MOST Clearing House Best Practices This Best Practice is one of the
Best Practices for Human Settlements
presented in the MOST Clearing House
Best Practices Database.

Transforming Neighborhoods Together
USA

Keywords: Crime Prevention
Community Participation & Urban Governance

Background

Transforming Neighborhoods Together (TNT), an initiative of Knoxville's Center for Neighborhood Development (CND), is a neighborhood empowerment program. It assists neighborhood residents in community renewal and change. It helps community leaders to create visions of the neighborhood's future and to develop networks of contacts, and strategies that enable neighborhood residents to work together. The TNT's approach involves public participation and reliance on neighborhood committees and non-professional neighborhood-resident planners. The CND provides workbooks and guidance as to possible issues and timetables, but the neighborhoods are free to reject or add issues to fit their circumstances The neighborhood organizations are the lead actors in writing, adopting, coordinating, and implementing TNT plans. Participation in the program enables neighborhoods to apply for special city funding and puts them in a better position to apply for corporate and foundation aid and technical assistance. 


Narrative

Transforming Neighborhoods Together (TNT) is a comprehensive, resident-led, neighborhood planning program. It is an initiative of Knoxville's Center for Neighborhood Development (CND), and is currently available to low-income neighborhoods in that city. Three neighborhoods are selected by an independent panel to participate in each two-year program cycle. TNT's goals are to create an active group of neighborhood leaders, committed to developing a long-term vision for their neighborhoods; to establish a process for resident input and consensus; to develop a comprehensive body of knowledge about the neighborhoods; and to develop written action plans for achieving the vision, which may include goals for investment in and development of the neighborhoods. 

The TNT program involves public participation, neighborhood committees, and non-professional neighborhood-resident planners, selected by the neighborhood planning teams, who receive a small stipend for performing research and other tasks. The Knoxville neighborhoods that this program targets have experienced negative trends such as rising crime, rising poverty and unemployment, increasing ratio of rental to owner-occupied housing, increased ratio of elderly and children to young and middle-aged population, shifts in the racial balance of the population due to "white flight," decline in neighborhood shopping and service businesses, poor access to regional shopping and business centers, and declining student performance and school quality ratings. The TNT program helps residents organize themselves, decide what changes they want, gives them skills to negotiate for improvements and resources, and re-instills in them a sense of power and ability to positively affect their environment. Once the plan is complete, neighborhood organizations can then apply for special city funding and resources designed to help implement them. They are also in a better position to apply for corporate and foundation funding, or technical assistance. Neighborhood residents implement the TNT plans, receiving support in the form of staff, priority, and funding from the Knoxville Department of Community Development. The program is an innovative use of the concepts and skills of urban planning in the service of neighborhood empowerment. 


Impact

  • improved communications on many levels
  • 11+ unsafe houses scheduled for demolition
  • 20 houses scheduled for rehabilitation
  • 3 crime-watch groups founded
  • expansion of 1 neighborhood park
  • improvements to 3 neighborhood parks

Sustainability

Through TNT, Knoxville's low-income neighborhoods are becoming better able to form partnerships with the city's public and private institution. 


Contact

    Transforming Neighborhoods Together 
    220 Carrick Street, Suite 312 
    Knoxville 
    Tennessee 
    USA 
    37921 
    (423) 522-5935

Sponsor

    Center for Neighborhood Development 
    Center for Neighborhood Development 
    220 Carrick Street, Suite 312 
    Knoxville 
    TN 
    USA 
    37921 
    (423) 522-5935

Partners

    Local governments 
    Rogers, Suzanne 
    220 Carrick Street, Suite 312 
    Knoxville 
    TN 
    USA 
    37921 
    (423) 522-5935 

    neighborhood businesses 
    Susan Ronk Moriarty, Assistant Director 
    220 Carrick Street, Suite 312 
    Knoxville 
    TN 
    USA 
    37921 
    (423) 522-5935


To MOST Clearing House Homepage