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This project addressed the economic, social, and environmental ill effects occurring in the North Bottoms in Lincoln, Nebraska. This neighborhood requires the use of innovative community engagement to counteract minimal resources, civic engagement, and social capital in order to accomplish sustainable redevelopment when traditional methods have been unsuccessful. The initial goal of the project was to involve citizens in the design process to create an effective and development strategy and design project for the neighborhood.
Although traditional methods were sufficient to develop a comprehensive approach to sustainable development, it became obvious through engagement with citizens and civic officials that a new model would be beneficial to maintain communication with citizens, actively engage and incentivize developers, and provide an accessible means to sharing information. The problem being faced by the North Bottoms neighborhood was larger than a redevelopment project. Direction of the project then changed to incorporate a theoretical web-based model of community engagement centered on the redevelopment process was proposed to address these needs.
This theoretical tool, the Social Capacity Website, addressed the means by which local government can actively promote a neighborhood’s agenda for the goal of a sustainable neighborhood while continuing to support public-private partnerships and development incentives thus providing a more effective model of redevelopment. These traditional methods of redevelopment often lack multi-directional communication and availability of information resulting in a lack of support from residents and design that does not maximize site potential. The theoretical tool developed, the Social Capacity website, works to address these needs.