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Comprehensive Neighborhood-Based Initiatives

This overview and assessment of comprehensive community practices is based on three case studies:

  • Community Building in Partnership (Baltimore)
  • Neighborhood and Family Initiative (Detroit, Milwaulkee, Memphis and Hartford)
  • Comprehensive Community Revitalization Project (South Bronx)

The author concludes that although comprehensive initiatives vary considerably in structure and strategy, to varying degrees they all address the following aspects of community life:

  1. Economic opportunity and security: for example, job training and development; neighborhood-based financial institutions, such as credit unions, development banks, and revolving loan funds; income security programs; and commercial revitalization and development.
  2. Adequate physical development and infrastructure, including housing, transportation and public amenities and services.
  3. Safety and security, such as community policing, land-use zoning and crime prevention.
  4. Well-functioning institutions and services, including schools, social and health services, libraries, sports leagues and recreation.
  5. Social capital: promoting a rich social fabric and a strong community voice.

The report concludes with curiosity about the future of the field: “the question is, then: What can the Federal Government do to exploit these naturally occurring experiments so that they can achieve enough scale and generate enough knowledge to contribute to the development of urban policy during the next decade and beyond?”

Download the full report here.

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Posted in Comprehensive Community Development: An Intro

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