Resident Relationships

The initiative “Resident Relationship” relates to MAP Initiative 2: Fostering Collaboration, to focus on strengthening resident relationships and networks between individuals as well as local institutions. It relates specifically to Action 1, Develop a Council of Neighborhoods to build and support the capacity of neighborhood organizations. As community development and planning processes considers the individual needs and characteristics of neighborhoods and their relationship to the larger community; this initiative focuses on strengthening relationships between Thomas Park/Avondale (TPA) residents, local businesses, and institutions.

How

This initiative was created through a brainstorming session at the February 1, 2016, TPA neighborhood meeting at the Ross Center.

Why

In TPA, building community relations is equally important as the planning and development of the area. Successful neighborhood plans can be achieved, when individuals live in and frequently utilize their neighborhood space together in harmony.

What

The resident relationship strengthens through network building and reinforcing community relationships by partnering with local institutions, local businesses, and residents. This partnership is essential in organizing events and activities that could encourage community interaction and strengthen relationships within the residents as well as local institutions and local businesses. The activities could include cultural festivals, celebrating neighborhood history, getting involved in street art activities and in frequent discussions/meetings, organized by the neighborhood associations. Initiatives like public art, decorative crosswalks, clean-up programs, and celebrating heritage, can set up an engaging platform for residents to reinforce their relations with the social as well as physical environment. This will expose the community members to learn more about their neighborhood and its relationship to the larger community.

Who

The institutions that can take the responsibility to enhance the neighborhood relationships are churches, Ross Community Center, schools, Maring-Hunt Library and other local bodies that involve frequent involvement of TPA residents. These places provide a place to come together and pursue efforts on enhancing the opportunities and mitigating the threats in order to ensure neighborhood’s safety, stability and attractiveness. Initiatives like community dialogues, protecting existing neighborhood activities, integrating social and commercial centers with the institutions to organize cultural events and celebrations, could help in fostering healthy relations. In order to serve the neighborhood residents, communications between neighborhood residents, neighborhoods association, and involved members, needs to be improved. A diverse group (children, youth, and persons with disabilities, elderly) should be included in the relationship building process.

Where

TPA has several potential areas where resident relationships can be enhanced effectively; for example, Thomas Park, small pocket parks and open areas, religious and other institutions (churches and Ross Center, respectively), and even certain streets can be utilized for the same purpose.

Case study

State College Neighborhood Plan, Borough, Pennsylvania

The ‘Citizen Planning Workbook’ formulated by the State College in Borough, describes the significant role that neighborhood sustainability plays in addressing the maintenance and enhancement of current conditions, but also ensures that actions and attitudes that promote the continued success of the neighborhood long into the future. Preparation of the State College Neighborhood Plan took place during 2013, where each neighborhood was engaged in the conversations regarding strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats as well as helping local leaders establish neighborhood planning strategies and priorities. Borough produces a Neighborhood Sustainability Report each year outlining critical neighborhood conditions and their trends. The report explicitly mentions the “Neighbor to Neighbor” relations and that maintaining the same within expanded diversity (generational, occupational, income and family status) of neighborhood residents is of utmost importance. In addition, improving relationships between student and non-student residents and communications between neighborhood residents and Borough Council and Staff, neighboring municipalities and regional agencies, could enhance the coordination in decision-making processes.

Source: State College Borough Planning Department. State College Neighborhood Plan Citizen Planning Workbook. n.p., 2013. 

Resources

Ross Community Center, Neighborhood Association, banks, Maring-Hunt Library and Churches could be partnered to organize community meetings, block parties, and other social events. Also, schools, Churches community center, Maring-Hunt Library, and Ball State University, could join to arrange interactive learning events like: public cleanups, painting groups to join street art initiatives, repair flaking home and fence paint, neighborhood talent shows, and other neighborhood fundraising activities, which could allow to promote neighborhood assets and foster bonding.

Contact information

Ross Community Center
1110 W 10th Street, Muncie, IN 47302
Phone: (765) 747-4741
Contact: Ms. Jacqueline Hanoman, Executive Director
Email: rcci.director@gmail.com

Department of Community Development
300 N. High Street, City Hall, Muncie, IN 47305-1639
Phone: (765) 747-4825
Email: bking@cityofmuncie.com
http://www.hud.gov/local/in/community/cdbg/