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D.I.Y. Cities

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I'm very interested in grass-roots and do-it-yourself groups that contribute to a cities fabric without (or with minimal regard) to making money from proceeds, or generally "getting rich."

This could mean MANY things, and I need some examples of this. It could be neighborhood specific (like a community garden or trail). It could be restoration of buildings (commercial or residential) in blighted or transitional areas.

It could also be organizational efforts to get neighbors to participate. Here's alink from a Richmond Times Dispatch article that I thought was interesting along these lines.

Can anyone think of stories from the past?

Can anyone suggest what COULD happen in the future?

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I'm very interested in grass-roots and do-it-yourself groups that contribute to a cities fabric without (or with minimal regard) to making money from proceeds, or generally "getting rich."

This could mean MANY things, and I need some examples of this. It could be neighborhood specific (like a community garden or trail). It could be restoration of buildings (commercial or residential) in blighted or transitional areas.

It could also be organizational efforts to get neighbors to participate. Here's alink from a Richmond Times Dispatch article that I thought was interesting along these lines.

Can anyone think of stories from the past?

Can anyone suggest what COULD happen in the future?

I don't have a great deal of information on it but there is a growing body of academic research looking at 'faith-based' gentrification and development. My limited understanding of it is that residential choice (at the individual scale) and re-development (at the small developer scale) decisions are motivated by a desire to help others rather than by financial forces. Community building activities in this context essentially replace the church setting. AFIK this is an active and growing element of urban change in the Southern half of Atlanta. Its certainly an interesting alternative to the traditional financial approach to redevelopment but its probably not a model that can (or should) be easily transplanted elsewhere.

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I'm very interested in grass-roots and do-it-yourself groups that contribute to a cities fabric without (or with minimal regard) to making money from proceeds, or generally "getting rich."

This could mean MANY things, and I need some examples of this. It could be neighborhood specific (like a community garden or trail). It could be restoration of buildings (commercial or residential) in blighted or transitional areas.

It could also be organizational efforts to get neighbors to participate. Here's alink from a Richmond Times Dispatch article that I thought was interesting along these lines.

Can anyone think of stories from the past?

Can anyone suggest what COULD happen in the future?

The Catawba Lands Conservancy's Treadtrail that links the area's five counties with biking & hiking trails ,closely mimics this. One of the most intriguing will be the link connecting Uptown Charlotte with the Whitewater Center. It's approved pathway will follow the Stewart Creek basin thru Wesley Heights, upstream to the historic Lakewood neighborhood, under I-85 using a very wide CSX viaduct , onto the Thomasville neighborhood and then westward to the Catawba River at the Whitewater Center. A proposed single track mountain biking trail within the Duke property in the Lakewood community would be an easy 15 minute ride from the center city. If none of you have had the opportunity to see this section of Stewart Creek, you're in for a surprise. It's rugged hillsides will offer up ideal trails in an area that played a significant role in Charlotte's early 20th century history.

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