OMAHA, Neb. (KMTV) — The Southside Redevelopment Corporation is a new nonprofit in South Omaha that is leading revitalization efforts in the community. They focus on three pillars — mixed-income housing, cradle to career education pipeline and community vibrancy.
They were meeting with the community in person to get feedback about what residents want to see change in their neighborhood when COVID hit. Once they weren't able to gather anymore they had to shift.
They worked with the Parks and Recreations Department of the City of Omaha to create an interactive art installation that now stands on the corner of 30th and Y street.
"We thought this would be a fun way to capture some of the feedback and desires of residents and we also had a smaller in person meeting with residents and they really said they wanted something colorful and something bright to see in the neighborhood. So we thought this was a good idea,” said Crystal Sierra, project manager of Southside Redevelopment Corporation.
On one side of the cube is a colorful map of the community. The other sides are created from chalkboard paint and asks residents what their ideal neighborhood has and doesn't have.
Chalkboard is available on the cube for residents to write their responses.
"It’s a lot of things and it varies depending on who you talk to, but I would say the number one concern right now is just increasing safety, whether that’s fixing some of the lighting, the sidewalks, reduction in violent crime, was a common thing that we’ve seen. Other items are like park improvements, bike routes, seating, better public spaces," Sierra said.
Sierra said the cube is a good conversation starter, especially because of it's location. Once Southside receives enough responses they'll begin implementing changes.
"We’re gong to be changing out the question to continue to get additional feedback. After that we’ll go through all the responses and gather all the input and also figure out how to interactively ask the community to prioritize these responses. Then try to get moving on some of the changes they’d like to see," Sierra said.