In the spring of 2011, the City began a federally funded project in order to develop a unified and comprehensive plan for Greenville's west side, which is home to 3 of the City's Special Emphasis Neighborhoods. Entitled Connections for Sustainability: Linking Greenville's Neighborhoods to Jobs and Open Space.
West side planning integrates on-going efforts with future plans for affordable housing, transportation options, economic development opportunities, and open space in the community. Education and outreach ensured that city residents and community leaders were familiar with the best practices for creating a sustainable community and were kept informed throughout the planning and implementation processes.
Community involvement encouraged input and guaranteed that all planning efforts represent the community’s vision for the future. Engaging the public in every step of the planning process helped increase support for the implementation of the community vision. A Livability Educator worked with school-aged children and public school teachers to develop a Livability Curriculum, complete with fun do-it-yourself lessons that can be implemented at home or at school. These lessons, coloring books, and other educational materials put students of all ages in touch with the nature in their own backyards.
The project combines $1.8 million in funding from the HUD Community Challenge and DOT Tiger II Planning Grants with over $1 million in local and federal investments, outreach, and community involvement. The citywide planning effort is complete and can now guide Greenville's growth in ways that improve quality of life for all residents and function as the groundwork for planning on the west side.