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Your March Useful Community Plus
March 24, 2022

This Month: Distinctive Business Districts, Spring Projects

Visit us at the Useful Community Development Website.

March, 2022

The photo above raises a few discussion questions for your group: Would a random photo in your business district reveal anything distinctive about your community? What is "distinctive about your community" anyway? Do you think being distinctive is important? (For some of our thoughts, see the commercial district revitalization page.)
Based on the latest conversations we editors have had with our neighbors, check out the website pages we selected for spring:

Community Development Ideas


Our ebook about starting a neighborhood association

Cleaning Up Your Neighborhood Park


Street Lighting

What Are Parklets and How to Apply

Neighborhood Watch types of organizations

Community Improvement Projects

Of course Spring Newsletter Ideas and Summer Newsletter Ideas

Here are some of the best resources we've collected over the past few weeks. In this assortment, surely you will find something relevant to your community work.

Here's a timely article: Want to Fight Crime? Plant Some Flowers With Your Neighbor

For some big picture thinking about the size of our homes and communities or neighborhoods, check out this great series of YouTube videos about small footprint living to see if you can adapt some of it to your life.

This is how to help struggling property owners who are facing code enforcement

Maybe your community is wondering how to curb implicit bias

Rural communities will want to consider their aging population and rate of young adults who return home after leaving for other pursuits.

Here are three little videos from AARP about transportation for all: Transportation for America videos.

Here's an interesting article on how house flipping technology may be fueling the single-family rental boom if that's an issue where you live.

Maybe you want to know why American cities are scorned while Europeans embrace cities.

Perhaps you see some suburban high-rise luxury buildings that turn their back on community. You aren't alone.

This piece about the "20 minute neighbourhood" in Glasgow, Scotland is just the latest variation on a theme of making all areas of a city accessible by transit, bicycle, or walking within a few minutes.

If your city is still figuring out what to do with its ARPA (American Rescue Plan) money, try looking at this tracker for inspiration. It's updated frequently, and is a cooperative project among the National Association of Counties, National League of Cities, and the Brookings Institution Metro program.

Lastly, some may be interested in this report about "Spongy" cities. A "spongy" city can absorb water in the form of storm water runoff, a capability increasingly important as we respond to climate change.

As usual this month we answered a couple of questions from website visitors:

Being annexed into a city that plans to impose a zoning not allowed under deed restrictions

Renting a commercial building for a church

Feel free to reply with comments. But if you are asking a question you would like answered, use the public-facing community development questions page on the website. We'll be back on a Thursday in April.

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