Community economic development encourages using local resources in a way that enhances economic opportunities while improving social conditions in a community economic development pdf way. Often CED initiatives are implemented to overcome crises, and increase opportunities for communities who are disadvantaged.
CED is a community-centered process that blends social and economic development to foster the economic, social, ecological and cultural well-being of communities. For example, neighborhood business organizations target growth in specific commercial areas by lobbying government authorities for special tax rates and real estate developments. Community economic development is an alternative to conventional economic development.
Economic development has existed even at a basic level since the earliest recorded communities. However, in the US and several other countries, the concept of Community economic development emerged “in response to tenacious poverty and the need for affordable housing, good jobs, affordable health care and quality of life matters needed for human existence. In the late 19th century reformers discovered less than desirable areas of the country where communities were overcrowded, unhealthy, poor and centered near factories, docks and various other places of employment. In the early twentieth century during the Progressive Era reformers began making connections between the condition of communities and “social ills” such as crime and poverty and ways to improve upon them.
The Progressive agenda of political, social, and physical reform swept the nation and led to comprehensive antipoverty strategies, embodied by New Deal programs and other grants in the 1930s. Policies during this time were top-down and citizens being affected had very little input to the changes being made. Once communities began to be revitalized, segregation policy followed to determine who was allowed to live where. Housing policy and real estate practices stifled upward mobility for non-whites and their communities developed with unique characteristics and problems as a result.
These actions shaped communities until the 1960s, when President LBJ signed into law many anti-discriminatory laws such as the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and also declared a war on poverty which brought renewal and upward mobility for many people. More loan programs, grants and fair housing policies were implemented throughout the 60’s and 70’s but still failed to be non-discriminatory on the basis of race in some cases thus shaping communities in a particular fashion. Social investment gained momentum once again in the 80’s and 90’s bringing change to communities across America.