The Asset Mapping Handbook came out of a 2002 Canadian National Rural Conference that focused specifically on Community Capacity Building. Community Capacity Building supports a way of thinking that will add value to the social, economic, and human resources that exist in the community. Key objectives of this conference included providing participants with tools and skills needed to stimulate development in their communities. This handbook was one of those tools. The Handbook specifically targets community leaders who will use Asset Mapping as a starting point for strategic planning, organizational development, community development, or some other initiative.
The Handbook describes in general the use for Asset Mapping in community planning, and outlines three specific approaches to Asset Mapping:
- Whole Assets Approach: This comprehensive approach incorporates all of the assets, including natural, social, economic and service components, that are part of the community’s view of their surroundings.
- Storytelling Approach: This approach combines separate, individual accounts to reveal community assets.
- Heritage Approach: This approach focuses specifically on the built environment and produces a map, list, or other compilation of physical features that the community regards as assets.
The Handbook includes detailed meeting facilitation guidelines and suggestions for involving the community in each of the three approaches.