Looking back at NTI
NTI was a pile of money, and its only strategic imperative was to be spent. Without a core strategy, NTI was little more than a story told by the mayor about the effects of absentee landlords and boarded-up windows.Instead of being the equivalent of Street's car-towing campaign, catching the city up on many years' backlog of derelict and dangerous properties, NTI started funding sidewalk sweepers, community gardens, and a host of small distributed items that could never combine to really transform anything in a substantial way -- and half the crumbling houses are still standing.
... without core values, NTI absorbed any good idea that came along. The problem began when Mayor Street decided to sell NTI as program for every neighborhood, changing it from an anti-blight initiative into a giant municipal entitlement.
You can only please all of the people some of the time, John, and the bleaker neighborhoods were hoping for more.
(via America's Hometown)
Update: The South Philly Review also gives its take on the successes and failures of NTI.
(via Politics Philly)