(Photo by Flickr user Michael Cramer, used under a Creative Commons license)
A recent study found that the cleanup of vacant lots in Philadelphia led to an increase in community members’ feelings of safety, as well as an increase in outdoor socializing and decrease in crime.
Those research findings are surely good news to a few international names getting into the revitalization game.
In an effort to turn vacant lots into recreational public spaces, ESPN, Under Armour and community finance institution Local Initiatives Support Corporation (LISC) are granting over $400,000 to local organizations in Philadelphia, Baltimore and Los Angeles.
LISC, which is managing the initiative, will award grantees $10,000 in planning grants and up to $75,000 implementation grants through the program, called RePlay. The organization will provide assistance in the predevelopment and construction phases of each project, as well as technical assistance to residents and community groups as projects are underway.
With RePlay, LISC, Under Armour and ESPN have joined funders across the country committed to the transformation of public spaces, primarily in rapidly developing cities.
In Philadelphia, an early and consistent leader in the movement to revitalize public space, public and private institutions have aligned around community-based redevelopment. RePlay, one of a number of initiatives of its kind in the city, aligns well with the city’s Rebuild initiative and the Knight Foundation’s continued efforts through Civic Commons and beyond.
Organizations interested in RePlay should apply before May 15.-30-
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