This is a great question! It is exciting to hear your interest in supporting your community in its health and beautification efforts.
In order to brainstorm answers, I took this to my colleague, Claire Rippel. She is a Community Development Specialist for the University of Missouri Extension office and she leads trainings on these topics through the St. Louis Neighborhood Leadership Academy. Here's her advice:
1. Neighborhood projects can happen with or without city support, so I would suggest being as specific as possible with what you want from the city. Is it financial resources? Permits and permissions? General civic blessing? Help with implementation? Community building courses for residents? These are all different routes and would require different departments or strategies.
2. If there is an example of a program that another city has, find out more about how they got that up and running and what role the city played. (Again, it might not have anything to do with the city, it might be purely community run.) 3. If the city is not receptive to partnering on something like this, what other institutions could play a role? For example universities often step in, Extension offices, etc.
If you do wind up making a proposal to your city or other partner, such as a university or Extension office, the Community Tool Box can help you take action. You may be asked what gaps the project would address. In order to answer that, you could assess the needs and resources in the community to make sure that your project is on track with what is important to the community. Here's a step by step guide from the tool box.
You may also decide to meet with elected officials and to advocate for your project. If so, the Tool Box provides a lot of great resources, including writing a letter to your elected official, Conducting a petition drive, and using social media to influence policymakers.
Claire and I hope you find this helpful! We are wishing you luck as you build neighborhood partnerships and create beautification projects for your community!