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 10: How to build an “intentional community”

Brenda M. Elias


An innovative housing model that provides integrated support services to a mixed community of adults with physical, developmental and mental health needs demonstrates how the use of social and personal space intersects with social participation levels and the creation of an “intentional community”. Defined as a planned residential community providing services with a higher degree of teamwork than other settings where members hold a common social vision, focusing on the benefits of living together. For the purposes of this study, community is understood first and foremost as a geographical place. Tenants will be asked to look out for their neighbours and can expect the same help from others embracing the basic principles of community development. Findings from this five-year research project (2012 to 2017) at the new Reena Community Residence, in Ontario, Canada report on the lived-experience of a diverse population with special needs as they transition from various residential settings.

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