Monday, March 28, 2016

Speak Often And People Pay Attention

Turns out, that talking about something just might bring it to other people's attention. This seems like one of those snarky comments you here from your teens, but it’s also part of the public policy research that the Comparative Agendas Project is working to uncover.

I found this info through a blog post on Next City on the decline of federal funding for Community Development. Even though the focus was on CDBG funding, a closer look at the overall discussion on housing, community development and other topic of not to housers and community builders may be important.

I’ll need to spend more time on the site to better use it in the future, but even a quick look can lead one to see that trends, when overlapped with history, are easy to follow.  The chart below clearly shows a steady increase in housing topics in the media from 1960 until 1972. Of course there were several key programs that were created out of this period, including HUD’s HOME program, the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 and many others. Another uptick from 1984 to 1988 could be the result of growing interest in building the low-income housing tax credit program.

Needless to say, this is interesting stuff and it’s easy to draw the conclusion that when topics begin trending upwards it’s possible to get real change. Let’s all try to raise our voices a couple more times a week or month and see if it has an impact in the long run.


Monday, March 21, 2016

Arts and Community Development -

This morning’s headlines at Next City brought me to a short but inspiring story from Cleveland. Participatory planning has always been an interest to me. The ups and downs of how cities, neighborhoods and even states interact and create participation is a difficult one, to say the least. In Cleveland the use of voting on how City planning monies are spent led to the creation of a mobile recording studio that will help preserve the oral history of the North Collinwood neighborhood.

I love the fact idea of using voting on these types of projects, since it appears to increase civic engagement and bring ideas to the surface that the neighbors want, not what educated planners think they need. (Though sometimes planners do know what needs to be done before everyone else does.)

Another part of the piece mentioned the Artist housing program. I’ll be looking into that one further.

Happy Monday,