neighborhood governance

colist-admin at colist-admin at
Mon May 8 11:46:41 CDT 2000

[ed:  Gary is responding to the criticism of the Minneapolis neighborhood 
planning program, but also invites a broader discussion of 
neighborhood-based planning.]

From: Garry Hesser <hesser at>

Randy, I would strongly affirm Kris Nelson's assessment of the inaccuracy,
narrowness, and bias [?] in the material on Minneapolis and the NRP.  And,
while I, too, have encountered some of the same criticism that you have
described on the part of some neighborhood people, I have yet to find any
programs anywhere in the nation that do a better balancing between the
grass roots and elected officials' "power sharing" when it comes to
decision making, priority setting and the allocation of public money for
neighborhood uses.  [My own assessment is derived from 24 years of
residency in central city neighborhoods of Mpls that have undergone "urban
renewal" in its various forms, teaching in a college in Cedar-Riverside
whose PAC I served on, and researching Mpls neighborhoods and
housing/neighborhood programs ever since moving her in 1977.]

I would be interested to hear of other examples and how other cities are
doing in this regard.


Garry Hesser
Professor of Sociology and Urban Studies &
   Chair, Social & Behavioral Science Division
Augsburg College
2211 Riverside Ave.
Minneapolis, MN 55454
612-330-1664; fax: 612-330-1695; home: 612-721-4905
    hesser at

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