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Urban Renewal Essay

1317 words - 6 pages

Urban Renewal

Urban renewal (also called urban regeneration) is a function of urban planning that in the United States reached its peak from the late 1940s through to the early1970s (Merriam-Webster Dictionary). The most significant policy undertaken by a wide range of cities since World War II was that of urban renewal. Since 1954 urban renewal programs have changed the face of many downtown areas and displaced millions of low-income citizens. If there is anything to the "growth machine" hypothesis, the origins of this program at the national level, and the implementation of it in different cities, should reveal the guiding influence of the growth machine, for what these programs ...view middle of the document...

In fact, since January 2000, East Garfield (generally defined as the area bounded by Glendale Avenue, Brand Boulevard, Chevy Chase Drive, and Maple Street) area was identified as an appropriate area for neighborhood revitalization, which is planned to include a multi-disciplinary approach that can involve code enforcement, rehabilitation of housing units, improvement of public infrastructure, consideration of zoning standards, creation of open space, land banking, and the construction of affordable housing designed to raise the quality of life of residents. Some of the issues about this specific neighborhood include: crime, substandard housing, density, undeveloped land, parking, and traffic circulation. From those issues, three major areas were identified to address. Once addressed, these areas would then become tools towards contributing to neighborhood revitalization.
In my opinion, the highest public improvement priority in the East Garfield area is the reconstruction and improvement of the H-alley. This is an alleyway that is located in the center of this neighborhood. It services one-way traffic going south from Windsor to Garfield near Maryland Avenue on one side, and one way traffic going north from Garfield to Windsor near Glendale Avenue on the other side, and two way traffic running east west for service to properties off of Windsor and Garfield. It is substandard in size and condition and has been a consistent code enforcement, Police, and traffic and circulation problem.
The East Garfield Area was determined to be deficient in park and open space. Based upon direction provided by the City Council and Housing Authority, three parcels along Maryland Avenue were acquired. These parcels, consisting of South Maryland, were dedicated to be developed entirely as a small neighborhood park, which would be a perfect way for a community to become revitalized. As part of the alleyway improvements, a five-foot dedication of property will be made alongside the entire eastern end of this proposed park parcel. This will require a total dedication of approximately 750 square feet thus reducing the proposed mini-park site ( This will allow for greater maneuverability along this key point of the H-alley for both the project and neighborhood residents and has been a key concern to the operations of Police and Public Works.
Luckily, the Community Partnerships Department has a special program called Community Partnerships – Grants that is proud to announce the return of the Neighborhood Grants Program. “Yes, that's right. You can apply for FREE money to put the beauty back in your neighborhood”. As a matter of fact, this organization is always ready to help the neighborhoods to get out from difficult situations an d become revitalized; however, in order to apply for an improvement grant, every neighborhood has to be at least 15 years old, has a minimum of at least 20 homes, and, be registered with...

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