"Quality of Life" Programs
Many community development efforts involve assessment of quality-of-life indicators and the development of action plans to improve neighborhoods for the individuals and families that reside within them. An ongoing challenge of community development initiatives is sustaining implementation of improvements, when human and financial resources are constrained and expanded quickly. The novelty in this approach came in the utilization of an organic approach to framing community action, coupled with the utilization of insights from a best practice model of framing community action (Graf, 2008). There has been an abundance of research on neighborhoods that have been revitalized through community building efforts.
A novel approach to extending human and financial resource capacity through a long-term investment by community partners was developed for City of Phoenix, Arizona neighborhoods. Through a dynamic collaboration between a non-profit foundation, United Way, City of Phoenix Firefighters, and a neighborhood revitalization corporation, both human and financial resources were committed to improving the quality-of-life in Mary vale Village, a “distressed” neighborhood in western Phoenix (Burk & Knopf, 2009). The investment became known as the “Fire Star Fund” through which financial resources were funneled to pay for quality-of-life improvements marshaled by City of Phoenix Firefighters in the concert with neighborhood partners. Through interviews and focus groups, the College of Public Programs was able to document the neighborhoods’ assets and the residents’ collective vision for improving the quality-of-life in their community. The mission of this program was to minimize social and economic stress of the people, who live in the metro area. The main goals of this mission were to provide a financial and human assistance and support to the people of the metro area neighborhood in case of emergency situations through a quality-of-life Program and to provide support for this program (Burk & Knopf, 2009). Community members, therefore, will appreciate the benefits of this program in the future.
Another quality-of-life issue, which is worth mentioning, is the one, which deals with parks, recreation and tourism areas. A contemporary approach to the environment is guided by the environmental programs, which are designed with the aim to improve parks, recreation and tourism management. The research asserts that environmental management has become of keen interest to specific community members, who live in these areas, as well as tourists, who are visiting these neighborhoods. Quality-of-life programs have been implemented in many parks and outdoor recreation areas. For example, a management plan for Arches National Park, Utah was directed to identify the visitors’ experience with the aim to improve the environmental neighborhood. Various interviews were held among visitors, which helped to identify the main problem of this area. To make quality-of-life program for Arches National Park operational, management objectives were supposed to be expressed as indicators and standards (Budruk & Phillips 2011). They have been adopted as the basic foundation and conceptual outdoor recreation planning. The environmental management of the park was improved due to the visitors’ and staff’s experience. A series of open-ended questions during the interview helped to identify the future trends in the improvement of the appropriate area. This program makes a great contribution in the development of Arches National Park. Moreover, it helped to attract more visitors to this tourist area.
In conclusion, it is worth mentioning that quality-of-life programs have become an important issue in today’s life. Their main goal is to protect and improve certain neighborhoods for the individuals and families that reside within them. An abundance of research on neighborhoods that have been revitalized through community building efforts shows that financing of such programs help to improve the environmental areas, such as parks, leisure places and stressful areas.