GOOD Idea for Cities: Re-Energizing a Neighborhood's Pride GOOD Idea for Cities: Re-Energizing a Neighborhood's Pride
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GOOD Idea for Cities: Re-Energizing a Neighborhood's Pride

by Chappell Ellison

November 12, 2012


Just outside of Dallas, Texas lies Elmwood, a large community with a small-town vibe. Established in 1924, Elmwood now faces problems familiar to many cities of its size. Through growing pains and economic recessions, the city's small commercial district had dwindled, resulting in vacant storefronts that attract vandalism. The result is a civic image that doesn't represent the active and vibrant surrounding neighborhood. 

Local restaurants sold food at the street fair, showing the diversity of the surrounding neighborhood

A pop-up dog park allowed local pet owners to meet each other


Members of the Elmwood Neighborhood Revitalization team

With several opinions at play, residents realize there are many more obstacles in the way of the city's growth. "Since Elmwood is so big—about a thousand homes I believe—and demographically diverse, I think getting everyone to embrace the cultural diversity is one of the challenges we face," says Garcia. For Lea, it's just the beginning of a great communal journey. "The improvements are the direct result of dozens of people sacrificing their time," Lea explains. "For most, it has been a breeze. Some feathers were ruffled early on because not enough attention was paid to the existing chain of command." Now that he's completely steeped in the Elmwood community, Lea plans to push the city forward without stepping on anyone's toes.

Photos by Patrick McDonnell

GOOD Ideas for Cities pairs creative problem-solvers with real urban challenges proposed by civic leaders. To learn more visit good.is/ideasforcities. Watch more videos of recent GOOD Ideas for Cities events, and if you'd like to talk about bringing the program to your city or school, email alissa[at]goodinc[dot]com or follow us at @IdeasforCities

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GOOD Idea for Cities: Re-Energizing a Neighborhood's Pride