Community volunteers have a long history of helping to revitalize and beautify their neighborhoods. Well-tended public spaces are essential to creating sustainable communities and can help create a better quality of life for residents. Engaged communities are far less likely to let their neighborhoods fall into poor conditions and can act as a powerful force in preventing crime. Through partnerships with neighborhood associations and block clubs, Cities of Service helps cities leverage citizen service to improve their neighborhoods.
Heavy air conditioning use during summer can cause high cooling costs and greenhouse gas emissions. The Cities of Service Cool Roofs Blueprint engages volunteers to coat rooftops with reflective paint, helping households conserve energy.
Graffiti Busters is a high-impact service strategy in which the mayor’s office leverages the power of ordinary citizens to turn the tide in the fight against graffiti. This initiative rallies a corps of volunteers from across the city to participate in regular cleanups of graffiti in their neighborhoods and elsewhere, and then helps keep graffiti away by engaging the volunteers in follow-up efforts.
Develop a Citywide Service Plan
The Cities of Service Playbook can guide cities of any size and makeup, i.e. whether mayor-council, council-manager. It guides city leaders in the development of a citywide service plan – an essential, living document that establishes goals and means, evolves over time with city priorities, and is key to successful implementation of impact volunteering initiatives. This Playbook provides examples and planning tools to help cities assess needs and arrive at their own unique plans. Many cities use the Playbook as a step-by-step guide while others reference specific sections and/or resources.