Magazine article Nation's Cities Weekly

Building Better Neighborhoods Requires Partnership and Patience

Magazine article Nation's Cities Weekly

Building Better Neighborhoods Requires Partnership and Patience

Article excerpt

Congress of Cities sessions on neighborhood revitalization and poverty reduction confirmed that successful strategies may require changing attitudes and perceptions, community visioning, capacity development, and multi-sectoral cooperation.

At the Urban Poverty Leadership Network session, "Urban Strategies for Linking Community and Econom c Development," Barbara Abell, a specialist on the use of supermarkets as an inner-city economic development strategy, pointed out that the success of such a strategy often depends on close working relationships between city government, community development organizations and the private sector.

Besides providing access to food in low-income communities, supermarkets bring new jobs to the community, many of which provide career ladders to management for inner-city youth; generate real estate tax; serve as an anchor for other retail establishments; and keep money in the community.

The success of other community revitalization strategies may depend on the presence of supermarkets. According to Manny Guana of Chicanos Por La Casa in Phoenix, his organization requires access to food stores before building new housing in inner-city neighborhoods.

During the second half of the meeting, representatives from four cities that participated in NLC's technical assistance roundtables on "Linking Community and Economic Development" discussed their progress toward developing the multi-sectoral cooperation required for successful poverty reduction strategies. …

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