Neighborhoods from cities like Detroit, Oakland, St. Louis, or Cleveland would face off in revitalization campaigns to achieve goals like decreased crime rate, improved aesthetic and architectural appeal, increased graduation rate, increased property value, enhanced cultural richness, etc.
It would be shot in artful, documentary style over the course of several months with interviews and in-depth narratives focusing on neighborhood captains and key personalities that develop throughout the shooting. City planning experts and judges would rate the initial state of each neighborhood... and then the American public would join the judges in re-assessing at the end of the TV season and voting for the winning neighborhood. Prizes could be scholarships, grants for public projects, or a self-defined wish list customized for each neighborhood.
Improvement strategies could tap the growing best-practices manual of city planning techniques - ranging from construction & beautification projects, to community gardens, to coordinated tutoring and sports programs, to block parties and BBQs, to local entrepreneurship and businesses development.
Psychologically speaking, nothing brings people together like a "superordinate task," that is, when a common objective is shared by multiple people. All the while, there would be commentary from experts and judges, addressing head-on the difficult issues of racism, economic disparity, crime, and the human condition... talking through it in an honest and engaging way that would be helpful and instructive to people tuning in all over the country.
CATEGORY: Social, Economic, Business, Entertainment
IDEATION: February 7, 2007