Kansas City, KS — Dotte Agency, a multi-disciplinary design collaborative at The University of Kansas School of Architecture & Design, engages neighborhoods to shape the built environment in order to improve public health.
A Dotte Agency community partner in Kansas City, KS, the Local Initiative Support Corporation, has received a $100,000 grant for neighborhood health work.
This grant from the Health Forward Foundation will help fund projects for Kansas City, Kansas’s Ivanhoe and Blue Hills neighborhoods. Some of these improvements will include additional community audits and expanding the ‘Blue Hills Beautiful Initiative’ which helps residents undertake small projects to add up to a larger community impact.
“We know that we're sending a message that our neighborhood is important to us and that we care enough to work on others' behalf. We believe that eventually [the Blue Hills Beautiful Initiative] will effect change in the hearts and minds of Blue Hills residents and together we'll build a safer, cleaner neighborhood," said Blue Hills Neighborhood Association President Cheryl Barnes in a recent LISC release.
The grant will also help fund improvements in safety, resident engagement, and active living.
These improvements will come from recommendations in the Health Happens in Neighborhoods report – a two-year research project conducted in part by the Dotte Agency. The report was meant to generate a better understanding of how the LISC’s investments in these neighborhoods “contribute to the health of a community and the individuals who live there.”
In combination with residents’ feedback, the report recommends programs that increase neighborhood services and knowledge, promote neighborhood wellness, and revitalization of the community and the environment, scaling programs to increase impact, constructing the built environment, and establishing the foundation for a thriving neighborhood.
“This is an instance where Dotte Agency’s preliminary neighborhood study has directly led to additional funding for some of the KC neighborhoods for their continued improvement,” said Nils Gore with the Dotte Agency. His collogues, Matt Kleinmann and Shannon Criss, helped complete the study.