Bridges

Bridges Winter 2014-2015

Bridges is a quarterly review of regional community and economic development issues, projects and regulatory changes for practitioners from community-based organizations, as well as for Community Reinvestment Act officers, academics and government of

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I N D E X T H E F E D E R A L R E S E R V E B A N K o f S T . L O U I S | C E N T R A L T O A M E R I C A ' S E C O N O M Y W I N T E R 2 0 1 4 – 2 0 1 5 5 6 8 Come for the Food, Stay for the Community: The New Roots "Fresh Stop" Project cdac spotlight Entrepreneurship in Northwest Tennessee: Successes and Challenges Creative Innovation Zone Fig. 1: Construction is nearing completion on an 11-unit affordable housing development in the Baptist Town neighborhood. Photograph by Emily Roush-Elliott. By Emily Roush-Elliott I n the economic and community development fields, individuals and organizations are continually striving to make large-scale, positive impacts in their home communities. ese efforts are sometimes well supported in terms of funding and other forms of capacity, but more often we are challenged to do much with little. As an architect, I bring a specific perspective to my work with the Greenwood-Leflore-Carroll Economic Development Foundation (GLCEDF) that broadens not only the scope of the projects we engage in, but also the ways in which we approach our work and the ways we measure success. Beginning with a period of study in Buenos Aires, Argentina, while still in architecture school, I began to see the potential for architecture to serve as a vehicle to build equity by decreas- ing the social and economic disparities that result from cultural and political structures. Today, my work is in the field of social impact architecture. Within this still-developing subset of architecture, my work is defined by Designing Development Work for Greater Outcomes an expanded involvement in a project outside of the scope that an architect would normally influence. is means that I bring design skills to the table both earlier and later in the develop- ment process. On the front end, this may include helping a neighborhood to articulate and prioritize commu- nitywide challenges and aspirations, providing input on a city's Com- munity Development Block Grant (CDBG) application, or assisting a nonprofit in assessing its long-term goals. A built project may or may not result from this process. Alternatively, social impact architects also use their training to design public events, pro- vide services and develop methods of engaging communities. In Greenwood, Miss., I lead a neighborhood revitalization effort >> continued on Page 3

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