Mid City Neighborhood Challenge winner announced

What makes a good neighbor? Each year, Tipton Associates collaborates with Mid City Redevelopment Alliance on the Mid City Neighborhood Challenge, a friendly competition among residents. Groups engage in grassroots campaigns to improve a property in their own neighborhood. All projects and volunteer participation are organized by the neighborhood group with materials and supplies provided by Mid City Redevelopment Alliance (MCRA) and grant awards provided by Tipton Associates, the city’s oldest continuously operating architecture firm and a Mid City business itself.

This year, we awarded first place to the Poets Corner Neighborhood Association. We were moved by the choice of the neighborhood’s residents to use their grant for the front porch renovation (including safety updates) and landscaping of one house, lending a hand when neighbors truly needed it. For the project, residents came together with incredible enthusiasm to paint, build, and plant. Nearby restaurant DiGiulio Brothers pitched in with food for the volunteers. “The owner said he met a number of people in the area, and now he feels more a part of the neighborhood after this project,” said Liz Spedale, Tipton Associates architect and head of our Community Outreach committee. “It really brought the community together.”

But we had no easy decision to make, considering the three other participants:

Bernard Terrace Civic Association: visioning and community outreach to add a mural to the neighborhood pocket park
Melrose East Community Association: new neighborhood signs to promote pride of place awareness of community organization
Goodwood Property Owners Association: A trellis and bench installation for the pollinator/butterfly garden at Goodwood Park, a benefit to all of Mid City

The Neighborhood Challenge encourages residents to work together to build, create, empower, and motivate each other to bring the resources their neighborhoods need to the forefront. From neighborhood signs to pocket parks, the creativity is endless. “Our nonprofit is a NeighborWorks America Chartered Member, and we often meet with organizations who are doing community development across the country,” said Marlee Pittman, director of community development for the Mid City Redevelopment Alliance. “Our national partners are all saying the same thing—COVID has made getting neighbors together to do these types of projects really challenging. The four new resident-led initiatives of Tipton’s Neighborhood Challenge are a testament to each of the neighborhoods. They came together to volunteer and their time—and to make an impact on Mid City.”

“Our residents consistently remind us how resilient they are,” added Symphony Malveaux, Mid City Redevelopment Alliance’s community relations coordinator. “Between COVID and a hurricane com

pletely shifting many of their ideas, they continued developing their communities. Neighborhoods can be an innovative space for growth and change. When local organizations like Mid City Redevelopment Alliance and Tipton Associates come to the table to support our amazing Mid City communities, it truly reflects how important it is to build these relationships. Working together, we move towards a more connected community representative of the people living within it.”


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