Community Vitality Report
Start Date: August 2016
Estimated Completion Date: August 2017
As part of our 2013 Strategic Planning, the CRA posed the question “How do we get out of this business?”, which challenged the agency to do its work so well that we would no longer be needed. We realigned internal efficiencies and talent to support more complex projects, we formed new and strengthen existing partnerships to leverage resources and build capacity, and we reaffirmed our commitment to engage in initiatives that address urban blight and contribute to community quality of life. The recent success of projects like Depot Park, Bo Diddley Plaza, and the A. Quinn Jones Museum and Cultural Center can in part be attributed to this vision.
To some, an increase in taxable property value would be a sign of success for these projects. However, we believe that at best this is an incomplete metric of success. A more inclusive indicator of success- what we are calling ‘community vitality’—takes into consideration the short- and long-term economic, environmental, social, policy, and health outcomes of redevelopment at both the individual and community level. Simply, the success of a CRA cannot be measured by property values alone. From this perspective, the CRA recently embarked on an effort to better understand the impacts of our work community vitality.
Through this process, we have looked back at all initiatives the CRA has been involved in since each district was established. We wanted to know where our focus has been, knowing that projects of different scope (coverage of redevelopment objectives), scale (size, based on total spend), and distribution (location within the districts) yield different returns. Through this exercise we found, among other things, that some of the redevelopment objectives have not received as much attention as others.
We are now looking ahead and asking the question “What’s left to do?” This is our opportunity to identify projects that are most likely to enhance community vitality and provide the greatest return on investment (or in our case 'return on increment', since we work with tax increment financing). This process will lay the foundation for our next strategic planning, which will guide the CRA's work for the next several years.
Take our survey on what community vitality means from a redevelopment perspective: Community Vitality Survey
Do you have ideas on how redevelopment can enhance community vitality in Gainesville? Submit your ideas and participate in the conversation via Gainesville's online town hall platform EngageGNV.
Find CRA staff at one of the following community events (look for our team in teal shirts)
*2016 Downtown Arts Festival: November 11 & 12, 2016
*Active Streets Gainesville in Depot Park and along South Main St: Sunday February 26, 2017
*38th Annual 5th Avenue Arts Festival: April 22, 2017
*Relay for Life East Gainesville: May 5, 2017
Last updated on 4/20/2017