Community Progress Blog

Problem to Purpose: The Drug Activity Answer for One Lansing Neighborhood, Get Creative

Written by on April 21, 2020

Empty lots are open opportunities – for safety threats or community innovation. Pegasus Garden, located in the Prospect PLACE neighborhood in Lansing, Michigan, is a great example of what happens when communities choose option two. Jennifer Grau, a Prospect PLACE neighborhood resident, said the garden was created out of a need to find a use…

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Problem to Purpose: Placemaking Brings Community Healing for Residents Impacted by Substance Abuse

Written by on April 14, 2020

Today’s opioid epidemic has become “the worst public health crisis in Pennsylvania,” according to the Pennsylvania Department of Health. On average, 10 Pennsylvanians lose their lives to a substance abuse disorder each day. Hinge Collective principals, Alexa Bosse and Ari Miller, are working to find new ways to fight Philadelphia’s challenge through a creative placemaking solution…

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Dorothy Mae Richardson: Honoring the Woman That Helped Shape Community Development

Written by on March 19, 2020

Women’s History Month, which began in 1987, is a month-long celebration of women’s contributions to society, whether in the arts, sports, politics, or music. This month offers us the opportunity to reflect and remember those, often overlooked and underacknowledged, trailblazers who created new paths for past, present, and future generations of women. This month, the…

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Problem to Purpose: From Gas Station to Food Station, Solving Insecurity through Creative Placemaking

Written by on February 18, 2020

According to a 2017 study, a whopping 48 percent of Detroit households are “food insecure.” This means that nearly 30,000 Detroit residents experience hurdles when trying to access to quality and affordable food options. How are residents tackling the challenge? One group, Hope Community (Cool Cities) Park, is tackling food insecurity through bringing options closer to…

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Problem to Purpose: A Closing Mill Leads Turns into and Art Opportunity

Written by on February 11, 2020

Dubbed the “Birthplace of Macon,” the once-bustling Mill Hill neighborhood took a hit when its mill closed in 2015. With the mill doors suddenly shuttering, Mill Hill’s vacancy rate increased to more than 50 percent and mirrored Macon-Bibb County’s 50 percent residential vacancy rate. How did Mill Hill Make Use of Vacant Space? Instead of…

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Problem to Purpose: A Parking Lot Becomes a Beach?

Written by on January 21, 2020

More than 30 percent of parents travel with their kids to a beach for enjoyment, but what do you do when the sand’s out of reach? One Sullivan, New York, community answered the question while converting a vacant space into a community asset. Sprinkler Beach is a pop-up project imagined out of a joint effort…

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‘Inside Out’ project shines light on Edison neighborhood and residents

Written by on October 24, 2017

  Information provided by Kelly Clarke, Executive Director, Kalamazoo County Land Bank What is Inside Out, and how did it come to Kalamazoo? Inside Out is a global participatory art project organized by JR, a winner of the 2011 Ted Prize at the TED Conference in Long Beach, California. Inspired by JR’s large‐format street “pastings,”…

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From a shipping container to a solar-powered greenhouse: Arts meets agriculture in Detroit

Written by on September 15, 2017

In Detroit, a recycled shipping container will soon become a community beacon for fresh food, job creation, and arts and culture. Part agricultural, part placemaking, the Liberty Harvest project officially launched in July 2017. It is an initiative spearheaded by Resurge Detroit, a nonprofit with a mission to “tackle blight in the city of Detroit…

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Westmoreland County’s redevelopment authority and land bank tackle affordability and accessibility

Written by on August 10, 2017

  Westmoreland County, located southeast of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, has an active redevelopment authority and a land bank. It also has a large, and growing, aging population and a housing affordability problem. A new grant award will make it possible for the redevelopment authority and land bank to help with those challenges. The Redevelopment Authority of…

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