Neighborhood Governance

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Until recently, the concept of neighborhood governance was difficult to grasp. How could they govern, and why? The arrival of near-universal access to digital media answered the how question. And the Why centers on preserving local culture, realizing the promise of democracy, and the efficient delivery of city services.

Governance vs. Government[edit]

For the purposes of this page, governance is the process of creating and influencing the form and leadership of government and the delivery of government services.


Devolution is the statutory delegation of powers from the central government of a sovereign state to govern at a subnational level, such as a regional or local level. It is a form of administrative decentralization. Devolved territories have the power to make legislation relevant to the area.[1].

Sharing in decisions about budgets, running local services, and shaping strategic services through neighborhood charters or agreements, taking the lead on action planning and participatory budgeting or starting neighborhood social enterprises.


Should devolution prove workable and desirable, it could result in a fundamental rebalancing and shifting of power in favor of residents and neighborhoods.

Today, a neighborhood's governance is influenced by many stakeholders.

  • Elected representatives (council, borough, state, federal).
  • Business organizations and BIDs.
  • Health, religious, and educational institutions.
  • Individual residents interacting with and through the above organizational stakeholders.

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