13 Jun 2013

Legend of the Crosswalk Bandits

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Call ‘em “rogue” or “vigilante” or “guerrilla” – whatever label you choose, unofficial crosswalks have made an appearance at a handful of Tacoma intersections the last few weeks. For the uninitiated, here’s a summary of events to get you up to speed: Read more

17 May 2013

City of Neighborhoods Tomorrow! See you tomorrow for a day full of fun and inspiration!

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Wow! City of Neighborhoods 2013 is already here. The excitement is pretty high, and based on last year, there’s good reason to be. Get ready to have a day full of fun, inspiring stories, great conversations, new relationships, and of course, ideas to help you bring more love and life to your neighborhood! Check out Read more

14 May 2013

Connected Neighborhoods: How transit helps your neighborhood be more connected and vibrant – a City of Neighborhoods Workshop

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Often when we hear people talk about transit, it’s in the context of environmental concerns or making sure folks of low-income means can get around the region. To be sure, a good mass transit system addresses these things. But with the right intentions, it can also help make your neighborhood a more socially connected place.

Often when I walk around Downtown Read more

13 May 2013

The ABCD’s of Neighborhood Development – a City of Neighborhoods Workshop

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It is said that there are two approaches to community development: development in reaction to a problem or an approach that seeks to uncover and utilize the strengths within communities in order to create more vibrant, connected neighborhoods.

The latter is known as Asset-Based Community Development or “ABCD.” It just so happens that our City of Neighborhoods 2013 keynote, Jim Diers, is a faculty member of the ABCD Institute. And lucky us, he’s not only going to give the keynote presentation, but for those that go to his workshop, he will go in-depth with the ABC’s of ABCD. Read more

10 May 2013

Little Free Libraries: a simple, fun way to engage your neighbors – a City of Neighborhoods Workshop

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From yarn-bombing to bench building, people are finding the most out-of-the-box ways to engage their neighbors. Little Free Libraries are no exception. Also known as pocket libraries, these often bird-house shaped weatherproof shelves are becoming something of a national phenomenon (check out the map).  Read more

09 May 2013

Lessons from Community Gardens – a City of Neighborhoods Workshop

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Since the number of community gardens in Pierce County has increased from about 5 in 2008, to over 50 today, there is bound to be a lot of collective learned wisdom out there that we can glean from. This City of Neighborhoods workshop will be a panel facilitated by Pierce Conservation District’s community garden program. From veterans to second-year community gardeners, the panel will be full of diverse experiences. Read more

08 May 2013

How to make your neighborhood walkable? – A City of Neighborhoods workshop

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It doesn’t take long for most folks who are involved in their neighborhood to notice that life in it would be a whole lot more fun, and it would be easier to know their neighbors, if their neighborhood was more walkable. Walkability involves everything from sidewalks and zoning codes, to private development dollars and good city planning. But, it also involves walking. Walking takes people and reasons to walk. Read more

07 May 2013

City Civics 101: a City of Neighborhoods Workshop

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Ok, so maybe you’ve been following along and seeing all the amazing workshops and speakers we’ll have at City of Neighborhoods 2013. But, you think to yourself, “I’m new to all this stuff. I love the idea of working with my neighbors to make my neighborhood awesome, but what if we need to work with the city on something? What if we want to see city policy change so it doesn’t hinder our efforts?” Or maybe it’s just Read more

06 May 2013

Meet the keynote: the legacy of Jim Diers

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For those at City of Neighborhoods 2012, no introduction is needed for Jim Diers. You folks are the reason he is back for round 2. We received overwhelmingly positive feedback about Jim’s presentation. And, in all honesty, few people have the experience, insight and charisma in community development that Jim has. It would take a lot of keynote presentations for Jim to run out of stories and insight to share. Read more

03 May 2013

For your inspiration: Stories from neighborhood movers and shakers at City of Neighborhoods

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Local Life, and the rest of the City of Neighborhoods planning team, have the conviction that lots of little actions for the common good, from everyday people, add up to much more connected and vibrant neighborhoods. From the Little Free Libraries, to community gardens, murals to block watches, there is a rising tide of stories flowing through Tacoma and Pierce County. Five years ago there were about five community gardens in Tacoma, now there are over 35. Read more