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I'm Giancarlo Di Lonardo and I'm the Community Strategies Coordinator at New Jersey Community Capital. We're a CDFI based in New Jersey whose mission is to create thriving communities through strategic investments and knowledge.
My work focuses on working to build the capacity of non-profits and municipal officials engaged in community revitalization work. I'm chiefly involved with neighborhood planning, data analysis, as well as policy and strategy development.
My family vacations always included time to explore a different place and see communities beyond just the guidebook highlights. My work at NJCC helping communities throughout the state thrive is an extension of my love for cities and the people who make them unique. Passion for my work & my journey so far -
After a year of AmeriCorps working with those experiencing homelessness in Phoenix, I went to graduate school at Rutgers University to study Planning & Public Policy. Very quickly, I got involved with Paterson Habitat for Humanity and now serve on the Board of Directors there. My work at NJCC helping communities throughout the state thrive is an extension of my love for cities and the people who make them unique.
“I've always been interested in cities. My work at NJCC helping communities throughout the state thrive is an extension of my love for cities and the people who make them unique.”
My work helps residents, non- profits, and municipalities by setting up the framework and assembling the partners needed to take goals for revitalization from idea to action. Assembling and analyzing data, working collaboratively with residents and other partners, and thinking through practical ways to implement revitalization strategies are tasks that allow me to engage people at a variety of different levels.
“To me, meeting people where they are and helping them get to where they want to go is very rewarding.”
Very often, my colleagues at NJCC lend their expertise to address these findings: putting policies in place to address vacant properties, acquiring and rehabilitating distressed and abandoned homes, and activating vacant lots with temporary uses.
In partnership with some of our non-profit and municipal clients, we've developed strategies to reduce the number of vacant properties in a given area, develop neighborhood revitalization plans, and also begin engaging residents about ways to get involved in the revitalization of their communities.
Collecting data at the parcel level has helped us to target our work and increase our impact across a variety of different programs and engagements. Every step of the way, the Loveland team has been there to support us. As we've increased our usage of the Regrid app, the Loveland team has added more features and data to help us be more effective and to make surveying more user-friendly for us and our partners.