As a partner in the federal Sustainable Communities Initiative, ADC is working with Green Opportunities to create a community outreach plan that will open the lines of communication between City staff and neighborhoods in the East of the Riverway target area. This area includes the following neighborhoods: Hillcrest, WECAN, South French Broad, Livingston, Southside, River Arts District and Lee-Walker Heights.

ADC and GO are working with the community to identify and meet with community leaders, conduct an inventory of existing community resources, and engage residents through a series of events that promote more sustainable practices. ASU Master’s Planning students will be conducting existing resources inventories these neighborhoods. ADC will also work with UNCA students to conduct a health assessment of these neighborhoods. The data gathered by these groups will provide a snapshot of the health of the average home in these neighborhoods, allowing the City and other partners to measure the effects of the SCI program.

Visit these websites to learn more:

Partnership for Sustainable Communities website.

Asheville’s Sustainable Community Initiative: East of the Riverway.

What is SCI?
  • Federal Sustainable Communities Initiative Grant with HUD, DOT & EPA working together with the City of Asheville.
  • It’s about building capacity within neighborhood groups, growing new leadership, establishing better communication networks, teaching youth marketable job skills and making our neighborhoods more attractive to the right businesses.
  • SCI focuses on 6 Livability Principles:
    1.  Provide more transportation choices.
    2.  Promote equitable, affordable housing.
    3.  Enhance economic competitiveness.
    4.  Support existing communities.
    5.  Coordinate policies and leverage investment.
    6.  Value communities and neighborhoods.
Do you live or work in one of the East Riverway neighborhoods?

Neighbors, businesses and property owners in Hillcrest, WECAN, South French Broad, Livingston, Southside, Lee-Walker Heights and the River Arts District are proud of their neighborhoods and the positive things going on there. They also want to see some changes. What needs to happen to make our neighborhoods stronger and better able to face the changes that are surely ahead? What makes our community more sustainable?

As part of the nation-wide, Obama-initiated Sustainable Communities Initiative, the City of Asheville received a grant to work with the neighborhoods of the “East of the Riverway” area. The work will focus on 6 Livability Principles:

1.  Provide more transportation choices.
2.  Promote equitable, affordable housing.
3.  Enhance economic competitiveness.
4.  Support existing communities.
5.  Coordinate policies and leverage investment.
6.  Value communities and neighborhoods.

This initiative will build on the great things already going in our neighborhoods: mural, basketball courts and gardens in Hillcrest, $4million Reid Center renovations, church weatherization and other Green Opportunities projects. These are examples of what can happen when we plan and work together.

The City of Asheville, Green Opportunities, Asheville Design Center and many of our friends, partners, and neighbors will be talking to you about your neighborhood. Want to see something change where you live? Now is the time to talk about it!

So, let’s hear it! What is great about our neighborhood? What needs to change? What needs to be moved, cleaned, organized, grown or protected?  Greenway construction, home weatherization, bus stop construction, mural installation, garden development…we can work out the details now so that when future funding becomes available we will be ready to go!

We aren’t just talking about projects, but how to build stronger communities with a voice that is heard across the greater Asheville community. Let’s share information, encourage new leadership, communicate better and connect to resources available right here in our community in an effort to:

  • Increasing the marketable job skills of our youth
  • Making our neighborhoods more attractive for the right kind of businesses
  • Creating  stronger connections between  nearby job and training opportunities and neighborhood people

All of this can help build a more thriving future for individuals and families in our community! Contact any of these people to learn more, share your ideas or get involved:

Tara Irby: TIrby@ashevillenc.gov; 828-989-6288

Marilyn Bass: Marilyn@greenopportunities.org; 828-398-4158

Chris Joyell: chris@ashevilledesigncenter.org; 828-782-7894