A well-executed, intelligent plan, backed up by a healthy influx of federal funding - can have a major impact on the quality of life, not to mention housing values, in a neighborhood.
The Near East Side of Aurora, despite its proximity to a revitalizing downtown, has experienced high vacancy rates, a paucity of retail outlets in the area, and a relatively low-income population with low levels of educational attainment. Residents, however, enjoy the area and feel that they have a stake in improving it.
The City of Aurora, together with local planning groups and neighborhood residents, is in the midst of a planning process geared at transforming the Near East Side with the aid of Community Development Block Grant Funds.
You can read more of the details at the Metropolitan Planning Council site.