Community Change Equals Effective Urban Regeneration

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Community Change Equals Effective Urban Regeneration

Community change equals effective urban regeneration is a formula that seems to make sense. However, when it comes to achieving effective urban regeneration, we’ve all have wondered why some communities are reasonably effective at making needed changes (managing crime problems, growing inequality issues, education, poor community identity, affordable housing and job creation etc.) while others, apparently not that different, aren’t. Or, why a given community is sometimes able to manage its problems and sometimes not. Communities of every size face similar problems.

The only difference is that some are able to exercise a degree of control over those problems and are open to change, while others come apart and are no so open. Communities that have come together and acted through a revitalized public to gain control over their futures have usually made fundamental changes in their politics and how as a community they attack pressing challenges. It ultimately begins and end with the the engagement of citizens as the barometer to gauge openness to community change.

While this makes all the sense in the world and is easier said than done, it requires communities to be open to change and mitigating the fear of the unknown. Change is a difficult pill to swallow especially when people say we have always done things this way, why change?

Building a lasting community framework which supports a community’s ability to adapt is a key challenge for community change and effective urban regeneration in fiscally strapped communities. This is even more important given the limited resources available to cities and the growing social and economic challenges they face. If any current or future urban regeneration strategy is to be effective, it has to begin with a community understanding that without significant openness to change in the way communities view and address their challenges, the results will remain the same.

In the final analysis it comes down to asking the question of citizens, what can you do to change your community? And in doing so, provide action oriented opportunities for enhanced citizen engagement which foster long needed community change equals effective urban regeneration strategies which has the potential to mitigate social and economic challenges which weigh down a community’s ability to reach its full potential.

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