Urban Planning Development

Community Organizing: Building Social Capital as a by Ross J. Gittell

By Ross J. Gittell

This ebook offers new insights into a major nationwide neighborhood improvement problem: how you can stimulate the formation of really community-based enterprises and potent citizen motion in neighborhoods that experience no longer spawned those efforts spontaneously.

Using assessment study and distinct comparative examine of neighborhood improvement task in 3 varied demonstration websites; Little Rock, New Orleans and Palm seashore county, the authors determine key parts of establishing social capital which strongly have an effect on group improvement.

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Extra info for Community Organizing: Building Social Capital as a Development Strategy

Sample text

In the L I S C demonstration, there were two levels o f targeting: site and neighborhood. At the site level, metropolitan areas were selected that had a prior lack o f concerted community development effort, yet, as indicated by site assessments, demonstrated need, commitment, and potential to change. The second level o f targeting was at the neighborhood level in selected sites. , potential for leadership development) and change as suggested by interviews undertaken by community organizers. The mission and goals o f community development interventions are affected by their target area or population and, in turn, influence the selection of the target.

Over time, however, they have focused on the provision of affordable housing and other tangible outcomes, often to the exclusion of organizing and other activities likely to affect the social capital o f an area. (p. 2 9 ) From these vantage points, the L I S C demonstration could be seen as a test of Putnam's view o f the difficulty o f creating bonding and bridging capital, and a test o f Temkin and Rohe's skepticism, as well. From Putnam's perspective, it would be very difficult to expect substantial building o f social capital using a short-term intervention strategy, such as the L I S C demonstration.

Even so, it remains the case that starting with housing reduces a C D C s difficulty in raising needed financing and increases the likelihood that its early activities will be successful, thereby establishing its reputation and positioning it well to move on to larger projects or to other types o f activity. 2 The scale o f C D C housing production varies greatly across organizations, partly because local housing conditions vary, and partly because groups entering the field typically start with small projects and then move on to larger, more ambitious ones.

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