Community Transformation: Turning Threats into Opportunities

ABCD Institute

Author +
Luther Snow with Uchenna Ukaegbu

Year: 2001

This workbook examines how communities have turned threats to their well-being into opportunities through a process of transformation. It tells the stories of eight communities as they broke out of a vicious cycle of disadvantage and despair and moved into a cycle of hope and action that turned their visions into reality.


Section I: Introduction – Community Transformation: New Approaches for a New Day

  • Changing Urban and Rural Challenges
  • Building on Assets for Community Transformation
  • A Different Approach: Meaningful Stories for Everyday Practitioners
  • Facing the Threats and Seeing the Opportunities Using this Book

Section II: Transformation in Communities: What Really Happened?

  • Transforming Disinvestment into Opportunity: East Harlem Pathmark Project, Abyssinian Development Corporation; Harlem, New York
  • Transforming Economic Crisis into Opportunity: Maine Fisheries Project, Coastal Enterprises, Inc.; Maine
  • Transforming Institutional Abandonment into Opportunity: Bethel New Life, Inc., Beth-Anne Life Center; Chicago, Illinois
  • Transforming Traffic into Opportunity: Unity Council, Fruitvale BART Transit Village Initiative; Oakland, California
  • Transforming Outside Development Pressure into Opportunity: Dudley Street Neighborhood Initiative, Urban Village Strategy; Boston, Massachusetts
  • Transforming Untapped Talents into Opportunity: Mercado Central, Interfaith Action; Minneapolis, Minnesota
  • Transforming a White Elephant Building into Opportunity: The Power Center, Pyramid Development Corporation; Houston, Texas
  • Transforming Buried Culture and History into Opportunity: 18th and Vine Development Initiative, Black Economic Union of Greater Kansas City; Kansas City, Missouri

Section III: Transformation in Your Community

  • Guidelines and Principles
  • Community Base
  • Assets
  • Elements of Strategy and Process
  • Early Development Considerations
  • Variety or Roles
  • Synergy Works
  • Policies Matter

Section IV: Some Useful Stuff

  • Contact Information
  • Core Principles of Community Building—National Community Building Network
  • Neighborhoods, Regions, and Smart Growth Project— National Neighborhood Coalition
  • Roles in Community Building—Development Training Institute
  • Community Economic Development Policy Agenda—National Congress for Community Economic Development
  • New Urbanism Basics—Congress for the New Urbanism
  • Community Impact Questionnaire—Dudley Street Neighborhood Initiative
  • Sample Employment Training Agreement—Coastal Enterprises, Inc.
  • Partnerships—A Guide to Understanding Partnerships
  • Strategic Planning for Neighborhood Development: A Decision Tree