Mayor Walsh Announces Proud Places Project

Published on October 13, 2023

Syracuse, N.Y. – Syracuse Mayor Ben Walsh announced a new campaign to strengthen investment in city neighborhoods through citizen engagement, beautification, and community stewardship. The Department of Neighborhood and Business Development program, called Proud Places Project, will engage constituents and address neighborhood health and property conditions in areas identified by City staff.

The project is a key component of Mayor Walsh’s Resurgent Neighborhoods Initiative (RNI), a citywide housing and business growth plan that aligns neighborhood investment planning and stakeholder engagement at a “block-level” in all four quadrants within the city. Proud Places will source identified neighborhood needs within an RNI area, engage existing community organizations and/or form new coalitions, and facilitate monthly meetings and events to address those needs. Coordinated efforts will include improving greenspace, addressing deteriorating properties through code enforcement intervention and vacant property attention, and connecting residents to needed human resources.

“The Proud Places Project makes city neighborhoods stronger through purposeful community engagement and strategic interventions,” said Mayor Ben Walsh. “By building direct connections between City staff, residents, and neighborhood stakeholders, this campaign offers an immediate response to areas in distress and creates a network of community care that we hope will have a lasting impact on those spaces.”

The campaign will kick off along the Butternut Street Corridor with two public events at White Branch Library, located at 763 Butternut Street. The first event is a Community Cleanup on Saturday October 14, and will include trash pickup and beautification efforts. The second event is a Block Party on Saturday, October 21, and will include free food, music, youth activities, and access to community resources. Both events will take place from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m.

Following each campaign, the leading community organization will establish the areas as an Adopt-a-Block location. The City of Syracuse Adopt-a-Block program makes city beautification a yearlong, citywide effort. Individuals, organizations, schools, and businesses will volunteer to take responsibility for at least two city blocks, committing to a monthly cleanup of a designated area and “on the spot” litter pickup, as necessary.

The RNI also includes a city-wide infill housing development strategy that will construct 50 single-family and 75 two-family new affordable homes in strategic locations based on site control, neighborhood need, and proximity to investment and public amenities. The infill strategy has more than 100 units of new housing completed or underway.

For more information about the project or to get involved, contact Neighborhood and Business Development at 315-448-8100 or