Introduction

In 2012, the city of Portland, Oregon published the Portland Plan, which “developed in response to some of Portland’s most pressing challenges, including income disparities, high unemployment, a low high school graduation rate and environmental concerns.”  In this document, the authors frame the concept of “complete neighborhoods.” According to the Portland Plan, “complete neighborhoods” represent the following, in summary:

An area where residents have safe and convenient access to goods and services they need on a daily or regular basis. This includes a range of housing options, grocery stores and other neighborhood-serving commercial services; quality public schools; public open spaces and recreational facilities; and access to frequent transit…

While this definition of “complete neighborhoods” is fairly common sense, it provides a framework around which to develop goals and ideals for how a neighborhood can best serve the community that lives there. For the purposes of this document, Neighborhood Services will be all necessary services that fit into the defined framework of a “complete neighborhood.”

Former Kroger on North Limestone - 1940’s; courtesy: Kentucky Digital Archive

This is not a new concept. Before widespread access to automobile transportation, Lexington’s North End had many of the services that would qualify it to be a “complete neighborhood.” It had easily accessible public transportation via the electric in-ground streetcar and bus system that was fed out of the SE Greyhound Line building. It had markets and grocery stores within walking distance - such as the Kroger on North Limestone. It had affordable eateries and diners like Mom’s Loudon Lunch or the Greyhound Cafe. It had easily accessible health care services and housing options. 

Interior, Kroger on North Limestone - 1940’s; courtesy: Kentucky Digital Archive

The North End of today retains some aspects of a complete neighborhood. It has a number of faith-based institutions spread throughout, and it has public schools that are within walking distance. It has green spaces for people to gather. However, there are many elements which both neighborhood residents and social service organizations identify as being absent from the area.

The following section details information regarding the attitudes and perception regarding the availability and quality of Neighborhood Services in the area.

In addition to the resident-identified neighborhood services, North Limestone CDC and a number of other organizations in the community identified additional services, many of which were not necessarily thought of as “services” by residents that attended the community engagement sessions. 

Due to funding restrictions, not all of these service types were studied, and it is recommended that in-depth studies of those without their own sections be conducted and added to the North Limestone Cultural Plan.

Resident-Identified Neighborhood Service Types

  • Arts & Culture
  • Businesses
    • Access to Food
    • Restaurants & Bars
    • Retail
  • Community & Social Services
  • Education
  • Faith-Based Institutions (can be combined with Community & Social Services)
  • Parks & Recreation
  • Public Space & Public Art

Other Neighborhood Services

  • Housing
  • Healthcare
  • Transportation

The Neighborhood Services which will be given their own section in this edition of the North Limestone Cultural Plan are:

  • Arts
  • Businesses
  • Access to Food (broken out from businesses)
  • Public Space  
    • Parks & Recreation
  • Public Art

The Neighborhood Services which should be further studied and then added to the North Limestone Cultural Plan in the near future are:

  • Housing
  • Community & Social Services
  • Education
  • Healthcare
  • Transportation