Communities on the Way

Rebuilding Local Economies in the United States and Canada

By Stewart E. Perry

Subjects: Development
Paperback : 9780887065255, 254 pages, July 1987
Hardcover : 9780887065262, 254 pages, July 1987

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Table of contents



Part One

1. The Wellsprings

2. Two Early Social Inventions

3. Rethinking the Basic Problem

4. Some Mistaken Strategies

5. Compass Points for Action

Part Two

6. Gathering Momentum

7. The Core Institution

8. The Place of Business Development

9. Building the Community Infrastructure

10. Matching Financial Capital to Community Needs

11. Operational Challenges

Part Three

12. Evaluating Community Economic Development

13. Beyond the Community

Notes and Sources



It's become an all too familiar headline—plant closes, employees laid off, another community plunged into economic despair. Stewart Perry looks beyond the headlines to our "forgotten" communities, showing what urban and rural areas can do and are doing to revitalize their sagging economies. The acknowledged authority in the field, Perry herein provides the first full-length systematic treatment of community-based economic development (CED). As the brainchild of the local residents and leaders, CED's success is linked to the ability of community members to identify their particular problems and to formulate solutions for local change.

Perry cites dozens of case studies from his own consulting experiences in communities in the United States and Canada, illustrating the practical and conceptual applications of the approach. New means to achieve the economic health of communities are illustrated by the efforts of diverse communities such as East Los Angeles; Cape Breton Island, Nova Scotia; the Appalachian hillsides of southeastern Kentucky; the Hunts Point district of the Bronx; the Point St. Charles neighborhood of Montreal; and Hancock County, Georgia. The experience of each locality combines the human dimensions of community development—the psychological and cultural implications—as well as the vital economic considerations. Perry demonstrates the innovative ideas developing out of the community development corporation strategy, both for encouraging local economic growth and rethinking national economic policy.

Stewart E. Perry is President of the Institute for New Enterprise Development in Cambridge, Massachusetts. He has published and consulted extensively on issues of social and community aspects of economic development, national policy and community development, the problems of poverty, and the organization of health care and other human services.


"There is nothing else like it; the first of its kind. It has wide application in cities and rural communities of the U. S.A. and abroad. The epidemic of communities stranded economically by plant closings makes it extremely timely, indeed overdue. " — Nelson N. Foote