A Neighborhood Improvement Journal - Summer 2021


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Around the Block


Neighborhood Improvement – Items of Interest




Jane Jacobs: Famous Urban Visionary


It is fair to say that Jane Jacobs was not only an urban visionary but also one of the most influential citizens of the 20th century and beyond.  Without her leadership, it is rather certain that one of America’s most cherished urban neighborhoods, Greenwich Village, would have been permanently ruined by urban renewal. Jacobs, mother, urban homesteader, writer, and activist, rose in fame during the heady times of “urban renewal”, when American city centers were being decimated by “slum clearance”, roughly translating to today’s “gentrification”, and massive freeway building projects.  In Death and Life, she famously wrote about “eyes on the street”, the concept of safety in numbers as well as socialization (in contrast to suburban isolationism).



The Triumph of the Farmers Market


An homage to farmers markets and their function as important components of a community. Besides better attuning us to healthy eating, these markets can also serve as a setting for what Jane Jacobs called the “sidewalk ballet,” a public space connecting people to each other.






Are Families Choosing Walkable Communities?


There is a wide variance in the degree to which families are drawn to live in differing walkable neighborhoods. Although causal factors are not here revealed, the need for better understanding and planning leads to the conclusion that the variables influencing this kind of choice need to be much better identified and defined.






Get to Know Your Community



Gathering data and learning about your community is crucial to creating and delivering meaningful plans and developing projects. But where do you begin? Start by conducting simple online surveys. Listed and reviewed are 7 free or inexpensive tools that you may easily use.














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