The character and overall feel of a neighborhood and its streets are often what make it special and set it apart.
How safe and pleasant people perceive a residential area is the most important factor in the neighborhood's health.
Economic factors, such as employment rates and home ownership levels, heavily influence neighborhood health.
Identity describes how residents view their own neighborhood; whether they view it as safe, friendly, and attractive.
Long-term, effective neighborhood revitalization necessitates knitting together many varied threads of activity.
Elm Street: A Five-Point Approach
Inspired by the widespread, positive impact that the Pennsylvania Main Street program has had in revitalizing the commonwealth's downtowns and urban corridors, Representative Robert Freeman's proposed development of a similar, integrated approach to revitalization of Pennsylvania's older residential areas bordering Main Streets and central business districts.
Colleagues demonstrated enthusiastic support through unanimous passage of the Elm Street Act, which Governor Edward G. Rendell signed in February 2004.
Too many of the nation's urban neighborhoods have fallen into disrepair. Disinvestment, outmigration and aftershocks of urban renewal have left many of these history-rich communities battling for survival. In these "core communities," Pennsylvania has a major untapped asset, and with help from an Elm Street program, these historic, authentic and unique neighborhoods can once again thrive, supporting the downtowns and commercial districts that they surround.