Inner-city neighborhoods lower crime while boosting education and economy

Reviving neighborhoods means more than renovating houses, building sidewalks and planting trees.

For Oklahoma City‘s Strong Neighborhoods Initiative, it also means filling playgrounds with children who read well and excel at math.

The city has directed about $3.5 million over the past three years into three inner-city neighborhoods.

For every public dollar invested, two private dollars — as measured by the value of building permits — have been invested. The eventual goal is a 4-to-1 private-to-public ratio.

Residents of the Classen Ten Penn, Classen’s North Highland Parked, and Culbertson’s East Highland neighborhoods are seeing home prices increase and crime drop.

And 400 children at two elementary schools have enrolled in science, technology, engineering, art and math (STEAM) academies sponsored in part by the Strong Neighborhoods Initiative.

Photo by Classen Ten Penn Neighborhood Association

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