Creating a stronger and more resilient Shreveport by growing a culture
of engagement and trust between citizens, businesses, and government.
Why Re:Form is Needed
Since its founding in 1836, Shreveport's built environment has been formed by a variety of economic, and social forces. Built environments are the physical structures - buildings, roads, public spaces, and service infrastructure that provide the foundation on which our city's business and social interactions stand. Today, the built environment in our community is in need of re-forming to suit the needs of a 21st century economy and to create a fiscally sustainable and prosperous city.
Re:Form Shreveport exists to bring people together in conversation and action to find and implement solutions to improve Shreveport's built environment. We do this by instigating dialogue and providing real world exercises in the community to illustrate the methods of meaningful communication between all stakeholders of land use (everybody). To accomplish this, we take inspiration from leading thinkers and communities regarding urban planning and community development, and apply those concepts to find the best way forward for Shreveport.
Core Tenets of Re:Form
The foundation of a strong city is one that is fiscally responsible and stable over the centuries. There are a few core principles that we can look to which have worked over millennia of human development which are still important today.
One of the most basic concepts important to ReForm is understanding that we don't have all the answers today and new challenges will arise tomorrow. What is important to build within community, business, and government is a culture of trial and error. We should work to try new things and leave behind doing things the way they have been done if they don't work. We can take an idea from somewhere else or build new ones from scratch. What's important is making an effort, and that effort be guided by the remaining three principles.
In a healthy community, the design, development, and ordinance culture (including regulatory bodies and their employees) are empowered to make good decisions. Learning to enable take calculated risk in search of better practices - be it building codes, new infrastructure, or bettering amenities. This means allowing individual city employees the agency to say "yes" to simple needs of citizens and business in order to address issues where changes are needed in a timely manner. This is important in a community that wants to be business friendly and respect the needs and quality of life for the citizens.
Without people, there is no community. Government cannot function in the best interest of the people if their voices are not heard. ReForm seeks to change this by growing direct lines of communication between neighbors, businesses, and city leaders.
We are currently doing this with our efforts in ReForming Highland Park, where citizens have become a part of the process of shaping the future of this public asset and harnessing it to its best potential. However, this process can be applied to any exploration into the use of city assets or discussion about liabilites.
Oftentimes, to make the best decisions, we need hard numbers. Data can reveal truths we feel we know in our gut or show us that we were wrong and we can use that to make better decisions in the future.
However, if we are not collecting data or making it available to everyone in a transparent and timely manner, that data isn't being used to its full potential. We aim to make robust data collection, usage, and sharing the norm for all city projects - from streets and sidewalks to land use and public spaces.