Table of Contents
Health and Safety Livability Assessment
Much has been written about the block as the organizing principle in community development. This is where concerns about quality of life are tangible and a sense of pride is easily established. As a consequence, neighborhood initiatives designed to work at the block level have great potential to capture people's imagination and sustain participation. Block level initiatives are also attractive because they awaken a sense of community.
The Livable Neighborhood Program is designed to coalesce these different strands into an effective empowerment tool to assist local government and nonprofits in delivering services and improving the overall livability of the block. The program concept is simple and builds directly on Empowerment Institute's two decades of experience in designing and delivering citizen and neighborhood empowerment programs for municipalities throughout the United States.
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The program is divided into four topic areas: health and safety, beautification and greening, resource sharing and community-building.
“Through the Livable Neighborhood Program neighbors take specific actions to make their blocks better places to live. Our City is re-inventing itself through our Neighborhood Transformation Initiative and this program fits perfectly. The Livable Neighborhood Program empowers citizens to improve their blocks and increase the quality of life for each neighbor. Simply said: the Livable Neighborhood Program is a winner.”—John Street, mayor, City of Philadelphia
“I have been personally struck by the remarkable effectiveness of the Livable Neighborhood Program’s ability to engage neighbors and empower them to take and sustain action on a block level. Through our work with this program, I have become absolutely convinced that it’s state-of-the-art ‘social technology’ has immense potential here in Philadelphia and across the country to transform individual behavior and neighborhoods.”—Christopher Patusky, deputy director Fels School of Government, University of Pennsylvania
“The Livable Neighborhood Program is an excellent tool for local municipalities. It empowers neighbors and puts them in control of creating their neighborhood into a connected and safe community. There are activities in the program that fit the needs of almost any type of neighborhood and that is really appealing to us as a city!”—John Stufflebean, director, Department of Environmental Management, Kansas City, MO
“The Livable Neighborhood Program is a cutting edge tool for municipal officials and neighborhood organizers. It is comprehensive, easy to use, and provides a common sense approach to building stronger and more livable neighborhoods. The hands-on exercises will help neighbors translate their needs and visions into practical and tangible results.”—Elton Gatewood, president, Neighborhood, USA
“The Livable Neighborhood program serves to empower people by providing them tools to successfully improve their neighborhoods. The program creates accountability between the city and its citizens, creating a win-win civic compact. In today’s world it is so hopeful to find a program like this. It is a great service to our communities.”—Kathleen A. McGinty, secretary, Department of Environmental Protection, Pennsylvania
"Community organizers in Madison are unanimously enthusiastic about the Livable Neighborhood Program’s action-oriented grassroots approach. They see it as a low cost and effective blueprint for neighborhood empowerment.”—Mark Miller, state representative, State of Wisconsin
"The Livable Neighborhood Program is a blueprint to bring measurable improvement to households, neighborhoods and our environment. What is great about the program is that everyone, neighbor-to-neighbor is working together and taking responsibility."—Shirley Kitchen, state senator, Commonwealth of Pennsylvania
"The Livable Neighborhood Program empowers citizens to take personal responsibility for the blocks in which they live. It makes a real difference in the lives of neighborhood residents. The program is a model for other cities and I am proud EPA is part of such an important and worthy endeavor in Philadelphia."—Donald S. Welsh, regional administrator, US EPA Region III