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April 5, 2013
Omaha's South 24th Streetscape revitalization and gateway sculpture "The Tree of Life" is honored with TWO awards for design excellence and community improvement.
One of the awards demonstrates the importance of the federal Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) program, which provides great opportunity for communities desiring to undertake critical need community and economic development projects. The South 24th Street Revitalization project benefited from this program, and is now honored with an "Art of Community" Award of Excellence from the City of Omaha, the State of Nebraska and the Nebraska Department of Economic Development, recognized as an outstanding community development project that celebrates the benefits of the CDBG program.
This project also received an "Urban Design" award from the Nebraska Chapter of the American Planning Association (NEAPA), for its efforts to create a sense of place within the City, as a streetscape improvement, a public space, and revitalized neighborhood. South 24th Street in Omaha, Nebraska is a main Street business district listed on the national register of Historic Places and dates to the establishment of South Omaha.
RDG Planning & Design was retained in 2004 to develop a new public environment to support and expand economic and entrepreneurial growth. The result has been a unique, urban area that respects the history of the various ethnic groups living in South Omaha. The concept was designed to make visiting South 24th Street a memorable and evocative experience for all residents and visitors. The designers understood the deep attachments people of all ethnicities--eastern and central Europeans and African-Americans--have with the neighborhood and the opportunities it offers them. It demonstrates a project that reflects community history and common themes, while expanding the market reach of a lively neighborhood that resulted in the "Tree of Life" streetscape.