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Mayor’s Matching Grant Project Spotlight

The Mayor’s Matching Grant has provided resources for neighborhood associations, homeowners association and condominium associations throughout the City of Orlando install outdoor lighting, which can help draw attention to neighborhood entranceways or increase safety in common areas.


Common area lighting at Fariview Vista Condominiums

Proper lighting can ensure that potential problem areas are well lit – pathways, stairs, entrances/exits, parking areas, mailboxes, children’s play areas, recreation areas, pools, laundry rooms, storage areas, dumpster and recycling areas, etc. Sufficient lighting is necessary for people to see and be seen. From a security point of view, lighting that is strategically placed can have a substantial impact on reducing the fear of crime. The Orlando Police Department conducts Security Surveys to identify security weaknesses, make recommendations and educate residents about changes they can make to physical features of property and to their own behavior to help prevent crime. Security Surveys are free of charge to neighborhood organizations, residences or businesses in the City of Orlando. To schedule a Security Survey, call 407.246.2369.  Your neighborhood association can use a Mayor’s Matching Grant to implement the OPD officer’s Security Survey recommendations.


Uplighting project completed by the Metropolitan at Lake Eola Condominiums

Mayor’s Matching Grants have also provided resources for neighborhood associations to install decorative lighting to their properties. One example is the Metropolitan Condominium  at Lake Eola. They used colorful LED up lighting to enhance and update the façade of the condominium’s exterior, which is visible to thousands of visitors and residents at Lake Eola. Several neighborhoods have used a Mayor’s Matching Grant to light their entranceway signs, making it easier for drivers to identify their neighborhood entrance.

To learn more about how you can apply for a Mayor’s Matching Grant, visit or call 407.246.2500. City of Orlando neighborhood organizations are encouraged to apply for a Mayor’s Matching Grant throughout the year. Grants are reviewed and awarded on a bi-annual basis.



Implement proven strategies and methods to deter crime in your neighborhoods6022675436_3fb3baa05b_b

The City of Orlando Mayor’s Matching Grant funds Public Safety projects, including the use of CPTED to deter crime in our neighborhoods and community. What is CPTED?

Crime Prevention Through Environmental Design (CPTED; pronounced “sep-ted”) is a practice that is internationally recognized and can be used as a measure in both commercial and residential building.  CPTED is based on the principle that proper design and effective use of the built environment can lead to a reduction in the incidence of crime, and an improvement in quality of life. CPTED utilizes four overlapping strategies:

Natural Surveillance: Design the site to keep intruders easily observable. This is promoted by features that maximize visibility of people, parking areas and building entrances; doors and windows that look out onto streets and parking areas; pedestrian-friendly walkways; porches or patios and adequate nighttime lighting.

Natural Access Control: Design the site to decrease crime opportunity by denying access to crime targets and creating in offenders, a perception of risk.  This can be accomplished by designing street, sidewalks, building and parking lot entrances to clearly indicate public routes and discourage access to private areas with structural and landscape elements.

Territorial Reinforcement: Design can create or extend a sphere of influence, where users develop a sense of territorial control, while potential offenders are discouraged.  This is promoted by incorporating features that define property lines and distinguish private spaces from public spaces such as; landscape plantings, pavement designs, gateway treatments and CPTED style open design (see-through) fences.

Target Hardening: This can be accomplished by incorporating features that prohibit entry or access by potential offenders. Such features might include window locks, dead bolts for doors, metal frames, interior hinges, locking devices for sliding glass doors and impact resistant glass or security film on windows.

Most recently Wedgewood Groves Homeowners’ Association and Fairview Vista Condominiums used Mayor’s Matching Grants to implement recommendations made by the Orlando Police Department for common areas on their property. Wedgewood Groves added a new key fob system and lighting to their cabana and pool area to prevent unauthorized use from non-residents. Fairview Villa Condominiums added lighting and removed landscaping that blocked a clear view of common areas.

To learn more about how you can apply for a Mayor’s Matching Grant to increase public safety in your neighborhood, visit or call 407.246.2500. City of Orlando neighborhood organizations are encouraged to apply for a Mayor’s Matching Grant throughout the year. Grants are reviewed and awarded on a bi-annual basis.

Using the web to connect neighbors

InternetIn the past, neighbors knew each other and engaged more naturally in mutual aid, sharing common resources and helping those in need. With our society moving at a faster pace due to busy schedules and increased responsibilities, it becomes difficult to feel a sense of community. A neighborhood-focused website can accomplish the simple mission of helping neighbors connect where they live and with their community. A strong neighborhood benefits the individual, the community and the greater society. People of all ages who feel a sense of belonging tend to lead happier and healthier lives. Strong communities create a more stable and supportive society.

A recent study found a significant civic engagement impact from neighborhood-focused websites. Among the findings reported by residents who use these websites:

  • 95% feel more informed about the neighborhood
  • 92% feel useful information gets shared efficiently
  • 82% feel people pull together to improve the neighborhood
  • 69% feel an increased sense of belonging within the neighborhood

How is this possible? Neighborhood-focused websites offer highly relevant (that is, very local) content, do not waste people’s time, and emphasize relationships and communication among participants instead of simply feeding news to passive readers. The information is also accessible from anywhere.

College Park Neighborhood Association, Lake Formosa Neighborhood Association and Lake Orlando Homeowners’ Association are just a few of Orlando’s neighborhoods that have developed neighborhood-focused websites. Other neighborhood associations have chosen to create discussion forums on Next Door and Facebook.

The City of Orlando recently awarded a Mayor’s Matching Grant to the Colonialtown Neighborhood Association to create a new neighborhood-focused website. The grant will be used to develop the website and market the new site to neighborhood residents. To learn more about how you can apply for a Mayor’s Matching Grant to support a website for your neighborhood, visit the Mayor’s Matching Grant website or call 407.246.2500. City of Orlando neighborhood organizations are encouraged to apply for a Mayor’s Matching Grant throughout the year. Grants are reviewed and awarded on a bi-annual basis.


Transformed Spaces

Coach Homes at Mariner's Village Dog Park

Coach Homes at Mariner’s Village Dog Park

Have you ever thought about what to do with an area of your neighborhood that is unused? Many of these spaces have unlimited potential! Neighborhood organizations throughout the City of Orlando have used Mayor’s Matching Grants to transform unused or underutilized spaces into usable and inviting areas. All Mayor’s Matching Grant supported projects must be done on common or public property. For example, Coach Homes at Mariner’s Village transformed a tennis court area that was no longer used by residents into a dog park. The residents received a Mayor’s Matching Grant to remove the cracked concrete and nets and planted grass in the fenced area to create the dog park. They added a water line to the courts, so that dogs can get a drink of water or to wash their dogs. Now residents enjoy getting together to let their dogs safely run and play without a leash. Project Leader Jay MacConnell said, “The Mayor’s Matching Grant has accomplished our need for an area to exercise our animals and create an environment for socialization. It has also helped to create a feeling of community and accomplishment; volunteers were lining up to help with this project. The Mayor’s Matching Grant has proved to be a complete success and a great value to our community.”

Artist Tim Eggert paints a light box at Mills Avenue & Amelia Street

Artist Tim Eggert paints a light box at Mills Avenue & Amelia Street

Another great example of realizing the potential of unused space started in the Mills 50 Main Street District. You may have noticed some of these public art displays as you drive through the district. Residents and business owners wanted a way to identify the unique character of their neighborhood. Mills 50 was given permission by the City of Orlando to paint 29 traffic control boxes at intersections with traffic lights and 16 dumpsters throughout their district. A call for artists was advertised and the residents and business owners voted to select the designs that were submitted by artists. Mills 50 received a Mayor’s Matching Grant to cover the cost of paint and small stipends for the artists. Now these public art displays reflect creative and distinctive designs that are unique to the neighborhood. Having art on the traffic control boxes and dumpsters has also reduced the incidences of graffiti. “This Mayor’s Matching Grant project helped promote awareness and improved the visual appeal of Mills 50, while instilling a sense of pride and ownership of the district”, said Project Leader, Joanne Grant.


Dumpster Art in the Mills 50 District. Artist: Danny Rock

Ventura Country Club Playground

Ventura Country Club Playground

The residents of Ventura Country Club and Northlake Park Community Association each received a Mayor’s Matching Grant to install playgrounds on common property in their neighborhoods. Residents wanted to create a safe place where children could gather and play within their neighborhood. The playgrounds support frequent, casual communication among neighbors. This leads to the formation of social ties, the building blocks of strong, secure neighborhoods where people tend to support and care about one another.”This Mayor’s Matching Grant project enabled our association to foster goodwill and provided a safe, fun place for families to gather and play”, said NorthLake Park Project Leader Tricia Lees.

City of Orlando neighborhood organizations are encouraged to apply for a Mayor’s Matching Grant throughout the year. Grants are reviewed and awarded on a bi-annual basis. For information on grant guidelines, eligibility and the application process, visit