In March, I had the opportunity to attend a NeighborWorks Training session at New Directions Housing Corporation. I joined a contingent of New Albanians along with about twenty five individuals from Louisville Metro neighborhoods. The training was part of series called “Community and Neighborhood Revitalization” and this was part one, “Strategies and Implementation Techniques for Creating Neighborhoods of Choice Through Revitalization”.
The highlight of the two day course was a walk through my neighborhood – S. Ellen Jones and parts of East Spring Street. The walk was part of the “Reading a Neighborhood” section of the training. Complete strangers walked where we live and then gave feedback. It was a little weird.
Over at S. Ellen Jones.org, I've summarized notes from the training. If you are interested in revitalization in New Albany please give it a look.
A definition of Community and Neighborhood Revitalization: Community and neighborhood revitalization is the strategic process of transforming neighborhoods and communities that lack vitality into places of choice through collaborations of residents, organizations and other stakeholders. These communities and neighborhoods strive to be resilient places where it makes sense for people to invest time, energy and money, where they are optimistic about their future, where they feel they have control over their surroundings and the capacity to respond to community dynamics, and where they are connected to each other and the larger region. The process addresses five key elements:
1. The neighborhood’s or community’s image
2. Market forces that act on the neighborhood or community
3. The physical conditions
4. The social conditions
5. Stakeholders’ ability to manage neighborhood or community issues and affairs
(Source: Strategies and Implementation Techniques for Creating Neighborhoods of Choice Through Revitalization, pg 29, NeighborWorks Training Institute)