Involving residents (including local businesses) in development activities in their neighbourhood through community engagement is the cornerstone of community development corporations across Canada and the United States. Inclusion through this process affords people the opportunity to drive the type and pace of change in the area in which they live.
Further, their contributions can lead to a deeper understanding of where the emphasis on improvements should be placed when determining impact investment. As importantly, it is the voices of community residents that funders, governments, and even private investors seek as confirmation that a proposal has merit, that policies need to change, that investment will result in lasting change.
In support of community change efforts is data. Community mapping, a data driven tool, is a way to augment a neighbourhood’s story as told by residents. What types of commercial development have been approved for development and what has actually been built? What type of housing has been built and where? Which properties have health code violations? Where are the vacant lots? Which properties have tax arrears and are at risk of abandonment?
The intention of this project is to build a shared understanding of community conditions in the McCauley neighbourhood and to examine specific examples in which CDC’s have improved neighbourhoods through investments in housing, leading commercial developments and creating social enterprise that not only benefit a community, they support the long term sustainability of the Edmonton CDC.
The initial project in McCauley will serve a prototype for doing further research, engagement, and mapping in our inner-city neighbourhoods.
Deliverables will include:
- Detailed Land Inventory Catalogue for the McCauley Neighbourhood, including data on development permits (approved/declined), rezoning applications (approved/declined), ownership, assessment value, sales history, tax arrears, bylaw enforcement and emergency calls, etc.
- Inventory of existing housing developments, total number of units, number of vacant units, by organization, by parcel in McCauley.
- Status update of existing and planned City of Edmonton initiatives targeting the McCauley neighbourhood.
- Inventory of existing and planned City of Edmonton initiatives in other neighbourhoods that could inform/impact Edmonton CDC projects and/or programs.
- Create an inventory of programs and/or projects from across Canada and the U.S., complete with initial risk matrix and key success factors that contribute to sustainability.
- Database of allies within the City of Edmonton government, contacts involved in CED and social enterprise, potential funding sources.
1 Truehaft,S. & Kingsley, G.T.. (2008). Transforming Community Development With Land Information Systems. Lincoln Institute of Land Policy.