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Seeding investment and empowerment within a (formerly) overlooked community 

With funding from the Wachovia Regional Foundation, the Francisville Neighborhood Development Corporation (FNDC) hired Interface Studio to undertake a comprehensive plan for Francisville.  We were charged with bringing a number of public and private organizations already active in the community together around one common vision. 

The plan focuses on building consensus to address the residents’ most significant concerns; mitigating the prevalence of vacant property and crime; addressing the lack of services for youth; and bringing back Ridge Avenue as the commercial heart of the community.  

To promote greater awareness of the community and the plan, we utilized a number of public forums and meetings to spark discussion, designed and distributed a community survey and deployed a public video installation in collaboration with the Klip Collective.  The installation occupied a three-story blank wall every evening for 6 months and told the story of the community and the plan.

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Since the plan’s completion, the FNDC has used the plan as a tool to guide high-profile development review for a key parcel of publicly-owned vacant land across from the neighborhood playground and recreation center; launch an environmental maintenance training and employment program for local youth; and transform an overgrown mid-block alley space into a new community park, complete with an orchard, herb garden, sitting area, mural, and lushly planted lawn.  With more energy than ever before and building capacity everyday, the FNDC remains busy with the work of revitalizing Francisville.   

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