During these turbulent times, we have all grown to understand how elections can emotionally become draining. It can build a fear in us that can become overwhelming in wondering who will be our next representative. However, don’t forget that you are the most important representative. You have the power! Civic engagement is more than voting; “it is working to make a difference in the civic life of one’s community and developing the combination of knowledge, skills, values, and motivation to make that difference. It means promoting the quality of life in a community, through both political and non-political processes” (Civic Engagement).
A community is enriched in four respects: community-led design, identity, social capital, productivity. Social capital is the social ties that serve as the catalyst that leads the community development process. Therefore, enriching the lives of its consumers. These social ties are the small businesses that make the heartbeat of the community tangible.
In the past, industrialization led to the design of public space. Making automobiles, not people, the focal point of open space planning. Unfortunately, eliminating the voice of the community and fracturing the bond between public places and the community that inhabits them. This bond is imperative because it knits together individuals, couples, and families into society. The environments that we share and how we choose to use them reflect our mutual values and make social bonds stronger.
It can go without saying that Louisianans are amazingly resilient. From Hurricane Katrina, the 2016 Floods, to Hurricane Laura, we continuously bounce back with a new spirit and song. The resilience of our state is remarkable. In each one of the disasters listed, families lost homes and communities were wiped out. Displacement due to natural disasters can be detrimental physically and financially. According to the DOA of Louisiana there have been a devasting reduction in our housing stock over the years.
Community development in it of its self is the bridge between place and physical health, using neighborhood revitalization as a strategy to improve the health of low-income communities. In our world we measure “health of community” through the reduction of preventable chronic diseases such as asthma, diabetes, and obesity to align with the way the world measures the “health of a community. “Which is equivalent to the number of successful local businesses, available food options, and reduction of economic blight in neighborhoods. Interestingly, physical health is only a portion of the puzzle that creates a fully “healthy” community.
As a resident of Baton Rouge, we have noticed that LSU has its’ own ecosystem. In essence, LSU has its own perfect community and the students and staff are the residents. At LSU all residents have easily accessible health facilities, shopping, restaurants, mixed-income living, work opportunities, and grocery stores. Additionally, the residents are able to move freely between spaces through various forms of transportation – walking, biking, transit, or car. In our line of work this is called “sustainability planning” where residents can meet all their needs within a 20 – minute distance. GEAUX TIGERS! How is it possible for a university to have a concept that enhances the quality of life for all residents and local surrounding communities are having a difficult time? Two words – Urban Density.
To many, the word “gentrification” sounds like the sentencing of the death penalty and to others gentrification is the ultimate solution to regain balance to disenfranchised cities.To be sure, what exactly is gentrification? Is it simply fancying up a neighborhood that brings in new residents and buildings or is it the displacement of current residents due to the influx of the new fancy residents and businesses? So, let’s clear the air.
One of the biggest financial debates everyone has. Let’s be honest, the renting process is easy and less complicated. Renting makes it easier to relocate with less restrictions and you are not reliable for repairs. Sounds like an amazing deal if you are not ready to settle, invest, or financial capable. Buying a home can be scary. Essentially, you are making a huge financial decision and planting roots in your life; but is that a bad thing?
We all deserve to live in an equitable community that has limitless amenities with the people we love. The American Dream! To many, it’s still a dream. Countless citizens feel powerless and silenced to the loud roar of the government. However, many are unaware of how the Census data shapes the future of our community and defines our voice in congress.
Would you believe us if we said our community is currently in motion to achieve the goal of creating a Complete Neighborhood?
The mission of Mid City Redevelopment Alliance is to develop and promote the growth and renewal of Mid City Baton Rouge by attracting new and retaining current residents and businesses.