Springfield Springfield Massachusetts Community planning based on local resident knowledge

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					Springfield, Massachusetts
Community planning based on local resident knowledge

In 2001, CoLab (then CRCP) made a
10-year commitment to support                Springfield Photo
community planning and development
initiatives in the North End
                                             Springfield Photo
neighborhood of Springfield,                 Springfield Photo
Massachusetts. This commitment
includes                                     Springfield Photo
a partnership with the North End
Outreach Network (NEON), the North
                                             Springfield Photo
End Campus Committee (NECC), and             Springfield Photo
an annual Springfield Studio practicum
course.                                      Springfield Photo
Springfield Studio practicum course

The Springfield Studio is an annual practicum design
course in MIT’s Department of Urban Studies and
Planning (DUSP). It focuses on the physical,
programmatic, and social renewal of the North End
community in Springfield, Massachusetts, by
combining student course work with an applied class
project. Community outreach workers join students in
collaborating on the project design. The Springfield
Studio draws upon knowledge gained from other
collaborative projects, including previous practica, the
Community Mapping project, the North End Strategic
Plan, and individual student research. Past courses
can be accessed free through MIT OpenCourseWare.

Final student projects include a plan and design for a
community campus to unite the North End (Spring
2004), as well as an economic development plan for
the North End (Fall 2005).


Note: Please note that CRCP has been renamed the
Community Innovators Lab (CoLab), and all current
and future projects will be referenced as such.

Digital Storytelling
In the summer of 2001, NEON (North End Outreach
Network) community health advocates created digital
stories based on their own experiences in confronting
issues they had witnessed in their work. These stories
are offered in both English and Spanish.

Telling Our Legacies Digitally (TOLD) began in 2002
as the North End digital storytelling team, a “train the
trainers” initiative led by CRCP. TOLD brought
together community workers from diverse
organizations in Springfield, Massachusetts, and led
them through the process of producing short
multimedia narratives on topics significant to their
communities. In conjunction with the North End
Strategic Planning Process, the group developed a
proposal for establishing the nation’s first community-
based digital storytelling center in Springfield. In
October 2003, the Waitt Family Foundation awarded
them seed money. The group subsequently appointed
an acting director and moved forward with its plans.

STRATEGIC PLANNING
During the summer of 2003, CRCP and NEON led the
North End community in creating the North End
Strategic Plan. As part of the process, 15 satellite
meetings and two larger community meetings were
held to gather input for a unified vision and goals for
its neighborhoods over the next five years. Defined
goal areas included lifelong learning, health, safety,
and economic development. The plan was
successfully submitted to the Waitt Family
Foundation, which later provided support to the
community for achieving its goals and vision.

COMMUNITY MAPPING
CRCP brought together three community
organizations—the Alamosa Neighborhood
Association in Albuquerque, New Mexico; the Dudley
Street Neighborhood Initiative in Roxbury,
Massachusetts; and the North End Outreach Network
(NEON) in Springfield, Massachusetts. In addition to
engaging these groups in building local expertise in
geographic information systems (GIS), CRCP
assisted them in developing new software for
community mapping and spatial information
management.


NEON
www.neonprogram.org

Springfield Studio
http://dusp.mit.edu/p.lasso?t=6:2:0&detail=11.403

MIT OpenCourseWare
http://ocw.mit.edu/

PDF: plan and design for a community campus to unite the North End (Spring
2004)

PDF: economic development plan for the North End (Fall 2005)

NEON community health advocates created digital stories
—Link to Digital Stories Archive in Tools & Resources section

PDF: North End Strategic Plan

				
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