Topic: Case Studies

Zumba class at Potrero Housing in San Francisco for Bridge Housing

Rebuilding Neighborhoods So That Residents Can Thrive: More Community Close-Ups

Innovative community developers are making a real difference in the neighborhoods they are revitalizing, creating places that offer the physical, social and economic resources that all people need in order to live healthy lives. Cross-sector collaboration is a given in these projects, as are new ways of thinking about community revitalization. At the Build Healthy Places …

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Children in class at Fairgate Farm

Vita Health & Wellness District, Stamford, Connecticut

In the early 2000s, Stamford Hospital began planning a major expansion. Located in Stamford, Connecticut’s West Side neighborhood, the 305-bed regional hospital envisioned a large new state-of-the-art addition to its facility. The hospital owned various pieces of real estate in the nearby neighborhood, but none were contiguous with its existing campus. Meanwhile, Charter Oak Communities (COC), …

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Residents of Potrero Housing in San Francisco walk the property with manager, Uzuri Greene, San Francisco, CA. Bridge Housing, San Francisco, Bay area

Rebuild Potrero, San Francisco, California

Susan Neufeld, Vice President of Resident Programs and Services for BRIDGE Housing Corporation (BRIDGE), describes the existing 606-unit Potrero Terrace and Annex housing projects as “an island of poverty in a sea of wealth.” Unlike many distressed public housing complexes that are surrounded by other disadvantaged neighborhoods, residents of Potrero Terrace and Annex, with a …

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Four Drew Charter School students in the Villages of East, standing outside the school.

The Villages of East Lake, Atlanta, Georgia

Of the East Lake Meadows public housing project before revitalization, says Carol Naughton of Purpose Built Communities, “the only thing that was working was the drug trade.” Frequently called “Little Vietnam” – as in, a war zone — the Atlanta neighborhood grappled with extreme poverty, violent crime, abysmal educational outcomes and high unemployment. The poorly built, 40-year-old public …

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Produce displays and check-out stands at the new Whole Foods Market.

The ReFresh Project, New Orleans, Louisiana

After Hurricane Katrina devastated New Orleans, the founders of what became Broad Community Connections (BCC) started attending community meetings, and exploring with their fellow community members how to rebuild a city in shambles. These conversations highlighted some of the seemingly intractable problems that many central New Orleans residents had faced even before the storm, such …

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Baker-Ripley Neighborhood Center, Houston, Texas

In the 1970s during Houston’s oil boom, the city’s Gulfton neighborhood sprouted street after street of luxury apartment complexes catering to the single young professionals pouring in to work in the oil industry. Swimming pools, hot tubs, and even a disco seemed essential in the complexes, while neighborhood developers simply skipped building sidewalks, parks or …

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Rolling Hills Apartments, St. Paul, Minnesota

“Wherever there is conflict in the world, a few years later you start to see that population showing up here,” says Andriana Abariotes, executive director of Twin Cities LISC (Local Initiatives Support Corporation). Minneapolis-St. Paul has a long history of welcoming immigrants and refugees from around the world and is home to many organizations serving …

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Community Health and Literacy Center, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

In 2012, a neighborhood clinic of The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia (CHOP) in South Philadelphia had outgrown its space and was looking to expand, but in this working class neighborhood of dense row houses, real estate was hard to come by. Meanwhile, the City of Philadelphia operated a health center, a library and a recreation …

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San Pablo Avenue Corridor, Oakland, California

Not all community developers are aware that the work they’re doing has the potential to improve health, but the East Bay Asian Local Development Corporation (EBALDC) has built health into its strategic plan, and in the neighborhood revitalization work of the San Pablo Area Revitalization Collaborative (SPARC), convened by EBALDC, health is the first priority. The San …

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Columbia Parc at the Bayou District, New Orleans, Louisiana

The St. Bernard Public Housing Development was already in severe disrepair and only 75 percent occupied on August 29, 2005, when Hurricane Katrina hit leaving much of the Bayou District neighborhood submerged in eight feet of water. One of four large public housing complexes in New Orleans, the St. Bernard was notorious for its blighted …

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