Dreaming bigger and thinking bolder - LISC in Boston's Codman Square
An inner-city neighborhood in Boston, supported by LISC and the Codman Square Neighborhood Development Corp., provides a strong example of community-driven revitalization.
8 Nov 2012 - Sam Dolgin-Gardner
One Incredibly Easy Way to Let People Know Your Neighborhood Is Getting Better
5 Oct 2012 - Kaid Benfield
As part of a three-day intensive green planning meeting earlier this week, I had the honor of joining a walking tour of an inner-city Boston neighborhood that has had its share of struggles but also has reason for hope. Among struggles, for example, it has been plagued by incidents of drug dealing, crime, property deterioration and vacancy, and economic distress.
But the neighborhood is also highly walkable; has several examples of good, new affordable housing and mixed-use development, much of it put in place by the nonprofit but very active Codman Square Neighborhood Development Corporation; and is getting two new commuter rail stations opening next month. It also appears to have a terrific network of community organizations and leaders, a diverse population (47 percent black, 29 percent white, 12 percent Latino), and a range of neighborhood assets including a library, YMCA, churches, banks, affordable housing, health care centers, great bus transit access and many small businesses and shops.
We're helping the neighborhood shape its own revitalization with green development principles. Our team from NRDC and our national community development partner, the Local Initiatives Support Corporation (see my earlier description of LISC’s important energy efficiency work in Boston neighborhoods), were wonderfully hosted on the tour and during the meeting by the CSNDC and a citizens’ group, the Talbot Norfolk Triangle (TNT) Neighbors United. The TNT section of the neighborhood, adjacent to one of the new transit stations, is our focus. Continued[+]...
> Read full post on The Atlantic Cities.
This Is What a Neighborhood Revitalization Actually Looks Like
18 Oct 2012 - Kaid Benfield
The photo just above shows an auto repair shop in the heart of Boston's Codman Square neighborhood, about six miles south of downtown. The shop has residential development on all sides and, if you're thinking about community improvement, your first thought might be that it doesn't belong there, and your second might be to consider how to be rid of it.
Except, in this case, you couldn’t be more wrong. Within the next year, the shop will be one of the community's most visible green assets. It will have a green roof to absorb stormwater and reduce the need for air conditioning, and solar panels to generate its electricity through renewable energy. Its owner, Larry Dossantos, is deeply committed to a rejuvenated, greener community, and he attended and made significant positive contributions to the community planning meetings held there earlier this month. In actuality, the shop is providing jobs, environmental stewardship, and long-term dedication to the neighborhood. The worst thing the community could do would be to turn its back on this kind of locally based leadership and green entrepreneurship.
Not all business owners in all neighborhoods are as enlightened or benign, of course, and figuring out whether and how to have different kinds of businesses, including sometimes messy ones, in a community alongside homes, churches, and schools is not always easy. But Codman Square is no ordinary neighborhood.
As I wrote in my previous article, the nonprofit, community-based Codman Square Neighborhood Development Corporation, the Local Initiatives Support Corporation, and the Natural Resources Defense Council are partnering with the community (including, significantly, a group called Talbot Norfolk Triangle (TNT) Neighbors United) to help it realize its goal of a more sustainable future. The partners are using LEED for Neighborhood Development as a planning tool, and by applying it have compiled a detailed assessment of the TNT district's current strengths and opportunities for improvement. Continued[+]...
> Read full post on The Atlantic Cities.
Article Type: LISC Article