Interim Learning and Research Report: The College Hill Alliance and the Knight Neighborhood Challenge, Macon, GA
For decades, urban universities focused inward, shielding themselves from the impact of the long-term disinvestment that destroyed their neighboring communities. Today in many cities, universities are realizing that their own success is tied to that of their neighbors, and have formed partnerships with their local communities to jointly drive urban revitalization.
In 2009, the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation made a $5 million investment to revitalize the College Hill neighborhood surrounding Mercer College in Macon, Georgia. Knight’s investment builds off of a recently-completed master plan and its community-based vision for College Hill, harnessing the energies of institutions, CBOs, private partners, and current and new leaders to begin to create a great community in which to live, work, and play.
In January 2010, Knight engaged the OMG Center as a research and learning partner to the initiative. In this first report, we highlight the early story of how the work in College Hill is evolving, as well as its early successes, challenges, and lessons learned. We also make suggestions for future directions.
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