Our Clients are Committed to Action

The CivicMoxie team has clients interested in progress. In movement. In results.  Our clients are committed to action; they come to us because they understand that a plan is not meant to sit on a shelf but rather, a plan is a living, flexible framework.  Action is not something that comes at the end of the project when the goals and recommendations are set and an implementation plan is drafted.  Action is considered and built into every phase and decision of planning. The CivicMoxie team works collaboratively with clients from the start of the project to develop implementation strategies and action partners.  Clients support our team in its active recruitment of businesses, community members, development partners and funding sources, as appropriate for the context and goals.  The first phase of many projects consists of identifying the social and political landscape, understanding stakeholders, reaching out to interested and affected parties.  This approach builds trust, identifies common interests, and helps inform recommendations and plans that everyone can get excited about and commit to.

Key characteristics of our clients?:

  • Willing to go outside the box– acknowledging that traditional planning roles can limit ability to achieve success
  • Supportive of broad inclusivity of stakeholders and the use of creative methods to achieve results
  • Enterprising and refusing to say something can’t be done.
  • Prepared to look outside official programs and channels to effect positive change.
  • Treating  challenges as significant opportunities for transforming communities, projects, and quality of life at many scales
  • Ready to share efforts and kudos with partners and collaborators to ensure there is buy-in and corresponding plan ownership to achieve results.

In Jacksonville, FL, CivicMoxie founder Susan Silberberg worked with Community Partners Consultants, Inc. and Karl Seidman, Economic Development Consultant, under the team leadership of Urban Focus, LLC to turn “talk” of affordable artist space into solid plans backed up by numbers, designs and knowledge of the markets and context. The City of Jacksonville Department of Community Development teamed up with the Greater Jacksonville Cultural Council (GJCC) to ensure that the planning effort had a broad base of support and that the planning team had access to the expertise and information needed for sound decisions.  The planning team designed a survey to assess the market for artist work and live/work space and the GJCC distributed the online survey to its vast database of artists and cultural organizations.  The planning for artist space, recruitment of larger cultural uses such as a film and media center for downtown, and the organizational and regulatory recommendations were all based on a solid understanding of the market for space.  The team assessed over 20 vacant buildings in the downtown area and used the market study survey to identify development opportunities, floor plans and potential development partner. This ensured future action on bricks and mortar projects…a key goal of the client.

For another project in New Orleans, Susan Silberberg’s students worked with a group of private citizens to recommend revitalization strategies for the Broad Street commercial corridor.  Denied a state “National Trust for Historic Preservation Main Streets” designation, involved and savvy citizens took matters into their own hands by bringing in MIT and moving forward despite lack of designation.  The results of committed clients? In 2008, Broad Community Connections received its 501(c)(3) status and in January of 2009, Broad Street was designated a Louisiana Main Streets district.  The client acted on the MIT team recommendations and the latest news is the successful recruitment of a Whole Foods Market in the district. Bricks and mortar results and enhanced community capacity are the rewards reaped by a client’s commitment to action.