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Samantha Brockfield BUP Senior Problem Synthesis August 2010.

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Presentation on theme: "Samantha Brockfield BUP Senior Problem Synthesis August 2010."— Presentation transcript:

1 Samantha Brockfield BUP Senior Problem Synthesis August 2010

2 This is the lesson the planning community now needs to learn: it must take responsibility for its acts in a historical, unpredictable society rather than in a dream world of harmony and predetermined order. To make modern cities meet human needs, we shall have to change the way in which city planners work. Instead of planning for some abstract urban whole, planners are going to have to work for the concrete parts of the city, the different classes, ethnic groups and races it contains. And the work they do for these people cannot be laying out their future; the people will have no chance to mature unless they do that for themselves, unless they are actively involved in shaping their social lives. - Richard Sennett, The Uses of Disorder: Personal Identity and City Life. 1970

3 Introduction Site Description: Avondales Avenue District Problem: Planning and Control History Urban and Regional Context Literature Review and Case Studies Existing Conditions Analysis and Forecasting Goals and Objectives Alternatives Recommendations Implementation Summary

4 To succeed and be sustainable, neighborhood revitalization must start at the ground level with local people making the decisions that matter for their families and their community. Local residents and stakeholders should create and drive plans for developing their communities. Todays cities need a new type of planner.

5 This area is bounded by the following Avenues: Erkenbrecher Forest Dury Burnet Because all eight streets in the district are Avenues, it is named The Avenue District.

6 49 % homeownership rate, long-term owner occupancy, historic housing stock, central location. Proximity to regional destinations and Burnet Avenue revitalization. Deteriorating housing stock, absentee landlords, litter, congested on-street parking High crime perception, mistrust from history of institutional expansion, economic downturn, foreclosures.

7 The traditional approach to community development aims to revitalize neighborhoods using a top-down planning process. Planning should not manipulate and control communities but rather lay foundations for vibrant and abundant community life. Todays economic and political environment presents an opportunity for an entirely new approach to city planning.

8 Community Development Corporations (CDCs) Originally formed, driven and controlled by membership made up of local residents Focused on rebuilding localized economies and improving public services Today most have lost touch with original mission and membership

9 1980: Local Initiatives Support Corporation (LISC) Corporate and foundation dollars to CDCs Large-scale projects 1986: Low-Income Housing Tax Credits (LITC) Incentive for private investment in affordable housing narrowed CDC focus and concentrated decision making

10 Foreclosure crisis: vacancy and unemployment are swiftly accompanied by a downward spiral of blight, crime and urban decay. US Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) Neighborhood Stabilization Program (NSP) The model post-real estate boom: Comprehensive Community development

11 Avondale: Low income African American community Surrounded by growing institutions Population 16,300 4 th largest in Cincinnati Negative public perception Priorities : Safety Health Economic Development Education Housing


13 LISC Sustainable Communities Program Uptown Consortium Place matters funding collaborative Obstacles to progress: Concentrated power and resources Damaged organizational relationships Unclear goals and values Lack of willingness to change

14 Traditional Methods and Alternate Approaches Validation planning Relational organizing and social capital Sustainable community development

15 Professionals as experts who generate plans Site visits to define problems Community forums Efforts to minimize transparency and participation for various reasons Find local representatives to demonstrate buy- in for proposed developments

16 Social Capital: Extent to which members of a community can work together effectively (Community Building Institute, 2010) Engaging residents in creative problem solving Creating strong social networks to help them further their objectives Bonding (internal) Bridging (external)

17 Necessary components of community: Commonality: Shared needs and interests Interdependence: Shared community ownership and responsibility Collective capacity: Support is generated locally through relationships

18 Source: Neighborworks Place Based Training Community Values Resident Driven (important) Community Building PartnershipsVision Comprehensive Approach Commitment Standards Self Reliance Maturing Relationship Self Confidence

19 Rejects the notion of poverty as pathology The Golden Rule: never do anything for someone that they can do for themselves. Rallies people around specific issues or problems, targets people in power develops strategy, demands and tactics for winning. Originally confrontational in style

20 Relational approach aims to build sustainable community networks The term consensus organizing is more popular with funders Focuses on both bonding and bridging capital Basis of Sustainable Communities model

21 Leaders committed to participation as top priority Intensive organizing efforts Urban planners who create common spaces as community victories Courageous funders who understand value and commit to connective strategies (Putnam, 2003)

22 S. Bronx Banana Kelly Development Corporation Comprehensive Community Revitalization Program Chicago LISC New Communities Program Quality of Life Planning Englewood

23 Devastated by urban renewal, disinvestment, arson Community organizing fueled revitalization 1990s affordable housing boom Photo: Jimmy Carters 1977 Visit to South Bronx (Teresa Zabala / NYT)

24 Banana Kelly Corporation Economic decline as catalyst Efforts led by residents, fueled from resources inside the neighborhood Membership organization for the curved section of Kelly Street Self help / sweat equity

25 Johnsons War on Poverty programs resulted in affordable housing boom Power grab attempts Members became staff, leadership narrowed Eventually surpassed by newly formed CDCs due to competition for resources Author disapproves of CCRPs approach, believing it treated poverty as pathology

26 Neighborhood success as function of resident control Residents of urban neighborhoods are the solution, not the problem. To prescribe solutions for urban neighborhoods is to manipulate and enslave To see an outcome accomplished without the requisite participation further debilitates those without power

27 Comprehensive Community Development By the 1990s CDCs had produced 22,000 units of affordable housing Funders concerned about the limits of housing revitalization CCRP focused on developing CDC capacity Incorporated community organizing to decrease dependency

28 Collaborative planning process Community, implementers and outside experts Develop shared vision and strategies Task forces, workshops early action projects 1996 APA Presidential Award Basis for new LISC Comprehensive Community Building Institute

29 CCRP - inspired 14 neighborhoods MacArthur Foundation 10 year $47 million Six to nine month process Led by a task force of 20 - 30 people Five or six major meetings Subcommittee structure Outreach effort to the community. Respond to physical development, transportation, education, health and jobs.

30 Published Plan: Community history Issues Work program Renderings of proposed projects Photos Maps Vision Strategies Projects Programs

31 State a clear vision for the future Address the neighborhoods key problems Describe projects and programs that can be implemented Are achievable within five years Have widespread support in the community Assign responsibilities Timeframes for implementation

32 Early action important Intensive LISC involvement 10 week process Upheld by city depts.

33 ENGLEWOOD 2 African American communities 85,000 residents Vacant land Unemployment Poor schools Access to transportation Lack of retail Englewood Seeks turnaround After Long Slide Source:

34 Englewood: 2004 Quality of Life Plan 500 individuals 100 organizations 10 strategies, 48 projects Public spaces Retail Recreation Health Education Youth employment


36 Plan progress: Crime reduction Block clubs Youth employment New retail Agricultural district Youth Job Training Program Source:

37 The Avenue District as a pilot Target area defined by neighborhood character: Land use, housing stock conditions, tenancy, history and demographics.




41 Avondale Community Council Center for Closing the Health Gap, Avondale do right! Greater Cincinnati Urban League Cincinnati Childrens Hospital Avondale Redevelopment Corporation The Model Group Uptown Consortium – Burnet Avenue Revitalization Cincinnati Zoo & Botanical Garden Rockdale Academy / Community Learning Center

42 Chase Bank LISC ARC Zoo 100 volunteers 40 yard trees Improved streetscape New relationships basis for block club

43 Residents working together to improve their neighborhood Begun November 2009 Monthly meetings Quarterly report to council Average attendance: 15 homeowners Accomplishments Current projects


45 0.5 acre vacant land Formerly housing 2 parcels Litter and weeds Overgrown vegetation Retaining wall, graffiti





50 Institutional expansion has created severe competition for on- street parking. There are also underutilized off- street parking facilities.

51 Sustainability applied to communities: The fields of urban planning and community development have traditionally aimed to improve quality of life for all people yet poverty, segregation and disenfranchisement remain prevalent. Clearly the traditional model is not sustainable.

52 CDCs are locally based yet externally controlled, working in specific communities yet ultimately accountable to outsiders In order to begin building the platform for sustainable community development, we must achieve a basic level of social capital using relational organizing as a tool. However public policy, banks and foundations are barely warming up to the importance of this approach to ensuring the sustainability of community development. While resident driven neighborhood revitalization is generally appreciated, there is not sufficient support for the organizing required to build social capital.

53 The district block club shows that neighborhood improvements can be achieved by bringing local residents and stakeholders together and also connecting them to outside resources. While the physical change may seem insignificant to some, each improvement represents a new or strengthened relationship

54 Block club concept gaining approval with Avondale community council The Avenue District as a pilot for sustainable community development in Avondale. Other potential districts that share neighborhood character: land use, housing stock conditions, tenancy, history and demographics : Harvey bounded by Glenwood, Vine and Forest Neighborhood bounded by Harvey, Reading, Ridgeway and Forest Glenwood from Reading to Greenwood Challenges involved

55 Foreclosure Property speculation and abandonment Strategic and accountability questions Challenge for relational organizing approach ACDC – opportunity for new approach to community development in Avondale.

56 Goal: Outline recommendations for the role of organizing in the comprehensive community development model to create meaningful leadership roles for residents and become more sustainable. Objectives a. Define implications for urban planners: new roles, responsibilities and relationships with communities. b. Describe a workable social capital strategy for Avondale based in relational organizing.

57 1. Traditional model of community planning will remain dominant in Avondale. Business as usual, no emphasis on social capital development.

58 2. Efforts are made to compromise the two approaches in Avondale. The sustainable communities model is touted as a way to build new institutional capacity without any meaningful community organizing component.

59 3. The sustainable communities model is used to develop support for a consensus organizing approach to sustainable community development. An entirely new type of community planning emerges.

60 1. Top-down, controlling process prevails. No new leadership or local control in low income communities and thus no sustainable change will be achieved. Improvements that are made will be those created from the top-down and maintained at the will of disconnected outside forces. This is a frightening proposition considering the prospect of deepening market failure because poverty and powerlessness breeds violence.

61 2. Funder efforts to develop institutional capacity without valuing the consensus organizing approach will not achieve the desired long-term impacts. Simply giving more power and resources to the same people does not improve communities if they do not share it. Similarly, new programs and policies in and of themselves do not engage people in their neighborhood.

62 3. Relational organizing methods are used to increase citizen leadership and build institutional capacity in select target neighborhoods to demonstrate the efficacy of the model. Once a strong task force is built in this way, the community begins developing a quality of life plan. These plans connect communities with resources for implementation and early action. Planners work with communities to develop their vision into plans.

63 The sustainable community development model is used to develop support for a consensus organizing approach to neighborhood revitalization in Avondale. The appropriate adaptation of LISCs Building Sustainable Communities program in Avondale is imperative to demonstrate the efficacy of the organizing approach in the region.

64 A planning process beginning at the local level requires systematic change in the traditional approach to urban planning and community development. This requires a highly participatory process in which residents and local stakeholders drive planning efforts including required benchmarks for participation and local leadership.

65 1. Rally a task force of residents and stakeholders. Organizing staff will perform widespread mailings, phone-banks, door- knocking campaigns and community meetings to engage as many people as possible in the upcoming planning process. During the first two meetings the task force identifies community issues and creates committee for each.

66 2. Urban planners are initially a form of technical assistance. During visioning sessions (charettes) planners provide necessary data, maps and visuals and help the task force develop strategies for implementation. Planners communicate goals and strategies to local officials, identifying potential project overlap and outside resources for projects.

67 3. The community task force then implements an early action project to build momentum for the plans success. LISC and planners have helped build partnerships and resources for implementation. Planners draft the resulting plan but do not publish it until the community approves it and determines roles for action.

68 Avenue District Greenspace Schedule and budget Current project status Avenue District Streetscape Parking campaign

69 Phase 1 (2010) Water access, clearing, paths, signage, service drive and maintenance shed Phase 2 (2011) Landscaping, garden, gazebo Phase 3 - Benches, tables, trash cans, lighting Phase 4 – Fitness track, playground Phase 5 - Performance area / stage

70 Plan approved by city and county Leased to ARC Phase one began August, 2010 Long term maintenance and liability unknown Possible transfer to Zoo with deed restrictions Budget: $50,000 LISC/Chase and In-kind $10,000 Phase 1 $20,000 Phase 2


72 Survey results showed consensus on section of Wilson Avenue. City has worked with block club to address the issues of parking and lighting on this block. Potential partnership with ArtWorks in 2011 for youth mural along the retaining wall to highlight block club success.

73 At face value the comprehensive approach is more sustainable because it diversifies investment in the midst of housing market failure. However a relational organizing approach is what makes the model truly sustainable regardless of market forces. When people are empowered to lead planning efforts in their own communities, synergistic relationships are formed which spur unexpected positive change in urban neighborhoods.

74 Making the case for consensus organizing to foundations, banks and the public sector by demonstrating the efficacy and sustainability of an organizing approach to community development. Hiring and training sufficient numbers of community organizing staff. Developing relationships with local government officials who will adopt and support the new community plans developed at the local level.

75 MDRC, (2010). Creating a Platform for Sustained Neighborood Improvement: Interim Findings from Chicagos New Communities Program. Von Hoffman, A. (2003). House by House, Block by Block: The Rebirth of America's Urban Neighborhoods. Oxford University Press Putnam, R. (2004). Better Together: Restoring the American Community. Simon & Schuster Block, P. (2009). The Structure of Community Belonging. Berrett-Koehler Publishers DeRienzo, H. (2008). The concept of community: Lessons from the bronx. Milano: Ipoc. Kretzmann, J. (1997). Building Communities from the Inside Out: A Path Toward Finding and Mobilizing a Community's Assets. ACTA Publications Local initiatives Support Corporation. (2006-2010). Building Sustainable Communities Strategic Plan. Mooney, A. (2010, February 16). Director, Chicago LISC. (S. Brockfield, Interviewer) Brockfield, S. (2009-2010). Avondale's Avenue District. Cincinnati: Avondale Redevelopment Corporation. LISC Chicago New Communities Program. (2010). Planning Handbook. Chicago: LISC. Civic Action Institute. (1981). Neighborhood Planning: A Citizen Participation Guide. Washington DC: Civic Action Institute. Partners for Livable Communities. (1994). The State of the American Cofmmunfity: Empowerment for Local Action. Washington DC: Partners for Livable Communities. Ronald Thomas, M. M. (1988). Taking Charge: How Communities Are Planning Their Futures. Washington DC: International City Management Association. Twelvetrees, A. (1989). Organizing for Neighbourhood Development. Brookfield: Avebury.

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