Monday, March 5, 2012

Tackling vertical crime - History in the making

Resident youth composing in the new San Romanoway sound studio
Reminiscing always gives me the willies. Are memories exaggerated? Ignored? Still, now and then, a memory surfaces worth shouting aloud. I recently came across this one.

Disclaimer: Some of this is probably not even my memory - at least not latter parts of it - but rather stories of others doing remarkable work. I doubt many of them even know my name. It's doesn't really matter. It's a fantastic story for turning troubled places back from the brink. It's also probably one of the birthplaces for tactics that later became SafeGrowth.

Yesterday I discovered a recently posted YouTube (see below). It shows another success at the San Romanoway apartments in Toronto's infamous Jane/Finch corridor. I have written about
San Romanoway elsewhere.

Here's my memory of the project: 12 years ago myself and Ross McLeod assembled a team to review and recommend ways to reverse endemic violence in some high crime apartment towers.

In late 2000 we wrote the San Romanoway Revitalization plan. The plan had steps for research surveys, a community association, gardens, and lots of CPTED. Community organizer Stephnie Payne was then hired to start outreach, raise funds, administer the association, and get things going. She did that magnificently. McLeod's security company worked with her to tackle crime.

The rest, as they say, is history. The video tells the latest chapter in this story.

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