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Renowned scholar to create revitalization plan for city neighborhoods

By Carmen West, Deputy Director of Development
Released/Published: Dec 25, 2009

The housing crisis that has affected nearly every part of our nation has hit us especially hard here in Canton.  Entire neighborhoods that were once full of families are at risk of being lost forever, but luckily hope is on the horizon.  By creating “Neighborhoods of Choice” – neighborhoods where people want to live, invest their time and money, and improve their homes – we will begin a long and prosperous new chapter for our city.
To begin creating “Neighborhoods of Choice,” the City of Canton’s Department of Development has partnered with the Community Building Partnerships organization to bring in a nationally-renowned neighborhood strategist named David Boehlke.  A graduate of Johns Hopkins University and the Harvard University Kennedy School of Government, Boehlke has spent over thirty years working with community-based nonprofit organizations to improve more than a hundred distressed neighborhoods across the country.
Boehlke’s work is of particular interest to cities with old neighborhoods and declining population growth like Canton.  By creating targeted neighborhood work plans for our city’s surplus and at-risk housing stock, Boehlke will recommend ways that the City can increase the “demand” for existing housing with the most effective use of limited public and private resources.  Specifically, the recommendations will take into account what is undermining stability in each individual neighborhood, thereby allowing the City to begin using strategies unique to each area’s specific needs and attributes.
By highlighting our community’s assets and finding proactive ways to galvanize neighborhood change, David Boehlke will provide the City with a new, innovative approach to urban revitalization.  We here in the Department of Development are incredibly excited by the potential this partnership has to offer, and look forward to working with residents, businesses, and community leaders to begin addressing the myriad of issues facing our neighborhoods.

Contact Information: Fonda Williams - 330-438-4119