Community Development Block Grant
Success Stories

Portsmouth, VA - Mayor James W. Holley, III

Vision 2005 Strategy

In 1993, the City of Portsmouth began formulating an integrated redevelopment and revitalization strategy, as well as a decision-making structure, which would take advantage of the talents and abilities of the City's residents and staff. The Vision 2005 strategy builds on the unique opportunities and challenges that Portsmouth's history and location offer. It was developed and implemented in response to citizen and City staff interest in finding new ways of addressing the declining vitality and quality of life in some parts of the City.

Brainstorming by citizens and City staff produced four major initiative areas within the City - Downtown, Effingham/Elm Avenue, Scott's Creek Neighborhoods, and Midtown - and a Vision 2005 committee was formed for each. Each is chaired by a member of the City Council and comprised of City staff, civic leaders and business leaders representative of the demographic and geographic makeup of their area.

The Vision 2005 committee provides citizens with the opportunity to work directly with the City staff and the City's urban design consultant in suggesting, reviewing and recommending redevelopment and revitalization projects for their area. When a project is recommended by the committee, it is forwarded to the Vision 2005 Mayor's Steering Committee for consideration. That Committee reviews the recommendations from the area committees to ensure that the projects are within the Comprehensive Plan and the overall Vision 2005 strategy. Projects recommended by the Mayor's Steering Committee then are presented to the City Council for final approval and funding.

Portsmouth officials say the strategy has united multiple segments of their community behind one clear vision for the City's future. The review and decision-making structure has provided citizens with the authority, responsibility and resources needed for them to reconnect with their City government; it has produced unprecedented citizen enthusiasm, support, and political consensus concerning the revitalization of the City.

Funding for Vision 2005 initiatives has come from a variety of sources, including CDBG, HOPE VI, the State Housing Development Authority, and local public and private interests.

Contact: Douglas Smith, Office of Plans and Policy, (757) 393-5081

Collaborative Efforts

Inkster, MI - Mayor Edward Bivens, Jr.

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The United States Conference of Mayors

J. Thomas Cochran, Executive Director
1620 Eye Street, NW, Washington, DC 20006
Telephone (202) 293-7330, FAX (202) 293-2352

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