NEIGHBORHOODS

AN APPRECIATIVE APPROACH TO NEEDED TRANSFORMATION

Every neighborhood has much to work with, even when it seems resource poor.

  • Residents care about the condition(s) of their neighborhood.

  • They have imagination, dreams, gifts, skills, and resources to allocate to the challenges they care about. The primary energy for change is theirs.

  • Discovering their gifts and resources, focusing their energies, and supporting their hopes and dreams is the heart of GLU’s neighborhood strengthening work.

  • Developing social capital and cohesion (i.e. the ability to work together) happens best through relationship building activities among residents.

  • Forming a culture of “together we can” takes time and commitment from a dedicated organizing team.

  • Developing community cohesion and a vibrant life in the neighborhood comes from practices of great neighboring…and this is the focus of GLU’s capacity building mission and strategies.

Many urban neighborhoods have forces contributing to their decline. Among them:

 

  • An increasing percentage of rentals vs resident owners

  • A declining middle class

  • High turnover of residents

  • Loss of elementary schools (via consolidation)

  • Quickly growing immigrant populations (who have limited political power and social influence)

  • Churches becoming isolated from their neighborhood (i.e. having a majority of members who are commuters)

  • Businesses leaving the neighborhood

 

 

BASIC METHODS IN LOCAL CONTEXTS
  • Start with a map, define a neighborhood.

 

  • Discover what residents care about and the issues on which they want to act.

 

  • Convene residents to dream together, decide together, and act together.

 

  • Connect these active neighbors to supportive people, organizations, and systems so that their agreed upon goals and objectives can be achieved.

© 2014 BY GREAT LAKES URBAN. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.