Section 3 – Community Economic Development
“The strength of our neighborhoods determines the viability of Grand Rapids as a place to live and work.” City of Grand Rapids City Limits Newsletter Winter 1998-99
What is Community Economic Development? Most publicly sponsored economic development activities are initiated by government agencies which tend to target broader regions than neighborhoods. Consequently, neighborhoods are not always afforded the opportunity to participate in the planning process and are easily ‘forgotten’ in the larger scheme of regional economic development. For this reason, participation of neighborhood-based organizations in CED is important to ensure that the benefits of such a process are real and realized by neighborhood residents and stakeholders. CED is a process by which communities can initiate and generate their own solutions to their common economic problems and thereby build long term community capacity and foster the integration of economic, social and environmental objectives.
Goals of CED Goals Of CED
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Reduce unemployment Identify and enhance the competitive advantage of a community Develop economically viable neighborhoods Provide goods and services locally Create opportunities for local ownership and control Build leadership and empower community residents
CED Categories There are four general types of Community Economic Development that occur in Grand Rapids and around the nation. These activities accomplish the goals of CED. 1 2 3 4
Residential housing development Commercial/industrial development Worker development Business ownership and business development
Most CED activities combine two or more of the above categories. For example, YouthBuild ( a tool presented in section Four) combines worker development and residential housing development. Page 8 is a matrix of community economic development tools, broken down by the four CED categories mentioned above.