The Flourishing Neighborhood Index makes Holistic Neighborhood Development work more effective by offering key insight and boosting local trust. We know because our parent organization, Focused Community Strategies, uses the FNI every few years to make sure we’re in sync with our neighbors.
Last fall, neighbors in South Atlanta conducted surveys with their fellow neighbors. “The whole purpose is to see how the neighborhood changes or stays the same and how people feel they can vocalize that,” says Neighborhood Engagement Director Pamela Stringfield. We know that neighbors might feel more comfortable answering honestly when they’re facing other neighbors and not just our staff. And the survey is about honest conversation.
With this strategy, a handful of trained neighbors headed out to have these conversations. They asked what it’s like to live in the community, and how they think the neighborhood is doing overall. We ask about things like education, infrastructure, the local economy, and about the overall social fabric and feel of Historic South Atlanta.
A few months later, the data had been aggregated and was presented to local stakeholders at a Civic League meeting. Neighbors had identified “Sense of Place,” one of the 12 essential attributes of a flourishing community, as the area’s top strength. The FNI also revealed 4 areas where neighbors want to see more growth.
With the data in front of them, neighbors and FCS staff began dreaming together. In light of the data, what would we want to do next? Conversation buzzed. Now, FCS will be able to take those ideas and the initial FNI data to align its organizational plans.
This is what the process can look like for you when you work with the Lupton Center. Equip neighbors to engage their fellow neighbors. Glean the data you need while building trust. Then, collaborate with your community to create a clear and effective strategy for lasting change. We will be here to walk you through every step of the way.