Neighborhood Stabilization Program
About the Work
The Neighborhood Stabilization Program (NSP) was established to empower neighborhood residents and community stakeholders to turn vacant land bank lots into community assets that will provide productive use and public benefits, build community stewardship over land, inspire community pride, increase the community’s self-reliance for food and energy through community gardens and energy production, enhance the city’s ecosystem functions through stormwater management, and advance the city administration’s comprehensive sustainability strategy.
In round one of NSP, LAND studio contracted with the City of Cleveland to manage $200,000+ to be spent on 25 projects that included pocket parks, phytoremediation, rain gardens and other neighborhood-based projects. The teams from the selected projects were made up of block clubs, neighborhood residents, church groups, organizations, CDCs and volunteer groups. As fiscal agent and technical assistant, LAND studio managed grantee outreach, materials purchased, bidding processes and work coordination.
Building upon the momentum of NSP1, LAND studio engaged in round two of NSP in June of 2011. For this second round, LAND studio contracted with the City of Cleveland to manage $800,000+ to be spent on an additional set of projects. Much like the first round, this second round focused upon creating opportunities for residents and community partners to stabilize vacant land for productive purposes that enhance neighborhood life. In this round, awarded sites were segmented into ‘side yard expansions’ and ‘greening’ projects.
The side yard aspect of the program permited improvements to vacant lots held by the City of Cleveland Land Bank to incentivize their purchase by eligible neighboring homeowners. NSP2 funding covered transaction costs, including the cost of a survey, drafting of a consolidation plat and recording costs as well as the costs of landscaping the lot, including necessary grading, side walk repair, optional fencing and plantings. For this portion of the program, LAND studio worked with landscape architects, McKnight Associates, to develop six template landscaping plans for improved side yards that meet the approval of the City of Cleveland. Once the neighboring homeowner and prospective land purchaser selected their landscape template, LAND studio coordinated improvements to the lot according to template specifications.
The greening aspect of the program makes investments to clear and stabilize eligible lots held by the City of Cleveland Land Bank and endorsed by neighborhood community development centers to incentivize the reuse of these lots as greening and beautification projects. For this portion of the program, LAND studio worked with CDC representatives to identify improvements and develop a work scope which was then coordinated with contractors.
City of Cleveland
Cuyahoga Land Bank
Neighborhood Progress, Inc.