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City concludes Zone Blitz

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The city of Springfield released its final report on an 18-month pilot program to improve the quality of life in the northwestern Zone 1 district.

Successes of the program, known as Zone Blitz, included a $7 million investment in public infrastructure in Zone 1, distribution of more than 5.5 million meals, the opening of a north-side job center, and needs assessments on community and mental health, according to a news release.

The city now will be working with community nonprofit Prosper Springfield and other program partners to enhance successful initiatives of the pilot program, as well as discard or reconfigure strategies that faltered, according to the release.

“Zone Blitz will be remembered as the catalyst for a dynamic change that happened in our city – when people, from all walks and stations in life, reached across the divide and helped their neighbors in need,” said Phyllis Ferguson, Zone 1 councilwoman, in the release.

Zone Blitz centered on 11 initiatives, including nuisance properties, housing, jobs and economic development, infrastructure, public safety and wellness, according to the release.

The program followed the city’s 2015 Community Listen Tour, during which city and other officials inspected nine Zone 1 neighborhoods.

The tour resulted in 11 Zone Blitz categories, for which teams were created by City Manager Greg Burris and city Director of Public Information and Civic Engagement Cora Scott. Prosper Springfield Director Francine Pratt will take the lead on initiatives moving forward, according to the news release.

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