50% of their operating funds from a wage-employment tax. It was a bus only agency. It wasn't Oregon, it wasn't the MTA in New York State. I'll dig it out again and begin to use it as one of the examples.

But I guess my only hope is that somehow these changes can be overturned by Democrats after 2018. It's not like the plan helps people who aren't rich and it certainly discriminates against wage earners (as opposed to people receiving "compensation" which is practically "capital" anyway).

At 10:01 AM, Anonymous charlie said...

RE: Cities and taxes

At 10:34 AM, Anonymous charlie said...

another good one:

At 10:53 AM, Blogger Richard Layman said...

I think I've mentioned the Dallas program... a DC Dep. Fire Chief lives close by and while we don't meet in person, we communicate by email via a neighborhood e-list. Anyway, he reached out to me last year I think and said that DC FEMS has a social worker now (I think) to work with this kind of population.

At 10:55 AM, Blogger Richard Layman said...

A couple weeks ago I created this image to go with the piece on taxes.

then again, I have limited graphic design capabilities of my own.

At 9:44 AM, Anonymous charlie said...

Well the polling and messaging has been very negative for the R.

I guess I am a real cynic; I think the D would have passed about the same in terms of corporate tax reform. The various proposals floated were about the same. (rate in the 20, deal on overseas cash).

The only two things that irate me are the carve out for real estate investors and debt (everyone else is limited). Also I would have kept individual rates the same.

If you want give a Christmas present to loyal readers, a summation of what you know on workforce development would be helpful!!!! or even just pointers to your past writing!

But the carveouts in the deal are pretty good (private bonds, affordable housing, HP credits, 10K on taxes) which may not be rolled back so easily.

At 11:59 AM, Blogger Richard Layman said...

maybe not for Xmas, but new year's. I have a short memo somewhere. It doesn't get into all the listing of good examples, but they're out there. It lays out the idea of a ladder, a three stage kind of thing, not unlike what Coalition for the Homeless does for drug rehab...

At 7:43 AM, Blogger Richard Layman said...

Community safety/policing/violence

In Scotland the police department has set up work based social enterprises as a way to help ex-offenders move into the work force, based on the Homeboy Industries model from Los Angeles

But the Violence Reduction Unit has other programs besides that one.

The Scottish program addressing knife crime (which is on the rise in London) was one of the initiatives leading to the creation of the VRU program. (US)

At 10:39 AM, Blogger Richard Layman said...

FareStart restaurants, Seattle; Mary's Place arrangement with Amazon.

Cook County approach to evictions. "early warning system"

At 11:01 AM, Blogger Richard Layman said...

Brookings mentions a publication from AEI, based on a conference/symposium from 12/16:

At 1:18 PM, Blogger Richard Layman said...

Program trains locals to be EMTs.

At 1:20 PM, Blogger Richard Layman said...

hmm, and that program reminds me of Latino Health Access, a program in Santa Ana.

At 11:00 AM, Blogger Richard Layman said...

At 2:37 PM, Blogger Richard Layman said...

From a Guardian article on Finland's 10 best innovations:

Integrated health centres

Finland’s unique all-inclusive, integrated, municipal healthcare centres, introduced in 1972, offer community preventative, diagnostic and curative care; a dental service; GP-level (non-surgical) hospital care; home nursing services; mental health care; rehabilitation and occupational healthcare and ambulance services.

At 10:42 AM, Blogger Richard Layman said...

I don't agree. Knowing how to cook is key to eating better. Not that we should venerate poverty, but it is possible to eat decently without a lot of money.

A column by Michelle Singletary, the syndicated financial columnist, interviewed a financial advisor dealing with high income families who said they shouldn't be spending more than $300/month/person for food. Presumably that's buying a lot of expensive stuff.

At 3:17 PM, Blogger Richard Layman said...

Mentions a youth training/job readiness program, Moving Toward Opportunity

=====from article:

An example of a successful program that could help more youth is Regent Park’s Moving Towards Opportunity, says Heela Omarkhail, manager of community partnerships for area developer The Daniels Corp.

The program, spearheaded by Daniels in 2015, matches employers with high school students who receive 12-weeks of job readiness training followed by eight weeks of summer employment and mentorship.

Daniels partners with Toronto Employment and Social Services, Dixon Hall, Pathways to Education, and the Yonge St. Mission to identify low-income households with teenagers who might qualify and provide job readiness training.

At 5:55 PM, Blogger Richard Layman said...

pre high school summer school for incoming freshmen at Hillcrest H.S. in Salt Lake City. The students are paid to attend.

At 6:28 AM, Blogger Richard Layman said...

Starbucks initiative to open stores in low income community, has a director of social impact, opens a store in Bed-Stuy, Brooklyn:

At 7:15 AM, Blogger Richard Layman said...

who gets to use park spaces in East Harlem:

At 9:12 AM, Blogger Richard Layman said...

Very interesting. Story about Jamil Javani, author of _Why Young Men: Rage, Race and the Crisis of Identity_

At 11:52 AM, Blogger Richard Layman said...

At 8:25 AM, Blogger Richard Layman said...

Junior achievement student business development program, Hampton Roads



At 6:39 PM, Blogger Richard Layman said...

murder reduction strategies, public health approach:

At 1:42 PM, Blogger Richard Layman said...

- Red Hook Initiative, Brooklyn

- Patrick Sharkey of NYU, book on why crime has fallen

- Georgia State University program focused on keeping at risk students enrolled and on the path to graduation

At 1:54 PM, Blogger Richard Layman said...

Austin TX area:

children at risk report re schools serving high poverty demographics

At 6:01 AM, Blogger Richard Layman said...

school turnaround in Oshawa, ON included: giving students jobs at school such as "birthday greeters," volunteer work in the community and a two-day leadership camp.


At 4:25 PM, Blogger Richard Layman said...

eXcel Leadership Academy for high school students, sponsored by the Norfolk VA Chamber of Commerce


At 5:15 PM, Blogger Richard Layman said...

NYC, Lower East Side Employment Network

Access 4 All program, Alexandria VA Soccer Assn.


At 12:39 PM, Blogger Richard Layman said...

"Matching Job Program to People Most in Need," NYT 6/20/2018

Discusses NYC programs and the various disconnects.

At 7:57 AM, Blogger Richard Layman said...

Some of the social equity initiatives of the Community Foodworks farmers market organization at the Columbia Heights DC farmers market:


At 8:35 PM, Blogger Richard Layman said...

Ideas for Toronto poverty reduction

TO Prosperity Plan, 2015

Councilman Joe Mihevc letter, "30 bold ideas"

At 3:17 PM, Blogger Richard Layman said...

Highline College, Washington State, integration program for first generation minority students, based on a program in a couple California community colleges


At 10:24 AM, Blogger Richard Layman said...

Report makes the point that the focus of the agency is on tracking spending, not outcomes, not whether or not the programs are successful in helping people out of poverty.

At 8:10 AM, Blogger Richard Layman said...

Toronto equity initiatives in budget:

Social Planning Toronto advocacy group

They discuss "community infrastructure" as an element of poverty reduction.

2. PGH plans to invest in parks in deprived areas in particular because of the link to quality of life improvement.

At 9:07 AM, Blogger Richard Layman said...

article on the Stockton Economic Empowerment Demonstration Project (SEED, UBI, $500/mo.).

At 7:21 PM, Blogger Richard Layman said...

Innovation Works, capacity building and technical assistance social entrepreneurship venture in Baltimore, aiming to work with developing businesses within distressed Baltimore neighborhoods, building the business ecosystem at the neighborhood scale.

At 7:27 AM, Blogger Richard Layman said...

transitional housing up to 2 years for young mothers. Targeted program, Kent Youth and Family Services, Washington State

At 7:34 AM, Blogger Richard Layman said...

Childhaven program, Seattle


At 11:55 AM, Blogger Richard Layman said...

Welcome Home OC, United Way program works with property owners and people with HUD Section 8 vouchers, with philanthropic support to provide wraparound services for new tenants, help with security deposits, improve stability.


At 8:46 AM, Blogger Richard Layman said...

Baltimore Equity Assessment Program and Equity Assistance Fund

At 12:53 PM, Blogger Richard Layman said...

Boston needs to adopt a planning equity standard

Building an Agenda to Reduce the Number of Children in Poverty by Half in 10 Years; National Academy of Sciences

At 11:49 AM, Blogger Richard Layman said...

From 1969-1975 activists operated the "Black Appalachian Commission" to organize around the Appalachian Regional Commission economic development initiative, and to organize a regional black consciousness on economic and social issues in the Appalachias.

"Mapping Black Ecologies"

_Black Geographies and the Politics of Place_

At 12:02 PM, Blogger Richard Layman said...

-- community investment
-- building family wealth
-- building family income
-- building family savings

At 9:12 AM, Blogger Richard Layman said...

_Color of Money: Black Banks and the Racial Wealth Gap_

Mehrsa Baradaran, UC

+ "banking while black"

At 9:14 AM, Blogger Richard Layman said...

"Coronavirus could widen black wealth gap"/inequalities of homeownership

At 10:16 AM, Blogger Richard Layman said...

Black Business Owners Had a Harder Time Getting Federal Aid, a Study Finds

At 5:47 PM, Blogger Richard Layman said...

"How loan bias hinders black firms", LA Times, 6/21/2020 A23


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