October 7-8 2016 || Downtown Shreveport
The first event hosted by Re-Form Shreveport featured the Strong Towns organization, of which Tim Wright was a member. The Strong Towns organization specializes in showing cities how they can pursue development that is financially sustainable. This message applies very well to Shreveport given our existing infrastructure funding issue, among other development challenges. In addition, Strong Towns provided a platform for concerned citizens to engage with city leaders and learn about steps that could be taken to make Shreveport a better city to live in.
This event came together with the help of several entities that helped to fund, provide resources, and publicize the event. Community Foundation and the Caddo Parish Commission, along with other private donations, provided the funding, while the Shreveport Downtown Development Authority, SporTran, Heliopolis, and Fusiform Design provided in-kind donations and services to execute the event. Finally, the Caddo Parish Commission and Metropolitan Planning Commission publicized the event at their monthly meetings.
The Strong Towns event included a Keynote Presentation and Walking Tours. The Keynote (embedded below) allowed Chuck Marohn, president of the Strong Towns organization, to share the Strong Towns message with Shreveport citizens and policymakers concerning what makes cities financially productive and prosperous. The following day, Strong Towns hosted walking tours throughout different parts of the city, primarily downtown and immediately surrounding neighborhoods, showing how some of the concepts presented in the keynote could be applied directly to Shreveport. Finally, several private meetings were hosted with different community leaders in order to give some guidance on how to further lead the city in the right direction.
What Was Accomplished
To continue the conversation that was started at the Strong Towns event, the Re-Form team has identified several steps we want to take. First, we want to empower local citizens to undertake small projects throughout Shreveport that improve our neighborhoods. Such an example is seen through the subsequent Re-Form Highland Park Cleanup in which local citizens used an innovative solution to invest in a park that currently gets little attention from the city. Second, we would like to analyze different development decisions in the City of Shreveport according to how they impact the city financially. Thirdly, we would like to find examples of action that citizens are taking to improve Shreveport, and give them a voice in order to further their work