Portland is one of seven communities nationwide chosen for the American Institute of Architects' national community assistance program that will help officials improve the East Bayside neighborhood.
A group of architects and planners from AIA's collaborative Sustainable Design Assessment Team program will work with city officials and others to develop a framework for sustainable neighborhood development for East Bayside, according to a press release from the University of Southern Maine's Muskie School of Public Policy, a partner in the project. The team will work with public officials, community leaders and residents to identify the neighborhood's opportunities and challenges for future growth, and "provide invaluable consulting services on how to better utilize local assets, transform blighted areas and make this neighborhood more pedestrian friendly," says Joel Mills, director of the AIA Center for Communities by Design.
The Muskie School, the East Bayside Neighborhood Organization and the city applied for the program last fall in an effort to improve the 130-acre neighborhood, home to the most diverse population in Maine as well as the poorest neighborhood in Portland.
The other six communities to be chosen for the program include Allegheny County, Pa., Allentown, Pa., Bridgeport, Conn., Coos Bay, Or., Ithaca, N.Y., and Oxford, Miss.