Neighborhood Improvement grants are a great way to support the physical needs of neighborhoods, increase community involvement and create a sense of pride. Grant applicants must incorporate a significant amount of community engagement and showcase how their project benefits residents, is resident-led and serves the entire community.
Neighborhoods are a critical part of our communities and we want to ensure that all residents can enjoy the benefits of their neighborhood. To help accomplish this, the City offers a variety of programs that provide resources to improve the physical environment of neighborhoods and increase their quality of life.
A common challenge for neighborhood revitalization efforts is to move the negative stories that have been circulating about neighborhoods and create a story of community success. In order to do this, it’s important for neighborhood and city leaders to change their approach from the traditional “we have a problem” attitude to a “we are in a good place” mindset.
2. Using Art and Creativity to Build a Stronger Identity
The visual arts, particularly murals, can serve as an effective means of communicating positive messages about neighborhoods. These projects have been successful in cities across the country. In Philadelphia, for example, the Mural Arts Program restored street walls and transformed a blighted area into a vibrant art district.
To maximize the benefits of neighborhood revitalization, it is important for a community to create a positive message about its identity and make it known throughout the city. This can be accomplished through newsletters and social media.
One of the biggest risks of comprehensive neighborhood revitalization is gentrification. As housing and commercial prices go up, lower-income residents are displaced to more expensive areas. To minimize this risk, community developers need to work with other stakeholders to develop a strategy that will preserve existing affordable units.
A key component of neighborhood revitalization is attracting businesses to the area and making it more attractive for new ones. To do this, it’s important for a community to conduct outreach to local business owners and analyze their current operations and potential needs. This information can then be used to develop strategies to attract new businesses and strengthen existing business.
A neighborhood’s culture is a vital asset in ensuring that neighborhood revitalization efforts are successful. To help build a more cohesive neighborhood, it is important to foster community-based collaboration among neighbors, business owners and government officials. To support this goal, the City offers a Neighborhood Planning and Development Toolkit that helps communities develop a shared vision for the future and create a community strategy that reflects that vision.
These tools are free to use and are available to help your neighborhood become more successful. They include resources, training and a network of resources to help you get started. If you have questions or are interested in learning more about these tools, please contact the City’s Community Development Division.