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Troy L. Wheeler

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Strategy: Celebrate Neighborhood Accomplishments

Strategy Celebrating a community's accomplishments in planning and implementing anticrime projects and revitalization or redevelopment activities builds community pride . . .

Strategy

Celebrating a community's accomplishments in planning and implementing anticrime projects and revitalization or redevelopment activities builds community pride and supports the sustainability of communities of all types.

Crime Problem Addressed

Residents of neighborhoods beset by crime and violence experience a great deal of fear. They may also feel that their community's problems are overwhelming, too large to be addressed by anything they could contribute. This strategy recognizes the need to promote the accomplishments, victories, and milestones of communities in order to demonstrate that local agencies support positive activity in those communities and that individual contributions are valued.

Key Components

Recognition can come in the form of awards ceremonies, small-scale events, or simple block parties to celebrate the conclusion of neighborhood revitalization projects. Media coverage of the events enhances opportunities to build support for the activity recognized. Neighborhood services agencies or local governments often coordinate events and also maintain networks of neighborhood associations and community planning groups.

Key Partnerships

Neighborhood service agencies should work with community groups to identify opportunities to note accomplishments of individuals and local projects. Media and other corporate resources can help underwrite the costs of events and awards.

Potential Obstacles

Recognizing community projects does not need to involve complicated or costly events. Recognition should be an predictable aspect of the collaboration between local agencies to promote the healthy development of neighborhoods.

Signs of Success

In 1994, St. Petersburg, Florida, initiated a Neighborhood Festival, a series of free parties to celebrate the outcome of community planning and improvement projects undertaken by groups throughout the city. The free events were so successful that the city decided to make it an annual event. Heavy local media coverage of the activities also highlighted the commitment to the community of local realtors and the Chamber of Commerce.

Applying the Strategy

Phoenix's awards program, "Celebrating Neighborhoods that Work," spurs competition among neighborhoods and profiles their accomplishments. The program recognizes successful outreach to residents, partnerships with diverse elements of the community, and efforts to reinforce the city's goals to solve problems at the neighborhood level. Groups that are organized to work through partnerships to improve the quality of life are eligible to apply for recognition through the program.

From 350 Tested Strategies to Prevent Crime: A Resource for Municipal Agencies and Community Groups

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