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Your December Useful Community Plus
December 09, 2021

This Month: Community Organization Year-End Review, A Space for Community Dialogue, More

Visit us at the Useful Community Development Website.

December, 2021

We want to wish you the happiest of holidays. We will be brief, but a couple of people we have seen out and about in the last few weeks have commented that they are gearing up for an end-of-the-year review, or a planning-for-next-year retreat or meeting of their community organization or board.

You might get an idea from our December 2016 newsletter proposing both a serious and a fun way to ask the appropriate questions. Another approach might be framing your planning retreat in terms of a community SWOT analysis (Strengths-Weaknesses-Opportunities-Threats).

Your city might want to adapt a concept being used in Tallinn, Estonia, and Helsinki, Finland, to help people visualize the impact of changes, described in this article. Tallinn's program seeks to help community members engage with various scenarios by using a "digital twin" of the city as it exists. (Digital twin in this context means a virtual model of a city digitized from features of the real city.) They plan to make the space inviting through incorporating a cafe and programming relating to greening the city. So how could an under-utilized space near destinations in your city become an exciting space for learning and dialogue about the future (and the present) of your city? You could go low-tech or no-tech for this too.

In light of the pandemic, Barcelona initiated a new superblock program, blocking some streets to vehicular traffic and thereby creating "superblocks." Read a short summary here, with a citation for more details at the bottom of the page. This is just one variation on the street closures that happened in many cities.

If your city is thinking about bicycle and pedestrian safety, you will want to download this case study from Pittsburgh. You do have to give your name, email address, and state or province to receive this free resource, but the site is reputable.

We answered three questions from website visitors.

Whether to invest in a new City Hall or other land uses

Should you always remove graffiti in your neighborhood?

Whether to prioritize a transit line expansion or better transit operation in general

The next newsletter will be sent on a Thursday in January. Feel free to reply to us with comments. If you are asking a question you would like answered, please use the public-facing community development questions page on the website.

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