Engaging Community Stakeholders to Inform Healthful City Redevelopment and Land Use

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Introduction: The effect of urban sprawl on climate change and related mortality and morbidity gives strong justification for strategic land use. Revitalization efforts can help reverse the deterioration of town centers and mitigate urban sprawl. However, redevelopment and gentrification can cause residential displacement and, along with local governments shifting resources, create inequity and mistrust. The purpose of this study was to assess stakeholder’s perspectives on conditions for supporting revitalization.

Methods: A purposeful sample of stakeholders (n=32) from public and private sectors in a small Georgia town participated in individual in-depth interviews. Stakeholders were asked their perceptions of revitalization. Three aspects: renovate, demolish, and adding greenspace were central questions. Interviews were transcribed and two reviewers independently analyzed data for themes by question and phrase level.

Results: Renovating was highest priority while adding green space lowest. Eight themes related to supporting revitalization were reported including, leadership, clear planning, and no negative impact on business or residents. Seven themes related to losing support included conflict with values, corruption, and lack of transparency. Themes related to advantages and disadvantages, mobilizing support, and characteristics of opposing stakeholders were observed.

Discussion: This process aided in developing a roadmap for garnering community support by informing local government and organizations of stakeholder strengths and concerns. Instead of collective opposition, organizers were able to avoid perceptions of exclusion and inequity, while addressing land use concerns. Although renovating; a cost and waste reduction option, was a priority, much work is needed to educate about the need for green space.


American Public Health Association Annual Meeting (APHA)


Atlanta, GA