Monday, March 8, 2010

Welcome news from Detroit

Detroit skyline from the shores of Windsor, Canada

At a time when crashing municipal economies and blighted cities are too common, there is an American organization that does some pretty incredible community development work. It's the Local Initiatives Support Corporation - LISC - particularly one part of it called Community Safety Initiatives.

In the upcoming CPTED Perspective newsletter this month there is an article about good news in Detroit. That good news was helped along by LISC/CSI efforts.

Citizens in Detroit's Central Woodward/North End neighborhood have a new approach to build a safe and sustainable neighborhood and protect the future of their community.

They call it their "Safety Management Program".

Says one review of the program: "It calls for the creation of a Community Safety Coordinator who could shepherd the project. Bridget Vance was hired for this role. Vance received additional training from the successful SafeGrowth training program coordinated by the Community Safety Initiative of the national LISC office.

Finding such a community activator is a common theme in successful community development. Witness previous blogs about community activators in Montreal and transforming space into place in Portland.

Another quote:

A key element of the Program is that she also takes a grass-roots approach. She established an open line of communication with area residents by attending block club meetings, faith-based functions and hosting monthly safety meetings and workshops. Area residents became true advocates for safety and were empowered to take an active role in developing problem-solving strategies.

Check out the LISC article.

The International CPTED Association newsletter article comes out in three weeks. Watch for it here

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