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The neighborhoods of Fort Wayne were truly in the spotlight last week, as the City hosted the Regional Neighborhood Network Conference (RNNC). More than 350 neighborhood activists and government leaders from throughout the Midwest gathered in the Summit City to share ideas on how to encourage and sustain community development.

What better place to have such an event than right here in Fort Wayne! Because of the unique nature of this conference, we were able to showcase our City in a way most visitors don't have the opportunity to appreciate. The RNNC delegates were taken on bus tours highlighting Fort Wayne's major neighborhood accomplishments. They saw everything from parks to redeveloped brownfields. Among the sites RNNC showcased: Fort Wayne's West Central and Williams-Woodland Historic Districts; the Broadway Corridor Improvement Project; the Calhoun Street Corridor and the Old Mill Road traffic circle. RNNC delegates also caught of glimpse of several Fort Wayne parks, including Kettler, Foster and the Creighton neighborhood's pocket parks.

In addition to highlighting the fine neighborhood projects of our City, Fort Wayne employees offered their expertise on how to partner with neighborhood groups to make improvements in any community. The City hosted training sessions on neighborhood basics, like developing an active neighborhood association and recruiting volunteers, promoting neighborhoods through the media and internet, and securing funds for neighborhood improvements, either through local governments or private grants. City staff also shared their own experiences in brownfield redevelopment, strengthening historic neighborhoods and handling zoning issues.

RNNC was the perfect opportunity to showcase the City of Fort Wayne and its people to an audience stretching from Peoria, Illinois to Memphis, Tennessee. Our City is truly an example of what can happen when neighborhood residents partner with local government. You should all be proud to call Fort Wayne home.


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