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Allentown, PA

Jordan Heights is a 24-block densely populated neighborhood of approximately 8,000 residents located in center city Allentown. Though this area was once a draw for residents of the Lehigh Valley, it has now become one of the most physically and economically distressed in the region. With funding from the Wells Fargo Regional Foundation, the Community Action Development Corporation of Allentown (CADCA) retained Urban Partners to develop a plan for the community that would engage neighborhood residents, youth, and the nonprofit sector in partnership with city government and corporate stakeholders to devise meaningful solutions to the Jordan Heights neighborhood’s problems.

“Connecting Jordan Heights: Action Strategies for Neighborhood Revitalization” was created with strong community involvement. Key concerns were organized into six categories, which were addressed by task forces comprised of residents, service providers, city officials, and others. Findings from the task forces were brought back to the steering committee and used to generate the plan which is composed of eight distinct action strategies:

  1. Build neighborhood organization through improved community security,

  2. Improve the quality of life in Jordan Heights through community amenities,

  3. Market Jordan Heights as a Homeownership Choice Neighborhood,

  4. Connect Jordan Heights residents to effective services and programming,

  5. Create a clean, green, and artistic community,

  6. Strengthen rental property maintenance and operations,

  7. Connect Jordan Heights to the Lehigh Valley through more effective and attractive circulation and commercial activity, and

  8. Coordinate overall program activities.


Within each of the action strategies, specific actions have been identified to coordinate existing planning efforts by civic and public agencies; to connect residents to appropriate services and to each other; to build relationships between residents and service providers, the police department and other City agencies; to organize youth leadership in providing a range of appropriate programming, and to connect the neighborhood itself to the Jordan Creek Greenway.

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