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Shirley Ave. TDI Partnership launches participatory budgeting hub to help prioritize public realm improvements in the neighborhood

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Residents and business owners can now use ShirleyAve.com/Ideas to participate in urban planning initiatives and collaborate on creative solutions for Shirley Ave.

  The Revere Shirley Ave TDI Partnership announced this week a brand new participatory budgeting website for both residents and business owners to help distribute $275,000 in funding for improvements to outdoor spaces in and around Shirley Avenue. The results of the online tool, and complementary in-person engagement, will directly inform the use of public funding for streetscape, greenspace, public art and other outdoor improvements in the neighborhood over the next year. 

  “The public realm – including streetscapes, art, pocket parks and more – plays such a strong role in communicating a neighborhood’s identity,” Revere Transformative Development Initiative (TDI) Fellow Laura Christopher shared. “It’s fitting that through this process, community members will directly select improvements and shape that identity.” 

  The participatory budgeting process will be hosted on an online engagement platform called CoUrbanize. Whether you are a resident, worker, visitor or member of the business community, you can add an idea to the map or share your vision at an in-person event. Those wishing to participate can do so at ShirleyAve.com/Ideas today. Here, participants can add their ideas for public realm improvements and later vote on eligible projects. While all are welcome to add ideas, TDI partners ask that only those who find themselves in the Shirley Avenue neighborhood on a daily to weekly basis cast their vote to ensure neighborhood participation.

  The online engagement will be complemented by in-person events, beginning with a pop-up at Shirley Avenue’s Mobile Farmers Market at Sandler Square the morning of June 10. This project is being led by Revere’s TDI Partnership, which is led by Women Encouraging Empowerment, the City of Revere, The Neighborhood Developers and MGH/Revere Cares. The $275,000 in funding that will be spent according to community feedback is coming from the City of Revere; $260,000 of that funding comes from the Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) Program, and $15,000 comes from a regional arts grant, Make it Public, which the City of Revere received this past fall.

The Shirley Ave Participatory Budgeting (PB) process is being supported through MassDevelopment’s TDI, which is a program for Gateway Cities designed to accelerate economic growth within focused districts. The program works with cross-sector partnerships to engage community members in actionable planning, implement local economic development initiatives and spur further public and private investment. Revere’s Shirley Avenue neighborhood began its three-year participation in the TDI program in September 2022. Those wishing to learn more about TDI and the Shirley Ave TDI Partnership can visit www.shirleyave.com.

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