In Non-Profit Quarterly: Investment in Infrastructure: The Community Engagement Imperative


Madison Park Development Corporation (MPDC) is one such organization in one such place. The Roxbury community of Boston was once considered the heart of Black culture in Boston. Urban renewal, economic disparity, and suburban flight made their inevitable impact on the community as Lower Roxbury became an easy target for blockbusting and bulldozers. The founders of MPDC and the community residents fought hard to keep their homes, businesses, and community. While the city had plans to develop a giant campus space that included a central city high school and a park, the residents of Lower Roxbury through the Lower Roxbury Community Corporation (now MPDC) came up with their vision for Madison Park Village.

The Madison Park Village plan, one of the first community resident-designed development plans in the country—included townhomes, senior living, and mixed-use space. Fifty-five years later, they are still building on that plan. The residents of Lower Roxbury understand that the burden for ensuring the viability of their community is a shared one. Beyond developing a plan, they have worked at the state and federal levels to demonstrate they are the appropriate conduit for community investment funds in their community and require their fair share. In addition to affordable rental units and subsidized properties, they have worked to make their properties more than just tax-credit eligible. They have leveraged their impact to ensure that their community is not dwarfed by new development and leveraged an anti-displacement policy that works to bridge inequity through homeownership.

Read the entire article as it originally appeared in Non-Profit Quarterly here.