Boston DSNI – Dudley Street Neighborhood Initiative

Boston DSNI – Dudley Street Neighborhood Initiative

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Country United States
City Boston (MA) – Roxbury and North Dorchester area
Name DSNI – Dudley Street Neighborhood Initiative
Date 1984
Description The DSNI’s mission is to empower Dudley Street residents to organize, plan, create and control a vibrant, diverse and high quality neighborhood, in collaboration with community partners.

The story of the DSNI starts in the 80’ thanks to the strong commitment of its residents, highly motivated to clean an abandon neighborhood full of garbage and recover vacant lots avoiding at the same time a process of gentrification: development without displacement. They launched a CLT that has made history in US.

DSNI dared to gather neighbors to create a comprehensive plan and a shared vision for a new, vibrant urban village. To fulfill the community mandate for development without displacement, DSNI gained eminent domain authority, purchased vacant land, and protected affordability and family stability through a community land trust. The once garbage-strewn vacant lots have been rebuilt with quality affordable houses, parks and playgrounds, gardens, community facilities, and new businesses. To offer affordable house to low-income residents is one of the main element around which the masterplan has been planned.

The DNSI is based on a tripartite model of governance and guided by a board where each local ethnic group is represented and has voice (African-American, Cape Verdean, Latino and White). Local churches are also involved, as well as youth, members of non-profit agencies, members of the Community Development Corporations and local businesses. The relation with the municipality and the public administration is strong but the DSNI keep its independence.

A crucial factor is the community empowerment, based on the idea that if community stakeholders, under the leadership of residents, are fully engaged, informed and equipped to act collectively to realize the community’s shared vision, then systems, policies, programs, institutions and the neighborhood will transform into the community’s vision.

Today the DSNI is composed by many different institutions and groups that work at an incredible number of projects, touching topic such as the youth education and the youth job engagement, family support, kids activities (it is recent the opening of a local school), urban agriculture, ecc..many courses are organized and they are held in Spanish, English and Creole.

Today the initiative is expanding out of the Dudley triangle, thanks to the Boston Promise Initiative, with which the Dudley Village Campus has been created. The aim is to favor the development of vibrant and thriving communities, strong and healthy families, children ready to succeed in school and successful students and schools, as well as postsecondary completion and career readiness.

The DSNI resulted in drastic changes to the Dudley Street neighborhood.  Before and after pictures can be viewed here.

Three lengthy interviews were conducted with three different staff at DSNI.  They can be accessed here.

DSNI is among the most “robust” case studies that likely exist in the United States due to its longevity, ambitions, success, scope, size, and the unprecedented nature of its receipt of the power of eminent domain by the City of Boston.

Urban Co-Governance Strong
Enabling State Strong
Pooling Strong
Experimentalism Strong
Tech Justice Weak
Project Website

References, sources, contact person(s) Website and in depth interviews.

Abraham, Yvonne.  2014. “Trust and Transformation in a Roxbury Neighborhood.” Boston Globe, July 24.  Accessed May 20, 2018.

DSNI’s facebook page: here.

DSNI’s Twitter: here.

Dwyer, Lee Allen.  2015. Mapping Impact: An Analysis of the Dudley Street Neighborhood Initiative Land Trust.  MA Thesis in City Planning, MIT, available here.

Taylor, Elizabeth A.  1995. “The Dudey Street Neighborhood Initiative and the Power of Eminent Domain.”  Boston College Law Review. V. 36, n. 5 (September), 1061-1087.



boston dudley street

Amsterdam – Amsterdam Sharing City

Amsterdam – Amsterdam Sharing City


Country Netherlands
City Amsterdam
Name Amsterdam Sharing City
Date 2015
Description Amsterdam is the first Sharing City in Europe and was initiated by shareNL. The purpose of Amsterdam Sharing City is to seize the opportunities that the sharing economy offers in the areas of sustainability, social cohesion and economy. And secondly to formulate answers to the challenges this rapidly growing phenomenon entails. The purpose of the Sharing City initiative is to create a playground for pilot projects. An urban living lab where all stakeholders pilot with this new phenomenon and share insights and experiences. Amsterdam already houses a large number of promising sharing economy platforms, but it’s also up to more ‘traditional’ organizations like for instance SMEs, NGOs and local governments to start addressing the sharing economy. From startups to corporates,

from community center to public library, from an insurer to the airport: they’re all ambassadors putting Amsterdam on the map as a city that has sharing on its mind.

Urban Co-Governance Moderate
Enabling State Moderate
Pooling Moderate
Experimentalism Strong
Tech Justice Strong
References, sources, contact person(s) Website

Contact :


The North East Housing Initiative [under CCLT]

The North East Housing Initiative [under CCLT]

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Country United State
City Baltimore, MD (serves neighborhoods of North-East Baltimore)
Name The North East Housing Initiative [under CCLT]
Date 2012
Description The state is considered a “strategic partner” to NEHI, which works closely with local and state officials to realize their vision.The NEHI, as the CLT, holds control over who receives ownership to the homes they originally acquire. Note that to date, this is all theoretical, as they haven’t yet acquired any home.They go beyond serving the need to provide additional low cost housing to Baltimore, but the broader, and more ambitious goal, of maintaining community control over their neighborhoods and preventing them from being taken over by gentrification or private development. The CLT, as the legal owner of the land they acquire, gets to control who purchases the homes on their properties and therefore, the use of their land, which they see as community land.

The NEHI began as Catholic Church group into a much broader coalition of community members, religious groups, and activists of all backgrounds all of whom live in East Baltimore neighborhoods.  They are dedicated to building change for Baltimore through community land trusts and personal ownership. Their hope is to separate land from homeownership, so that homeowners who normally couldn’t afford to own a home can own their own homes, while NEHI maintains ownership of the land where the home resides.  In this way, ownership and control of the land will be shared and co-governed. NEHI’s hope is to allow most of the control over homeownership and use of the land to reside with the homeowner, and therefore the community members; but NEHI’s remains present as not only the owner of the land but as a “back stop” in the event that the homeowner comes into trouble and needs some help, including in the event of a mortgage default.  By creating a CLT, NEHI also helps to control and monitor how their land is used, and therefore, can prevent gentrification or private development of community land. They have many partners and collaborators, see here, which include local and state government actors, community associations, other nonprofits, foundations, lending institutions, and community developers.  Each has a role in, and is essential to, the realization of NEHI‘s vision.

Its board of directors is composed of individuals drawn from three sectors, all equally represented: 1/3 community residents, 1/3 lessees, and 1/3 community leaders. It has worked closely with local university and knowledge institutions, notably including the University of Maryland Law School Clinic, and has also consulted with local community developers and other community groups, who help with their advocacy and fundraising work.

Urban Co-Governance Weak
Enabling State Weak
Pooling Weak
Experimentalism Weak
Tech Justice
Project Website NEHI :
References, sources, contact person(s) The Baltimore Housing Roundtable:

Facebook :

The Baltimore Sun, at times, writes about CLTs in Baltimore :

Contact :

Baltimore, MD