Within the West Side’s different neighborhoods of Cool Springs, Tilton, Hilltop, The Flats and Little Italy there is a mix of cultural assets, strong institutions and neighborhood services, historic parks and homes, and local businesses that provide a commercial and employment base. But despite the West Side’s strong traditions and its engaged citizens, there are also serious challenges to overcome, including low educational attainment, crime and vacancy.
Interface Studio was hired by a collaboration of West Side neighborhood associations, organizations, and businesses to produce a plan to improve the quality of life for residents in all the West Side neighborhoods while maintaining the character that makes the West Side one of the most vibrantly diverse communities in Wilmington. The resident-driven plan was coordinated by a steering committee of 21 local community groups and neighborhood-based institutions led by Cornerstone West CDC.
Interface Studio worked with Wilson Associates to engage residents in creating a vision for the future of their neighborhood through resident surveys, stakeholder interviews, working committees, public meetings and collaborative mapping (both on-line and off) that gave community stakeholders an opportunity to share their place-specific thoughts and ideas. The resulting plan focused on community building, strengthening the housing stock and market, youth and education programs, economic development initiatives, and public space improvements.
Since the plan's completion, the West Side Grows Together coalition has been hard at work. Implementation efforts include moving forward on the redesign of neighborhood parks, launching Better Block events to demonstrate a complete streets approach on the main commercial corridor, submitting road improvement projects for state funding, organizing a vacant properties task force, hiring an economic development manager and organizing a business alliance to strengthen and support local commercial corridors.