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Neighborhood Planning for Investment, Protections from Gentrification

The neighborhood of Homewood in Pittsburgh, PA is poised is poised for new investment but is still far from a gentrification tipping point. A proposed "cluster plan" walks a fine line for the neighborhood's future.
December 1, 2015, 2pm PST | James Brasuell | @CasualBrasuell
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Diana Nelson Jones reports on the cluster planning effort currently underway in the neighborhood of Pittsburgh. The cluster plan is so called because of the neighborhood's large size, comprised of ten segments defined by city residents.

Operation Better Block, based in Homewood, launched an outreach process in January 2014 to generate ideas about each of the segments. According to Nelson Jones, "OBB released its plan in November intending for it to be Homewood’s direction to developers, the city and the Urban Redevelopment Authority."

Nelson Jones invests substantial word count in describing the intentions and mechanisms of the proposed cluster plan, while also digging into a few of the guiding principles enunciated in the plan. For instance, Nelson Jones notes a specific item among the plan's "Community Development Principles": "People who live in Homewood get to stay here." A simple statement, of course, but the cluster plan must wrestle with the challenges of attracting the right kind of investment—when some kinds of investment, or lack thereof, can easily send a neighborhood astray from that goal.

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Published on Tuesday, December 1, 2015 in Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
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