By Rochelle Landy
CityScape Associate Director
YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio – For more than 25 years, Youngstown CityScape, a community development corporation, has embarked on exciting projects that reimagine our downtown, our city and our region.
CityScape recently launched the Next Chapter capital campaign, an exciting vision for downtown’s new normal. What started in 1998 as an annual cleanup day continues as year-round community regeneration program.
CityScape forms strategic partnerships to strengthen Youngstown’s revitalized urban core that connects downtown, campus and adjacent neighborhoods and gateways. Executive Director Sharon Letson leads a staff of 10 employees who energize the central city with infrastructure improvements and amenities that create an attractive environment and enhanced quality of life.
With community input and support, CityScape spent 2022 bringing visual interest, fun events and a welcoming sense of place to downtown. We offered seasonal pop-up shops that sold mums and holiday greenery at CityScape at Briel’s. As greenhouse renovations begin, CityScape at Briel’s will provide growing space and income streams for nonprofits, a makers’ mart and job training for female returning citizens.
The space will be home to our Community Gardening Resource Center, providing technical assistance and materials to gardeners and neighborhood groups, event space and educational programs.
CityScape greets 2023 energized by the transformation of downtown streets with Eastgate and the city as partners. We are preparing to transform the Wick Recreation Center exterior and picnic pavilion using funding from the Karr Foundation. Plans are in the works for our annual programs, including the 13th annual grass roots gala, Streetscape Day, summertime B&O night markets and our annual beautification awards.