Date of Award


Document Type

Terminal Project

Degree Name

Master of City and Regional Planning (MCRP)


Planning, Development and Preservation

Committee Member

Dr. Mickey Lauria, Ph.D., Committee Chair

Committee Member

Dr. Timothy Green, Ph.D.

Committee Member

Dr. Grant Cunningham, Ph.D.


The Highland Neighborhood in the City of Spartanburg, South Carolina, has suffered from the effects of concentrated poverty and crime since the time of urban renewal in the late 1960’s and early 1970’s. This historic African-American neighborhood, led by dedicated resident leaders who have lived there all of their lives, has been acknowledged by community leadership and service providers as an area that needs dedicated investment if it is to become a viable neighborhood going into the future. Together these residents and community leaders have formed the Highland Working Group, which seeks to begin a revitalization process that will address the issues that the Highland Neighborhood faces. To that end a preliminary needs assessment was completed by conducting a series of 5 interviews, 2 focus groups with community service providers and residents, and by attending 2 community meetings and transcribing recordings of each. Each transcription was coded inductively in qualitative analysis software, resulting in 13 need categories, or needs, as declared by the residents and stakeholders. These topics were as follows: safety, access to resources, perception of community, education, privacy & sense of community, programming, healthcare, transportation, difficult to reach households, access to quality employment, recreation, poverty as a cycle, and preservation of a local community service center. Other findings included the need to improve communication amongst service providers and residents, between service providers, and between residents, as well as the need to ensure that as many residents in the neighborhood are involved in the redevelopment strategy as possible.