Connections for Sustainability

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Livability is an indication of a community’s quality of life based on factors that include natural environments, economic prosperity, social stability and equity, educational opportunity and cultural, entertainment and recreation possibilities.

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Connections... Who & What

In the fall of 2010, the City of Greenville was awarded $1.8 million in grant funding to support a three-year planning effort. The grant was a combination of funding from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) and the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) as part of the interagency Partnership for Sustainable Communities. The City's proposal was one of 42 chosen throughout the country to receive funds, and only one of 14 to receive joint funding from HUD and DOT. The grant project began in spring 2011, and was titled Connections for Sustainability: Linking Greenville's Neighborhoods to Jobs and Open Space.

Connections for Sustainability: Linking Greenville's Neighborhoods to Jobs and Open Space worked to deliver all the benefits of a livable community - multi-modal access, affordable housing, and increase green space- to low-income residents most in need of those benefits by undertaking a comprehensive planning effort that valued community input.

Connections aimed to establish connections between affordable housing, transportation options, economic development opportunities and open space throughout the city, but focused on Greenville’s west side. The vision for this area is to drastically reverse the trend of decline, address blighted areas and improve the quality of life for the area’s residents. The economic development opportunities surrounding this vision would create jobs within the area and provide residents with direct connections, via improved transit service, to other major economic sectors.


Why Sustainability?

The Connections for Sustainability project sought to address sustainability as a balance between the following three equally important goals, particularly in the West Side neighborhoods (Southernside, West End, and West Greenville) where the need is greatest:

  1. Environment-Planet. Conserving natural systems and minimizing ecological impacts
  2. Equity-People. Focusing on people and communities and their needs.
  3. Economy-Prosperity/Profit. Creating a vibrant economy through the creation of wealth, prosperity, and jobs.

Affordable housing, economic development opportunities, open space and especially transportation options will be the proposed connections between the neighborhoods, the city and an improved quality of life.

What makes our community sustainable? These questions and more were discussed in depth during the Connections project, and will continue to be a focus as elements of each plan are implemented. With help from everyone, the process and outcomes of this project will continue to enable city and regional planners, policy-makers, developers, businesses and members of the community to sustain our community.

Top 5 Ways People Participated in the Connections Project

  1. Signed-up for Monthly Newsletter The monthly newsletter was a great source for the latest news and upcoming plans for the Connections for Sustainability project. Signing up ensured participants also received public meeting notices.
  2. Followed the website The Connections team to update the website with the latest information about public meetings and project progress. In addition, the Livability Educator posted current classroom projects, and a periodical Walk in the Woods series that is still the next best thing to going for a hike with a trained ecologist!
  3. Attended public meetings The Connections for Sustainability project was a local planning project that relied upon local input in order to be successful. The public meetings were perhaps the best way to get a complete picture of what was being discussed, and to take part in the actual conversation.
  4. Sent us your comments and suggestions We really wanted to hear from participants, and we did! If you saw something on our website, or heard something in our public meetings that raised a question, you called us or told us about it at one of the neighborhood meetings. We hope you keep the questions coming anytime you see something in one of the plans that piques your interest. Tell us in person, call us, or send us an email.
  5. Followed us on Facebook and Twitter The City of Greenville maintains a Facebook page and a Twitter feed. The latest Connections events and happenings were regularly posted there. Additionally, the Livability Educator, Jaclin DuRant, maintained her own Twitter account, and posted updates related to her work in the community, as well as her hikes in local recreational areas.
quotation marks image indicating a quote follows In the past, some strong ideas have been voiced about what makes a good place for living. A good place to live in is responsive to the needs of its present occupants and it suggests that there will be future changes to come.

- Mills' Mill Redevelopment,
Clemson University College of Architecture