The Cedars Neighborhood Association in Downtown Dallas Announces Key Milestone In Crime Reduction And Neighborhood Revitalization

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Achieving goals in crime reduction, quality of life improvements push once blighted neighborhood into “hot spot” status.

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The Cedars neighborhood in Downtown Dallas is transforming quality life through the Active Neighbor Model.

The Cedars has become home to a new wave of urban dwellers lured by the proximity to the burgeoning growth of Dallas’ urban core while embracing the convenience of the eclectic and historic neighborhood. Residents are now transforming the Cedars into a unique community that nurtures vibrant, creative people, enriching Dallas with character and culture.

Stakeholders in the neighborhood in conjunction with The Cedars Neighborhood Association (CNA), rally around an “active neighbor” model to reduce crime to its lowest in years. Neighborhood activists consist mainly of stakeholders and civil servants, who have a keen understanding of the neighborhood, the neighbors, the businesses, and all relevant city services. Cedars Neighborhood Association President Michael Przekwas attributes the ability to “get things done” in The Cedars to the grass-roots efforts of the “active neighbor” model, started only a few years ago, in civic presence, outreach and inclusion programs and legislative initiatives. The main focus in recent years, says Przekwas, has been quality of life initiatives that involve a diverse group of stakeholders in an effort that represent every aspect of this diverse, historic community.

While other areas of Dallas seem to sometimes get bogged down in committees, endless meetings or red-tape, The Cedars seems to be hitting the right mix and a new stride by intelligently addressing quality of life issues and concerns of neighbors in a very “hand-on, everybody gets involved” way. Rather than focusing on initiatives that take years of planning or that have the propensity to be derailed for various reasons, the model driven by the CNA focuses on initiatives that can provide an immediate impact to the neighborhood and (here’s the key point) involved the very neighbors each initiative seeks to help. The result-- double digit crime reduction achieved through vigilance, active involvement with Police, and designing beautification projects with crime prevention in mind. As a side benefit and likely a result of the efforts over the last several years, The Cedars continues to see residential growth, thus bolstering the CNA’s active neighbor base.

With very few resources and in only a few years, these active neighbors have accomplished:

1. Most Improved neighborhood award
2. Active crime prevention programs
3. Artistic paintings on old “gateway” viaducts
4. Neighbor and business partnerships to build neighborhood parks
5. Crime Prevention Through Environmental Design (CPTED)
6. Neighborhood night outs
7. Cedars Holiday for Kids-Every child gets a gift program
8. Active Crime watch participation
9. Instituted a Community Charter to promote developments that support community vision.
10. Very active neighborhood association
11. Successful annual Open Studios neighborhood art event
12. Public Art Projects
13. New hotel and restaurant growth

The Cedars community has developed a positive approach to getting things accomplished and have been very successful doing so. The Cedars community is quickly transforming itself from a “so called” transitional neighborhood to “one of the new hot spots to live in Dallas”, says the Dallas Observer newspaper. It seems no matter where you find yourself in The Cedars neighborhood; it is hard to beat the sweeping panorama of downtown Dallas’ magnificent skyline. It is also one of the safest areas of Dallas based on city crime statistics. The residents know that once the significant issues and concerns were addressed, The Cedars would be one of the most amazing areas in the city, with a great deal of untapped potential. The Cedars is literally downtown’s “front yard”; and “cleaning up the yard a bit” became a neighborhood pastime. This close knit group wants The Cedars to maintain its’ charming character while becoming a phenomenal place to live, work and play. These urban innovators that call the downtown Dallas neighborhood home are now ready to present The Cedars to the rest of the world.

Hard work, commitment, relationship building and constant communication are the keys to building the cozy, urban oasis called The Cedars. Leveraging the “active neighbor” model, this community continues to build on their success in promoting a high quality of life merely footsteps from Downtown Dallas, Texas.

Leveraging the “active neighbor” model, this community continues to build on their success in promoting a high quality of life merely footsteps from Downtown Dallas, Texas.
If you would like more information or to set up an interview, please contact the Cedars Neighborhood Association board (at) CNAdallas (dot) com or join us at The Cedars-Dallas on Facebook

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Michael Przekwas

Suzanne Fleming
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