2009 MetLife Awards: North Common Neighborhood Revitalization

Local Initiatives Support Corporation
As one of the most blighted areas of the city, the North Common neighborhood had become a collection of vacant lots, transient residents and dilapidated housing. While the police department had successfully implemented community policing in the rest of the city, the blight and lack of social cohesion in the North Common area made it nearly impossible to implement it in this neighborhood. Understanding that community organizing was critical to moving forward, the partnership led a campaign that galvanized more than a thousand community residents over eight years to successfully advocate for zoning changes, increased private investment and the creation of a new community center. During the eight years that the community center was under development, Lawrence CommunityWorks was busy with additional resident-driven community revitalization projects, including the development of over forty units of affordable housing and three parks. All contributed to significant rime reductions for the neighborhood. The Lawrence Police Department contributed to the development of all of these projects by providing input into site design and planning.
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