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HI - We're looking for ideas, resources, implementation examples, etc from any community that has done some work around trauma-informed city planning, including in the areas of economic development, parks & open/public spaces, land use, transportation, and community facilities.  If anyone out there in this terrific ACES Connection universe has done or seen anything or has any examples you'd be willing to share, we would be so very grateful! Thanks in advance!

Melanie Snyder, Lancaster, PA

Original Post

What a terrific question, Melanie! I have wondered what a trauma-informed community could be like β€” physically β€” that truly supports residents in finding and creating joy. Of course there is the importance of equitable housing, access to healthcare, education, transportation, recreation, community gardens, faith communities, and more.  I will tweet this out and post it on LinkedIn and maybe we will get some answers. AND I have truly pondered this from the standpoint of helping to bring positive childhood experiences (PCEs) into the lives of children of all ages. Dr. Christina Bethell at Johns Hopkins has done a lot of research on the importance of children having positive experiences. I will add some links later today.

THere is also a nonprofit in Atlanta, GA, that has done a terrific job of buying blighted apartment complexes next to failing schools, making the rent affordable for families so the community and school population is stable, and adding playgrounds (Kaboom has helped!) and community gardens. There are other wrap-around services such as a resident after-school program that helps parents and children. In cases where this has happened, families become more stable, the school’s test scores go up, and the community gardens have netted enough produce for residents to have a farmer’s market. Too, crime has plummeted. I’m on my cell phone now so I will have to come back after posting to add in links, and will, as there have been ACEs Connection stories by and/or about Christina Bethell of Hopkins and Margie Stagmeier of 3-Star Communities/ Star-C in Atlanta. Both women are true visionaries.

I would love to see you connect with them and for the four of us to do an β€œA Better Normal” webinar in 2021, on what a truly healing-centered community could look like, what design aspects would be priorities. Also - what can an existing community do to retrofit itself?

I also know a very cool marketing firm that helps communities with signage and directionals. Having clear, ADA compliant directionals would be a part of this, too!

Again, great question! I am sure others have answers. We will try to find them!

Carey Sipp

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