Quality of Life Plan
The Near Northwest Neighborhood, Inc. (NNN) has a long history of resident engagement and participation, collaboration, and addressing needs by capitalizing on the neighborhood’s many assets. Because of this, the “theory of change” associated with comprehensive community development is already thoroughly ingrained in the near northwest.
In 2013, guided by the generous technical assistance of Indiana Association for Community Economic Development staff, the NNN engaged residents and stakeholders in a community-based planning process, resulting in a comprehensive Quality of Life Plan for the entire neighborhood.
The process began with organizing. Neighborhood leaders and stakeholders were first trained to conduct one-on-one interviews with community residents. These volunteers then set out to listen to over 130 residents’ hopes and concerns for the neighborhood’s future. The results of these interviews were compiled and shared in a Report Back document and presentation.
Neighbors next moved into deciding their vision for the neighborhood: Near northwest is a neighborhood of choice and seen as a highly desirable place to live, work, and play. Based on this vision and the interview results, they defined the six key areas to be addressed in the plan:
- Connections & Communications
- Quality Housing
- Economic Opportunity and Redevelopment
- Infrastructure & Connectivity
- Youth & Families
Following a Quality of Life Planning Summit, action planning teams formed and began the task of developing ambitious, achievable five-year goals and action plans in each of these areas.
Teams worked hard throughout the summer months and as fall set in the neighborhood moved toward action – finalizing the Quality of Life Plan; rolling it out to neighborhood residents, business owners, and other stakeholders; and requesting the South Bend Common Council’s endorsement. The completed plan, formally adopted by the Common Council on October 28, 2013, consists of a shared neighborhood vision, 20 goals and 99 action steps to make those goals a reality. By clicking the highlighted text the entire Quality of Life Plan, as well as the Executive Summary may be viewed.
With these important first steps complete, the real work of implementation now begins. The NNN, Inc. will serve as the coordinating organization, but the plan’s ultimate success depends on the residents of the near northwest. There are substantive roles for EVERYONE and ample opportunities for private-public partnerships as well. Come join us!