Place Making - City Repair see link
Place making initiatives like those in Portland, Oregon and Fernwood, Victoria, B.C. http://cityrepair.org/ See the book Place Making (small) and Mark Lakeman. Wonderful inspiration for taking back neighbourhoods and becoming more involved in one's community. Fernwood now has a Neighbourhood Resource Group, which to date has bought and revitalized several heritage buildings, runs a comminity cafe called Cornerstone Cafe, which hires local youths and uses profits to put back in the community and is in the process of upgrading several more. Most of the work was done by the community. Also seeing the need in their neighbourhood for more affordable housing, instead of totally gentrifying and pushing people out, they have sought funding and offer affordable housing in both the heritage buildings and built a 6 suite apartment building for families. The city repair site gives you an idea of the model Fernwood used. They have been inspired by the ideas of Mark Lakeman City Repair/Place Making. The end result is more community involvement, food safe projects and an agreement to apply a green philosophy to every enterprise, with maximum community input.