Community Economic Development (CED) as an Approach to Fight Urban Poverty: Questions – Lots of Questions

Author +
Eric Shragge

Year: 1998

CED is a strategy that has been developed primarily but not exclusively in response to the deterioration of local economies and lack of hope for revitalization from the outsideeither the private market through investment or with the support of government programs. Initiatives with leadership from community organizations and partnership relations with local actors were designed to create new economic options that would provide jobs, services, or infrastructure. The partnership included representatives from the private sector, unions, local institutions, and government.

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Through these processes, community organizations have now become players in the process of economic development. (Shragge: 1997) The practices have varied from the promotion of smallscale enterprises that were put in place to employ people who faced long-term unemployment, to loan funds to support CED initiatives, to planning initiatives that promote local economic development. The underlying goals are to find ways to revitalize local economies, ameliorate poverty through training and job creation, and to involve residents and other local actors in these processes. What has led to these changes? The conditions of unemployment, low-wage precarious jobs, and poverty, at a time when government social services were diminishing stimulated innovations to respond to this situation.