Canton Neighborhood Project
“The Canton Neighborhood Project has been developed and managed by Community Building Partnership of Stark County, Inc. (CBP) on behalf and under contract with the City of Canton. It is CBP’s desire that this effort continue the important community conversation on how best to renew the neighborhoods of Canton. CBP gratefully acknowledges and thanks Mayor William Healy and his administration, the Community Development department, and City Council of the City of Canton for their support and guidance on this project”. Joel Owens, Director of CBP
As a result of David Boehlke’s visit, Community Building Partnership of Stark County, Inc. and Mr. Boehlke partnered to create the Canton Neighborhood Project, the City of Canton’s first Neighborhood Plan, complete with an approach (Healthy Neighborhoods) and specific workplans for 15 diverse neighborhoods within Canton.
The Workplan Project aspect of the Canton Neighborhood Project undertook creating short-term (two to three year) workplans for each of 15 different neighborhoods. The workplans were not expected to be uniform; rather, the selected sites were intended to represent a broad cross-section of city neighborhoods. Nevertheless, in the final product certain features are relatively consistent. There is a bias toward understanding each real estate market since the challenge of maintaining housing values is so great in today’s economy. There is also a bias toward boundaries that defined smaller neighborhoods that generally shared similarities in types of construction, age of buildings, costs of homes, history, etc. These workplans were then clustered together either geographically or by planning themes.
Because each workplan proved to be unique, some were developed based on each year of activity while others were instead organized around outcomes. In every effort higher cost approaches were minimized in favor of small scale, high impact activities. This resulted in a number of workplans sharing the same recommends and suggestions for action. To avoid constant repetition, much of this material was removed and placed in a separate guidebook called the Canton Neighborhoods Workbook. This document is useful when reading any one of the workplans, but it can also be used as an independent guide for neighborhoods not in this project.
Why these sites?
Generally speaking, Canton city government and non-profits have focused on neighborhoods that have historic identities, but many times these areas are too large to impact in this economy. The goal of this study was to identify smaller neighborhoods that are defined not just by location and history, but also by unique market conditions and opportunities that would support strategic interventions by the city, local foundations, nonprofits, and resident organizations.