Neighborhood Identity Project
By participating in the UWEX Neighborhood Identity Project, core group members of a number of Waukesha’s Central City neighborhood groups have been working together to develop and implement strategies for neighborhood improvements. Through shared leadership and active citizen participation, this project gave residents an opportunity to work together to address common issues, develop leadership capacity, build their collective power, and expand civic engagement. Residents are now actively problem-solving with city government to develop new policies and practices that will better serve the interests of the city’s residents. They are taking the knowledge gained from this project and are putting it into practice to develop a stronger community. We are looking forward to seeing these neighborhood groups advance their efforts in 2013. UWEX will continue to serve as an educational resource for these groups. If you would like more information on this project or have questions, please contact any of the Waukesha County UWEX Community Educators.
This project was initiated in November of 2011 to assist Central City residents who wanted to (re)establish their neighborhood identities that focus on positive attributes of the area. The approach used focused on learning about a sense of place.
Residents have met eight times over the past year, where as a result, residents:
- Learned about the history of Waukesha’s Central City
- Identified landmarks and discussed potential neighborhood boundaries and names
- Learned how neighbors can work together to get what they want
- Explored models of strong and effective neighborhood organizations
- Learned how to influence the city budget process
- Heard about local examples of neighborhood accomplishments
- Identified and addressed issues shared by the Central City neighborhoods
- Established 1 neighborhood name (Tower Hill) and tentative neighborhood boundaries
- United core groups of neighbors to explore the establishment of neighborhood organizations.
- Participated in a panel discussion about city codes and ordinance compliance and enforcement with city staff and elected officials
Feedback from program participants:
“…we as a neighborhood are the only ones that can really make changes; and there is unity around this issue, but we need more involvement.”
“Having lived here since 1978 and loving my community, I was glad to be a part of a project supporting my neighborhood. I believe we now have a louder voice on our issues and we have not been loud enough…”