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Posts with the Tag “community building”

Playing for the Public Good: The Arts in Planning and Government

Arts and culture play a crucial role in increasing, diversifying, and sustaining public participation, navigating contentious issues, and fostering productive public dialogue and decision making. In 2013, Animating Democracy, a program of Americans for the Arts, published Playing for the Public Good: The Arts in Planning and Government — a trend paper that highlights a wide range of arts and culture-based projects or programs that broaden participation and deepen meaning beyond typical planning processes and/or governmental systems and structures. When governmental and civic entities employ the arts to engage people in public processes, […] (continue)

Community Rhythms: Five Stages of Community Life

Communities have rhythms to them that we must come to understand so that our approaches, programs and initiatives — and the building of public capital — work with those rhythms, take advantage of them, even accelerate them. This 1999 report from the Harwood Institute describes five stages of community life: The Waiting Place, Impasse, Catalytic, Growth, and Sustain and Renew. According to the Harwood Institute, while a community can accelerate its movement through the Stages of Community Life, it cannot violate, or simply pass over, […] (continue)

CommunityMatters: Connecting Community, Activating Change

This 46-page report from the CommunityMatters partner organizations shares resources and highlights from sessions run by each of the partners (including NCDD) in February 2013 for a day-long workshop for local leaders in Newport, Vermont. The workshop focused on tools and techniques to encourage broad citizen participation, improve local decision-making, and to help Newport leaders work together to build civic infrastructure in their rapidly developing town. (continue)

The Four-Legged Stool

This report to the Kettering Foundation focuses on civil society and “the need for a stronger associational life for citizens.”  John McKnight, professor emeritus and co-director of the Asset-Based Community Development Institute at Northwestern University and author of the report, “distinguishes associations from not-for-profit corporations, though they are often combined as the third leg of a “three-legged stool,” the other legs being business and government. He points out their differences: not-for-profit corporations are usually formal and hierarchical, whereas associations tend to be informal and horizontal; not-for-profits use the […] (continue)

Worldwork

Worldwork is an experiential training seminar in conflict work and community building. The seminar provides a unique opportunity for people from all over the world to come together in a powerful forum for focusing on and working with social, environmental, and political issues using group process skills. Between two and three hundred people from over thirty countries and all walks of life participate in these 7 – 10 day gatherings. The large staff facilitates a diversity of learning experiences that include large group focus and […] (continue)

A Nice Place to Live: Creating Communities, Fighting Sprawl (NIF Issue Guide)

One of the National Issues Forums Institute’s issue guides, A Nice Place to Live: Creating Communities, Fighting Sprawl outlines this public issue and several choices or approaches to addressing the issue. National Issues Forums do not advocate a specific solution or point of view, but provide citizens the opportunity to consider a broad range of choices, weigh the pros and cons of those options, and meet with each other in a public dialogue to identify the concerns they hold in common. Almost no matter where […] (continue)

CivicCommons.com

The CivicCommons.com is a new way to bring communities together with conversation and emerging technology. We provide the place and tools for citizens to connect with and inform one another and to take action. It’s a bit like a virtual pub or coffee house, where citizens and officials can gather to talk about community issues, brainstorm solutions, coordinate plans —  and maybe even have fun and meet new people along the way. We take some of our inspiration from Clay Shirky’s book, Cognitive Surplus, which […] (continue)

Slow Democracy: Rediscovering Community, Bringing Decision Making Back Home

In “Slow Democracy,” community leader (and NCDD Sustaining Member) Susan Clark and democracy scholar Woden Teachout document the range of ways that citizens around the country are breathing new life into participatory democracy in their communities. (Chelsea Green Publishing, 2012.) Large institutions and centralized governments, with top-down, expert-driven thinking, are no longer society’s drivers. In fact, they are often responsible for tearing communities apart. New decision-making techniques now pair with cutting-edge communication tools to make local communities—and the citizens who live there—uniquely suited to meet today’s […] (continue)

What Makes a Successful Place?

Here’s a great resource from our friends at Project for Public Spaces (PPS), outlining the qualities of successful public spaces.  PPS is NCDD’s fellow partner in CommunityMatters. Learn more about PPS’s approach to community building and design at www.pps.org. Great public spaces are where celebrations are held, social and economic exchanges take place, friends run into each other, and cultures mix. They are the “front porches” of our public institutions – libraries, field houses, neighborhood schools – where we interact with each other and government. When the […] (continue)

Front Porch Forum

Front Porch Forum‘s mission is to help neighbors connect and build community. We do that by hosting regional networks of online neighborhood forums. Common sense and a growing body of research tell us that well-connected neighborhoods are friendlier places to live, with less crime, healthier residents, higher property values, and better service from local government and public utilities. (continue)

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