Outstanding Achievement Award (cities over 100,000)

Jacksonville: Mayor John A. Delaney
"Intensive Care Neighborhoods"


The Mayor's Intensive Care Neighborhoods Program is an initiative to improve long-neglected neighborhoods in the City of Jacksonville. The process coordinates local government, the school system, non-profit organizations, businesses, churches and residents to not only identify and prioritize problems but also to work together to solve them. 

In April 1996, Major John Delaney announced the four areas that were chosen to receive "Intensive Care" in six categories: education, infrastructure/city services, public safety, social services, housing and community development. The neighborhoods were chosen because of their low-achieving schools, poor housing conditions, high crime rate and high unemployment. 

Success of the program - which was to include no increase in the city's budget - depended on two factors: 

  • City departments would need to work together like never before. 
  • Citizen participation would be critical in all phases - including planning. 
Changes have been so significant that on the second anniversary of the program, Mayor Delaney announced the addition of a fifth Intensive Care Neighborhood. Citizens in one of the original four neighborhoods have attained a level of sustainability that their neighborhood will soon be phased out of the program.