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A webzine devoted to the new neighborhood culture that’s connecting people to the places we live, work, and play: reflections on living in communities, ideas for making neighborhoods great, profiles of the best places and the people who are making them that way.

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There is a lot on the web related to neighborhood and community improvement, but not so much of it is fun to read. We’ll tell inspiring stories about projects empowering neighborhood spirit and combine them with light-hearted items about savoring the lifestyle of local living: the lure of the corner bar or playground (or bar at the playground), the appeal of bike paths, the offbeat community festival.

We won’t shy away from talking about the problems neighborhoods face or cause: disinvestment, disputes, gentrification, or segregation. Because we’re not talking about sanitized, whitewashed places, but ones that incorporate diversity, real history, and real people.

And we’ll look both to our own streets and well beyond to find stories, challenges, and models for what creative neighborhoods can be because great ideas might be around the corner or in Rome or Rio or Rochester.

What will really set us apart, however, will be lively, engaging stories and images from a variety of talented contributors, stuff that combines style with attitude and inspires readers to get out and visit new places or to build something new in their own communities.

Who’s going to read it?

  • People of all backgrounds who love and are engaged in their neighborhoods
  • Community activists and DIYers
  • Arts boosters and followers
  • Local entrepreneurs
  • Planners
  • Preservationists
  • Urban environmentalists
  • Cycling advocates
  • Travelers looking for authentic places to visit
  • Gourmands, parkour aficionados, and other hipsters
  • Anyone who ever loved Sesame Street growing up

What do you cover?

A wide range of topics, with a special focus on the people behind the places and projects that make neighborhoods vital.

  • Creativity
    • Portraits of cottage industrialists and local entrepreneurs
    • Reviews and excerpts of creative projects (film, art, books, and more) tied to neighborhood life and experience
    • Investigations into local cuisines, music, and other scenes, from the inspired to the anarchic
    • Stories about creative trends in neighborhood society, going far beyond backyard chickens
  • Community
    • Guides to using tools for neighborhood communications
    • Pointers on using social media for community organizing
    • Techniques for solving neighborhood problems
    • Commentary on issues that affect communities
  • Life in the Hood
    • Vignettes about daily experiences, both sublime and ridiculous
    • Tales of family life, kids, or being single
    • Odes to  local traditions, places, and characters
  • Sustainability
    • Keys to sustainable local living
    • Innovations that help communities shrink their environmental impact
    • Inquiries into smart growth, new urbanism, and other trends
  • Travel
    • Profiles of cool neighborhoods from Toledo to Tokyo
    • Guides to local bars, monuments and other destinations
    • Dispute-causing lists of the best places to visit
  • Policy
    • Investigations into how regulations and policies can affect neighborhoods
    • Examples of effective transportation programs
    • Scuttlebutt about land use, infrastructure, and public spaces
  • Design
    • Profiles of innovative community plans and planners
    • Sketches of architectural ideas
    • Concepts for neighborhood landscapes and places
  • Past + Future
    • Chronicles of preserving and creatively using historic areas
    • Speculations about neighborhoods of tomorrow

What formats do you publish?

We’re interested in all kinds of creative formats. Here are some rough guidelines:

  • Photo essays: 10-15 images with captions
  • Feature profiles: 800-1200 words
  • Reviews of books, documentaries, art projects: 350-500 words
  • How-tos with a community focus: 350-500 words
  • Thought/opinion pieces: 500-800 words
  • Interviews/conversations with people engaged with community issues: 500-800 words
  • Reflections: short essays, that engage neighborhood life: up to 1500 words
  • Art: 5-10 project images with captions, or up to 5-minute videos
  • Videos, mini-documentaries, profiles: up to 7 minutes
  • Visuals: charts, graphs, drawings, maps with captions

If you have an idea for something that falls outside one of these categories, don’t hesitate to let us know.

 

I have an idea! How can I tell you about it?

Contact us with queries, proposals, or drafts.

 

Who’s behind NEIGHBORISTA!?

Glenn Perkins has worked in publishing, museums, and historic preservation, most recently as Director of Outreach Education for Preservation North Carolina, where he oversaw the revitalization of PreservationNC.org. He has written for the Raleigh News & Observer, Preservation Magazine online, and Our State. A lousy cyclist with an unquenchable desire for travel, he lives in the Lindley Park neighborhood in Greensboro, N.C., with his wife and son.

 

Elizabeth Sappenfield is a reformed archaeologist, who found her way to historic preservation as a way to make places we love out of places we used to love. Formerly the Director of Urban Issues for Preservation North Carolina (a National Trust Partners in the Field position), Elizabeth is serving on the board of Preservation Durham, raising a young son, and wrestling a surly bullmastiff. She lives in the Watts-Hillandale neighborhood of Durham, N.C.

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