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Choice Neighborhoods Promising Practice Guides & Webinars

“This is Our Community – We’re All In:” Civic Participation in Pittsburgh’s Larimer/East Liberty Choice Neighborhood 

This guide describes the development of an infrastructure for civic participation in Pittsburgh’s Larimer/East Liberty neighborhood. The Larimer Consensus Group (LCG), a grassroots group comprised of residents and other community stakeholders, emerged from a community-driven planning process in 2008. Since that time, the LCG has grown as a successful agent of change and an effective decision-making body with influence in the neighborhood. The LCG’s development as an influential stakeholder in neighborhood revitalization serves as a promising example for communities seeking to build civic participation that drives and sustains neighborhood gains.

Members of Pittsburgh’s Choice Neighborhoods team spoke at the April 2015 Choice Neighborhoods Planning Grantee convening. Carolyn Peeks and Donna Jackson, Chair and Treasurer, respectively, of the Larimer Consensus Group; Malik Bankston, Executive Director of the Kingsley Association; and Jessica Smith Perry, Assistant Director of Housing for the Urban Redevelopment Authority of Pittsburgh, shared lessons, challenges and advice from Pittsburgh’s long-term neighborhood planning process in Larimer/East Liberty. Facilitated by Frank Farrow, Director of the Center for the Study of Social Policy.

Designing & Directing Neighborhood Change Efforts: How to be More Intentional and Effective - Choice Neighborhoods Resource Guide by Michael Schubert

Written by Michael Schubert, Principal of Community Development Strategies, this guide is designed to help Choice Neighborhoods grantees, as well as others engaged in neighborhood change efforts, be more intentional and effective in their revitalization work. It provides a framework for both thought and action.  At the core of this guide is a simple yet profound idea: the importance of influencing individual investment decisions made by neighbors and by other stakeholders in ways that benefit the neighborhood.  Neighborhood conditions are driven to a large extent by the range of investment decisions neighbors and other stakeholders make about the neighborhood and how others interpret those decisions.  Organizations that intervene – whether they be public, private, or non-profit – often mistakenly believe that their decisions will drive the future of the neighborhood. In reality, however, the decisions of neighbors matter most.  Using this lens, the focus of the guide is on four areas: (1) building a positive neighborhood image; (2) stabilizing the housing market; (3) improving physical conditions; and (4) strengthening the social fabric in the neighborhood.

Download Designing & Directing Neighborhood Change Efforts: How to be More Intentional and Effective – Choice Neighborhoods Resource Guide by Michael Schubert Choice Neighborhoods – August 2015

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