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HUD   >   State Information   >   Georgia   >   Stories   >   2014-04-17
Atlanta Regional Office Kicks Off Choice Neighborhoods Southeast Regional Grantee Convening

Maria Catron, Deputy Director of the Kingsport Housing & Redevelopment Authority, TN updating the Choice Neighborhood (CN) process board.

HUD Region IV Regional Administrator Ed Jennings Jr. along with Ada Holloway, HUD Georgia Director of Public Housing kicked off the Choice Neighborhoods Southeast Grantee Convening which was attended by thirteen grantees and over fifty representatives from Choice Neighborhoods across the region, including public housing authorities, local governments, and neighborhood organizations.

The participating cities included:  Baton Rouge, LA; Columbia, SC; Durham, NC; Kingsport, TN; Little Rock, AR; New Bern, NC; New Orleans, LA; Opa-Locka, FL; Tampa, FL; Wilson, NC; Winston-Salem, NC; Savannah, GA; and Spartanburg, SC.

The training, entitled "Economic Place Making:  How to Develop a Neighborhood Business Plan" illustrated data and tools for analyzing neighborhood assets in the context of regional markets.  The goal was to help Choice Neighborhoods grantees craft strategies tailored to their varying neighborhood types and regional opportunities, with respect to employment, cluster-based business opportunities, entrepreneurship, retail and real estate.

Bob Weissbourd, lead the training and specializes in technical economic analysis of urban assets and markets, and in creating products and institutions to successfully grow urban and regional economies.

The training examined how the knowledge economy is fundamentally changing the drivers of prosperity, creating new opportunities for regions and neighborhoods.  This trainingoffered a new framework for understanding and influencing the dynamics of neighborhoods in their regional economic contexts.

The interactive training was organized around hands-on activities and discussions to illustrate how the elements fit together, to demonstrate how to do some of the analytics, and to surface tailored strategies.  Each grantee team created a "light" Neighborhood Business Plan for their neighborhood.