Lublin, Poland | Case Study in the Institutionalization of Community Based Development

USAID, 1994 to 1997

The Unit assisted the City of Lublin in creating and institutionalizing a local initiative program for the rehabilitation and revitalization of neighborhoods through participatory processes, empowerment strategies, and the mobilization of local resources. The program is structured as a partnership between the City and the community, and is focused on providing infrastructure, upgrading roads and public space, improving environmental quality, and fostering development of housing and economic activities. The pilot project, launched in two underserviced neighborhoods suffering from marginalization for over 30 years, led to the rehabilitation of over 257 houses and fostered the development of 90 microenterprises in less than 3 years, relying exclusively on local financial resources. Improvements are continuing and have expanded beyond the pilot project areas. The demonstrated effectiveness of the Local Initiative Program has earned it international recognition. Lublin’s Local Initiative Program received a Best Practice Award for excellence in improving the living environment at the Habitat II Conference in Istanbul in June 1996. The Unit then assisted the City in structuring the expansion of the Program to promote revitalization of the historic center Stare Miasto and engage owners and tenants in the rehabilitation of structurally sound historic buildings, to valorize and safeguard Lublin’s cultural heritage.

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