What is Community Development?

“Community development can be understood as a planned effort to build assets that increase the capacity of residents to improve their quality of life. These assets may include several forms of community capital:  physical, human, social, financial, environmental, political, and cultural.”

Green, G. and Haines, A. (2008).  Asset Building and Community Development.  Thousand Oaks: Sage Publications, Inc.

UConn’s programs in Community & Economic Development respond to local needs and opportunities.  Programs are often developed and delivered in partnership with participants and “stakeholders” – organizations, individuals, and agencies with a stake in the existence and content of programs and the resources that support these programs.  Target audiences for Community & Economic Development programs include local government officials, economic development professionals, other public officials, the wide array of other local leaders, small businesses and industries, community-based organizations, and the general public. Community & Economic Development Educators foster partnerships that link the University to local stakeholders, government agencies, businesses, and organizations to help create vibrant and sustainable communities.

Educational programs addressing community needs and opportunities may include local leadership training, economic development, public policy issues education, community planning, the concepts of shared decision-making and consensus building, and process design. Community & Economic Development Programs help community leaders understand social decision-making processes and make informed decisions based on research.

Resources for Understanding Extension’s Role in Community and Economic Development

Essential Literature in Community & Economic Development