Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Urban News Vol. 14

Another quick hitter (I guess this is my idea of not blogging often) to show that the sun shines on Parsells Avenue as well and to encourage people to volunteer now that the Clean Sweep schedule has been announced.

Parsells Avenue Seeing a Rebirth
by Rocco Vertuccio, RNews

Article Key Points:

  • Benjamin's Barbershop has been praised by residents saying it brings much needed life to the corner
  • The Community Place, a grass roots CDC (Community Development Corporation) has purchased 2 storefronts and 26 housing units to help turn the neighborhood around
  • TCP uses private money and partnerships to provide affordable leases, this lease money goes back into the neighborhood
  • Plans in process for a telecom store across the street in a converted laundromat

This is a classic Jacobsian 'eyes on the street' direct benefit to residents of this community which is also home to the best and most authentic German market and restaurant in Rochester. Since the infancy of our nation, the barbershop has served as an informal gathering place providing not only an essential service, but also strengthening neighborhood ties. I wish the best of luck to Mr. Benjamin.

The concept of community investment becoming self-regenerating seems to be creeping into reality to some degree here. A community foundation not interested solely in turning a speculative profit can hold lease levels at the tax line and improve the overhead situation for fledgling businesses in economically fragile areas. Everything else being equal, keeping dollars in the community or attracting outside dollars can lead to more reinvestment. This is the power of well directed CDC's.

City's Clean Sweep to Take On Illegal Graffiti
by Brian Sharp, Rochester Democrat & Chronicle

Article Key Points:

  • April 26th event meeting at Genesee Valley Park to focus on city's South Side
  • City will provide volunteers with graffiti cleaning kits, including tools and scrubbers
  • May 31st event to include flower planting and electronics recycling

I've been excited about this addition to the Clean Sweep program since the vague details were hinted. For some reason graffiti bothers me even more than rampant litter, likely because of the conscious effort involved. I've participated in two clean sweeps, both were very satisfying and encouraging. I'd recommend everyone try it just once, then go back if you enjoyed yourself. I will likely use it as a Rochester New Urbanist meetup event in case you are a member. If nothing else, you get a free lunch and some exercise.

The last event is also important. Electronics recycling should be in the forefront of people's minds these days with the glut of old computers, monitors, and televisions (ahead of the digital switch) which, believe it or not, contain many toxic metals and chemicals. The Regional Computer Recycling and Recovery company here in Rochester has a 'zero landfill' policy so you can be assured that everything taken in is taken apart and recycled on a materials basis or processed.

Be back on Friday with the meetup recap.

1 comment:

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