Research Handbook on Community Development
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Research Handbook on Community Development

Edited by Rhonda Phillips, Eric Trevan and Patsy Kraeger

This timely Research Handbook offers new ways in which to navigate the diverse terrain of community development research. Chapters unpack the foundations and history of community development research and also look to its future, exploring innovative frameworks for conceptualizing community development. Comprehensive and unequivocally progressive, this is key reading for social and public policy researchers in need of an understanding of the current trends in community development research, as well as practitioners and policymakers working on urban, rural and regional development.
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Chapter 3: In pursuit of just communities: supporting community development for marginalized communities through regional sustainability planning

Jason Reece


During the Obama Administration the principles of sustainability and progressive regionalism had made their way into the thinking of many federal agencies. The Department of Housing and Urban Development’s Sustainable Communities’ Initiative (SCI), sought to take these principles and translate them to practice at a scale not previously attempted in the United States. The following chapter examines the experience of the SCI planning process to assess if the program produced stronger equity outcomes for marginalized communities. For some regions, SCI was transformational in supporting equity planning and serving broader community development needs. The SCI experience speaks to the potential benefits of stronger, more proactive federal support by HUD for regional equity planning. Additionally, the program enabled regional planning to better engage community development goals in marginalized communities. Despite this progress, the long-term legacy of SCI remains extremely perilous.

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