Kaid Benfield

Simple as they seem, colorful signs suggest residents of this Boston neighborhood imagine a hopeful future.

As part of a three-day intensive green planning meeting earlier this week, I had the honor of joining a walking tour of an inner-city Boston neighborhood that has had its share of struggles but also has reason for hope. Among struggles, for example, it has been plagued by incidents of drug dealing, crime, property deterioration and vacancy, and economic distress.

But the neighborhood is also highly walkable; has several examples of good, new affordable housing and mixed-use development, much of it put in place by the nonprofit but very active Codman Square Neighborhood Development Corporation; and is getting two new commuter rail stations opening next month. It also appears to have a terrific network of community organizations and leaders, a diverse population (47 percent black, 29 percent white, 12 percent Latino), and a range of neighborhood assets including a library, YMCA, churches, banks, affordable housing, health care centers, great bus transit access and many small businesses and shops.

We’re helping the neighborhood shape its own revitalization with green development principles. Our team from NRDC and our national community development partner, the Local Initiatives Support Corporation (see my earlier description of LISC’s important energy efficiency work in Boston neighborhoods), were wonderfully hosted on the tour and during the meeting by the CSNDC and a citizens’ group, the Talbot Norfolk Triangle (TNT) Neighbors United. The TNT section of the neighborhood, adjacent to one of the new transit stations, is our focus.

During the walk, I couldn’t help but notice an impressive number of community signs vividly expressing the its pride and determination. They struck me has highly symbolic expressions of a hopeful future for the neighborhood.

I will be writing much more about Codman Square, the Talbot Norfolk Triangle and the good work being done there. But, for today, I just wanted to share with you these inspirational neighborhood expressions.

This post originally appeared on the NRDC's Switchboard blog.

All images by Kaid Benfield.

About the Author

Most Popular

  1. Equity

    Trump to the Rust Belt: Move Somewhere Else

    The president told upstate New Yorkers to move to a red state with jobs, even as his planned budget cuts promise to make their lives more difficult.

  2. Design

    Where Edmonton Goes Next

    The city that hosted this year’s Habitat for Humanity build also wants to create a downtown that attracts people to stay around after the Alberta oil boom has faded.

  3. Transportation

    Do Driverless Cars Need Their Own Roads Around Manhattan?

    A concept for AV expressways promises to reduce travel times, but falls into an old trap of car-centric planning.

  4. Equity

    Why Jimmy Carter Believes Housing Is a Basic Human Right

    Richard Florida talks to the former president about housing, Habitat for Humanity, and how government assistance enabled their current success.

  5. Videos

    5 Ways to Seriously Battle Traffic

    So long as cars are among us, road pricing, ramp meters, and diamond-shaped intersections can mitigate horrendous commutes, a new video explains.