Urban Problems and Community Development

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Can community development actually help solve long-standing urban problems? And, based on social science analyses, what kinds of initiatives can make a difference? This book surveys what we currently know and what we need to know about community development's past, current, and potential contributions. The authors - economists, sociologists, political scientists, and a historian - define community development broadly to include all capacity building (including social, intellectual, physical, financial, and political assets) aimed at improving the quality of life in low- to moderate-income neighborhoods. The book addresses the history of urban development strategies, the politics of resource allocation, business and work force development, housing, community development corporations, informal social organizations, schooling, and public security.
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Editorial Reviews

Asks whether community development actually helps solve long-standing urban problems, and looks at evidence from social science analysis to ascertain what types of initiatives can make a difference. Defines community development broadly to include all types of programs aimed at improving the quality of life in low- to moderate-income neighborhoods, and addresses the history of urban development, politics of resource allocation, business and work force development, housing, community development corporations, and education. Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknew.com)
From the Publisher

"Combined, the essays and commentaries provide insights into ways to use community development initiatives to improve the quality of life in cities, especially central cities." —Louis F. Weschler, Arizona State University, The Social Science Journal, 9/1/2000

"The most substantial product to date of the National Community Development Policy Analysis Network.... The writing throughout is thoughtful and reflective. The authors and editors have succeeded in keeping the text nontechnical and free from jargon." —Avis Vidal, Urban Institute, APA Journal, 4/1/2001

"This book surveys what we currently know and what we need to know about communities development's past, current, and potential contributions." — 'DISP" Switzerland, no. 143; 2000

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780815718758
  • Publisher: Brookings Institution Press
  • Publication date: 3/28/1999
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Pages: 644
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 9.00 (h) x 1.42 (d)

Meet the Author

William T. Dickens, a senior fellow in the Economics Studies program at the Brookings Institution, was previously a senior economist on the President's Council of Economic Advisers and professor of economics at the University of California, Berkeley. Ronald F. Ferguson has taught at Harvard University's John F. Kennedy School of Government since 1983 and is senior research associate at Harvard's Wiener Center for Social Policy.

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Table of Contents

1 Introduction 1
2 Reconceiving the Community Development Field 33
3 Swimming against the Tide: A Brief History of Federal Policy in Poor Communities 77
4 Power, Money, and Politics in Community Development 139
5 Community Development Corporations: Mission, Strategy, and Accomplishments 193
6 What "Community" Supplies 241
7 Security and Community Development 293
8 Schools and Disadvantaged Neighborhoods: The Community Development Challenge 339
9 Rebuilding Urban Labor Markets: What Community Development Can Accomplish 381
10 The Economics of Housing Services in Low-Income Neighborhoods 437
11 Inner-City Business Development and Entrepreneurship: New Frontiers for Policy and Research 473
12 Evaluating Community Development Programs: Problems and Prospects 521
13 Conclusion: Social Science Research, Urban Problems, and Community Development Alliances 569
Index 611
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