First you need to define what is a community. According to the dictionary – a community is a unified body of individuals coming together to achieve a common goal.
A Community Improvement Alliance is an unbiased presence that comes to a community to evaluate the social, economic redevelopment and revitalization issues pertaining to the municipality. It consists of a street level presence, which builds relationships with community leaders, government, education, and special interests to determine the needs and requirements to begin the revitalization process.
The CIA presence at the street level creates a commonality and local visibility that initiates a buzz that something is happening in the community that suggests positive growth and direction.
Basic needs of the community are established by asking the following questions –
- Does your community have brown fields? (contaminated properties)
- Does your community have grey fields? (Vacant and derelict buildings)
- Does your community have high commercial vacancy rates?
- Does your community have absentee and derelict landlords?
- Does your community have more arrested development?
- Does your community have transient merchants?
- Does your community have poor or non-existing streetscapes?
- Does your community have high crime rates, vandalism, graffiti, youth at risk?
Once the basic needs have been established, the founding members of a CIA draft a strategic plan to begin street level revitalization.
The structuring of a steering committee is to deal with issues pertaining to the needs analysis. It is there role to turn the strategic plan into a tactical one designed to provide the roadmap needed to deal with the revitalization process.
A CIA offers a fast track solution, to revitalizing and redeveloping existing communities using proven tactics established from the three-year model currently running in the Town of Oakville, with the Kerr Village initiative. By utilizing the tools and mechanisms that are available through local municipalities, and governments, the CIA can also assist local communities in providing details on financial assistance. Funding is dependant on qualifications and community improvement plans submitted.
The ongoing presence of a CIA continues to evaluate the needs of the community tapping into local media, economic development, Chambers of Commerce and regular networking events supported by the municipality and local businesses. A CIA is trainable and sustainable, providing needed results.
If some of the basic needs listed above are an issue in your community, then perhaps your community will qualify for redevelopment and revitalization through the Ministry of Municipal Affairs and Housing.
For more info – www.mah.gov.on.ca http://www.reddi.mah.gov.on.ca/userfiles/HTML/nts_6_20254_1.html or contact ConnectUs for more information on the Kerr Street Revitalization.
For more information on the revitalization of Kerr Street contact ConnectUs.