Neighboring Concepts is working alongside the Housing Authority of the City of Asheville to transform the existing West Asheville Deaverview community into a vibrant and innovative mixed-income, mixed-use, multi-generational rental community, with home ownership opportunities. The intent of this project is to establish an environmentally sustainable neighborhood by following the Purpose Built Community’s model to create an accessible, pedestrian-oriented environment through quality streetscape and open space and design, while promoting interconnectivity between residents and the larger community. The Neighboring Concepts team was chosen for this project based on our ability to maximize the participation of current community residents in all aspects of planning, design, construction, and operations of the Purpose Built Community.
The Deaverview development project is structured for resident input to guide the masterplan and site development. Maximizing community engagement is key to the success of this project. Together, Neighboring Concepts and the Housing Authority have created multiple platforms to listen to community residents. In the interest of social distancing and following local guidelines on in-person gatherings, the design team has conducted limited in-person community engagement sessions outdoors. In order to supplement our more typical in-person community engagement approaches, the team has created a multi-media approach to community engagement to maximize equity in engagement opportunities during the COVID-19 global pandemic. A historically disadvantaged community, resident health, access to internet, and access to PPE varies throughout the existing Deaverview neighborhood, furthering the need for multiple opportunities and platforms to engage with the project.
In addition to outdoor, socially distanced in-person sessions, web-hosted input opportunities are being used to for residents to provide zero-contact input at any time of day that works best for their schedule. Monthly recurring video meetings offer digital opportunities for residents to provide live zero-contact input. For residents that may struggle with technology barriers, printed materials have been created for distribution to all current residents via their mailboxes. The project approach includes a 5-person committee of current Deaverview residents who have been deployed to collect survey responses in-person by going door-to-door around the neighborhood while maintaining social distancing and other current COVID protocols.