To provide Exceptional Municipal Services that are Responsive to our Community while Planning for Smart and Balanced Growth that is managed in a Financially Responsible Manner.
Strategic Plan Goal #2: Vibrant Neighborhoods
To facilitate and support vibrant, thriving neighborhoods where citizens are engaged, dedicated, and take pride in their communities.
Neighborhood Planning History
Incorporated in 1961, Port St. Lucie has come a long way in a short time. Originally marketed around the world, and especially in the northeast, by the General Development Corporation (GDC) as a retirement haven, we have gone from a sales pitch and bedroom community, where only 330 people lived in 1970, to an award-winning, full-service city that is home to more than 195,000 and counting. As part of this dramatic metamorphosis, the people of Port St. Lucie have had to overcome GDC’s inadequate community planning and infrastructure development; and this fight continues to this day and entails much more than carrying out one of the nation’s largest municipal septic sewer conversions, building parkways and retrofitting sidewalks. It includes making sure that the “old” GDC developed neighborhoods, the ones without names or a sense of identity, gateway signage, edges, neighborhood parks, walkable streets and social cohesion, are upgraded and uplifted. With new master-planned communities rising out of the western annexation areas, this effort is essential to our future success as a city. We must ensure that we are, and will always be, one Port St. Lucie—a safe, beautiful prosperous City for All People.
With this vision in mind, the City initiated the Neighborhood Improvement and Community Engagement (NICE) Program. The NICE Program is administered by the City’s Neighborhood Services Department. Through the Program, the City is systematically convening neighborhood planning workshops, where citizens envision and then plan the future of their neighborhoods. While each neighborhood plan is unique, in every case, the citizens create a neighborhood master plan that is adopted by the City Council, defining the boundaries of their neighborhood, naming it, identifying future improvements and selecting a “kickstart” project that the City will carry out to kick the plan into gear. The Program is building community engagement and improving the fabric of the community neighborhood by neighborhood.
One of the special things about the Program is that it is funded by proceeds derived from the City’s curbside recycling program. Through the City’s agreements with our waste hauler and the St. Lucie County Landfill, when the people of Port St. Lucie recycle, the corresponding commodities are sorted and sold and the resulting proceeds are invested in our neighborhoods in accordance with the neighborhood plans created through the NICE Program. Consequently, in our community, scrap metal, aluminum cans and cardboard are quite seriously being turned into neighborhood parks, the utility box wrap public art project, sidewalks, entry features and much more.
The City of Port St. Lucie was proud to accept the 2018 “Best Neighborhood Program” in the US award from Neighborhoods, USA for beautification and physical revitalization made possible through the NICE program. It is a great honor to win a first-place, national award and, greater still, to be recognized by an organization that has been solely dedicated to building stronger communities for the last 40+ years.
|Neighborhood Services Director||Community Programs Administrator|
Gregory J. Oravec