The Neighborhood Revitalization Initiative has help us look at our urban work in broader terms. It has also helped us create new and stronger community partnerships.
However, as we look to concentrate more of our work in older suburban communities revitalization takes on a different feel. In many of these communities are seeing themselves as needing a sprucing up not an overhaul.
Many of these communities have a vibrant school district, park system, and business district that may need "updating" or new development but do not see themselves in dire straights.
What if area's do not want the tag of being revitalized? Could this label be a detriment for attracting families, businesses and broader community development? Also, most of our suburban communities do not have designated neighborhoods but are divided by broader designations such as school districts.
I prefer the designation of development, whether it's community or family. Development gives us the ability to communicate our desire to help families and communities move forward from wherever their at to wherever they want to go.
NRI is a good concept for urban neighborhood revitalization efforts and can be applied anywhere. However, when introducing the concept in non-urban settings, it should be communicated in different terminology that fits a more diverse geographic area.