MCRP students in the Planning Studio this fall semester are continuing work with the nonprofit organization, NeighborWorks Lincoln, in the historic South Salt Creek Neighborhood in Lincoln, which is adjacent to the southwest part of downtown—directly south of the west Haymarket area. NeighborWorks Lincoln is one of the more than 240 locally-situated NeighborWorks organizations in the national congressionally-chartered NeighborWorks America network, which was established originally as the Neighborhood Reinvestment Corporation under Title VI of the federal Housing and Community Development Amendments of 1978. Not unlike other organizations in the NeighborWorks America network, the mission of NeighborWorks Lincoln is to revitalize Lincoln neighborhoods and promote home ownership for low- and moderate-income, first-time homebuyers.
In the South Salt Creek Neighborhood, NeighborWorks Lincoln is now completing a half-block project, Cooper Commons, which includes seven new single-family dwelling units organized around a commons area. In conjunction with this project and in fulfillment of its broader mission to improve distressed neighborhoods, NeighborWorks Lincoln is also working with residents to address a variety of neighborhood needs.
The Community and Regional Planning students are continuing work that was initiated by the 2016 fall semester Planning Studio, also in collaboration with NeighborWorks Lincoln. The planning students are studying a range of issues in the neighborhood, researching best practices that are being utilized to revitalize neighborhoods in other cities, and presenting alternatives for the South Salt Creek Neighborhood. Students in the 2017 Planning Studio will be working on this project during the entire fall semester. One of the activities in the first week of the studio this semester was a walking tour of the Hawley Historic District, directly east of UNL’s downtown campus, where NeighborWorks Lincoln in recent years has completed several remarkable residential rehabilitations and context-sensitive new housing projects.