Fayetteville City Gov: A Labor of Love

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Fayetteville City Gov: A Labor of Love

Cover photo captured by Steven Henderson on Instagram

The headline reads, “These Are The South’s Best Cities to Live in 2018”. Sitting at #5 in Southern Living’s most recent shortlist, Fayetteville receives its fair share of national Best Places to Live recognition.

But, why is that?

To answer that would take a while to unpack, but we know the answer can always be traced back to the people that inhabit the city and the work they do to constantly push it forward. In this way, it’s an unfolding story that evolves with time. That said, one place to watch this story unfold is in and around local government. Here are a handful of ways the City of Fayetteville is working to maintain its spot at the top.

"Gentle Density"

Fayetteville was recognized by the Congress for the New Urbanism for it’s response to this question: “How can Fayetteville become more pedestrian-friendly and mixed-use, and appeal to a growing number of people who want unique neighborhoods with urban amenities in close proximity?” One incremental answer was the adoption an accessory dwelling unit (ADU) ordinance that enables up to three units on the city’s single-family lots. Ultimately, ADU’s can be a viable option for residents who are looking to take care of an aging relative, accommodate diverse family arrangements, lower their out-of-pocket mortgage payments, or add to a retirement nest egg. Read more about Fayetteville’s “Gentle Density” approach HERE.

Public Transit

In case you missed our previous post, the City in partnership with the University of Arkansas and Ozark Regional Transit, announced a fare free ridership program that began on August 20th. No fees will be charged for rides and transfers on Ozark Regional Transit (ORT) and Razorback Transit within the city limits through the end of the year.

The fare free ridership program is just one of many Fayetteville Mobility Plan objectives to create a multi-model, equitable, and safe transportation system that promotes and supports economic growth and sustainability. Visit www.fayetteville-ar.gov/mobility to view the plan and implementation strategies.

Fayetteville Fleet

Ok, this was certain to go under the radar. Did you know that the Fayetteville Fleet was rated #19 of the 2018 100 Best Fleets in the Americas? The City’s fleet has been numbered among the top 100 for the past three years.

As the blog post notes, “Fayetteville employs a fleet of some 674 vehicles, including a wide variety of vehicles ranging from the pickup trucks used by Parks and Recreation to police cruisers to fire trucks to mowers, backhoes, dump trucks, and trash compactors. It’s fair to say that the smooth functioning of the City depends on these machines being fully operational and, when they break down, on their being expertly repaired.”

Learn more about the people responsible for maintaining this unheralded level of excellence HERE.

Creative Placemaking

Creative placemaking is when artists, arts organizations, and community development practitioners deliberately integrate arts and culture into community revitalization work – placing arts at the table with land-use, transportation, economic development, education, housing, infrastructure, and public safety strategies.

The National Endowment for the Arts recently announced 60 awards totaling $4.1 million supporting creative placemaking projects across the nation through the NEA’s Our Town program. South Fayetteville-based, Artist’s Laboratory Theatre is one of the recommended organizations for a grant of $25,000 to co-host a three-day community neighborhood planning charrette with the City of Fayetteville in November of 2018.

According to the press release, “the gathering will bring a team of national specialists from the fields of economic and community development along with artists, facilitators, and community members to address issues affecting the neighborhood of South Fayetteville. Community members from a wide-spectrum of socioeconomic backgrounds will learn and work alongside these specialists to craft action steps addressing issues such as rapid development, racial and economic equity, and the artistic interventions that can work to highlight the cultural landscape of the neighborhood, both honoring the neighborhood’s rich and diverse history as well as work towards equitable development for the neighborhood’s future.”

This month, Artist’s Lab is kicking off community engagement efforts with the Yard Party: A Community Gathering. Together with residents on September 8th, they will discuss neighborhood development and what the community wants and needs out of South Fayetteville, including the future of the neighborhood and which spaces should be utilized and how — all while enjoying music from neighborhood musicians!

Hunger Action

Did you know September was Hunger Action Month? The City of Fayetteville employees are conducting a food drive in September and donating collected goods to the Northwest Arkansas Food Bank. The public is invited to participate. Non-perishable food items are being collected at all City buildings including fire stations.

Speak Up

That is the latest call to action from the City of Fayetteville, which invites residents to provide feedback and ideas on city projects via a new online community engagement portal.

As reported by KNWA, the new platform is asking residents to speak up and give ideas on city projects like the Cultural Arts Corridor, the 71B Corridor Development Plan and the Study for Flood Management and Water Quality Funding.

Residents are welcome to take surveys through the new platform’s website which is called “Speak Up Fayetteville.”

 If you would like to learn more about “Speak Up Fayetteville,” click here.