Over a month ago I came across this New York Times The Bright Side of Blight Op-Ed piece. The post in general is about neighborhood revitalization efforts but in particular talks about Philadelphia neighborhood Kensington. Just like anyone this author is a strong proponent of holistic development and therefore compares a local CDC's effort to start revitalization efforts by employing land-based strategies to a scatter-shot approach.  

Furthermore, I realized that the author was talking about New Kensington CDC (where we have three very intelligent, highly capable and dedicated VISTAs). I understand that only relying on land-based strategies or job training agencies or even getting rid of crime in the area is not going to regenerate a neighborhood. Neighborhood revitalization is complex and it requires a stable political environment, right mix of community activists and leaders, organizations dedicated to one goal and plenty of planning, money and TIME. But this author's criticism reminded me of few other times where community economic development professionals have faced criticism for taking on a particular project. The criticism is that most of this projects at times bring in negative aspects or are too short sighted. 

Many forget that these efforts take vision, time and above all need a dedicated patient leader. During the LA NTI, New Kensington was recognized for their Sustainable 19125 efforts and that is a start. That initiative is not an answer to end of blight but just the start of the regeneration of this neighborhood. 

So my question here is what do you think is the bright side of blight? Is there any?

Use the comment section below to share your thoughts.