University Heights: A Neighborhood of Change
is a story project asking residents to respond to the statement, “Tell me about an experience that changed you.” Responses will be either video recorded or audio recorded, or even hand-written (for the camera-shy). The responses will be edited into a documentary video collage about our always changing neighborhood.
Project Summary and Need
While all our county neighborhood associations seem to have similar concerns about the lack of residents’ participation, the University Heights Association has an added challenge in engaging residents due to the transient nature of our community. Many residents are temporary: students, living in the neighborhood while they attend UNM or CNM, or young couples who start their families here before moving to larger homes in more suburban neighborhoods. We also have long-term residents who have chosen this neighborhood for the very fact that it is an active and vibrant place.
The makeup of our neighborhood is constantly changing but rather than look at change as an obstacle, our vision is to celebrate change and find connections in the stories and experiences that make us who we are as individuals and who we are as a neighborhood. By getting to know our residents, our board will be able to better serve the needs of our neighborhood.
One of our duties as a board is to participate in local government serving as a conduit for information: disseminating information about government projects that will affect our residents, and gathering input from our residents. As a board if we are engaged with our community we can better affect development of public policy, especially in areas such as public transportation, allocation of crime and safety resources, and zoning.
While crime prevention is not the focus of this project, neighbors who know each other are more likely to watch out for each other—a neighborhood where neighbors know each other, is a safer neighborhood.