This paper presents a case study of Gardens and Green Spaces (GGS), a resident-driven, grant-funded project in Cleveland, Ohio working toward community change. Through both placemaking and entrepreneurial strategies, the main grant objectives are to effect change at the intersection of food (and agriculture), arts, and culture in Kinsman, a 96% Black Neighborhood on Cleveland’s east side. While community development (CD) projects are often designed by outside ‘experts’ who inform the scope and focus of grant-funded projects, this project is rooted in the hypothesis that a resident-driven approach to CD will lead to increased community buy-in and participation, resulting in more lasting and substantive community change. GGS works across sectors, integrating arts, culture, and food to promote placemaking and community-based entrepreneurial engagement as a path towards greater health, equity, and economic resilience. This paper argues that community-based and resident-driven development—although not without its own challenges—can result in more holistic community transformation across sectors, with the potential for greater resident participation, sustainability, and equity. The case study presented in this paper, including in-depth interviews and neighborhood surveys, is an examination of the pilot phase of GGS, and argues that both placemaking and entrepreneurialism represent a negotiation between market driven community development and a solely philanthropic model. It provides insight into more equitable and sustainable change that has the potential to shift the traditional paradigm of expert driven, or “outside-in” community development.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Agronomy and Crop Science