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Using Human Centered Design in CED work

October 23, 2020

Community and economic development has increasingly required participation from community members to be effective. Ensuring high levels of engagement throughout the design process is crucial to producing a product that serves the needs of the community. A creative approach to problem solving might b … Continued

Lessons for CED from Europe: Housing, Job, Food, or Fuel Poverty…All Roads Lead to a Social Inclusion Model

January 16, 2018

For the past five months I served as a visiting scholar to the University of Ghent in Belgium.   The link between food insecurity, a particular focus on my work in North Carolina, and larger overall economic insecurity issues has been getting increased focus across a number of European countries. Be … Continued

What Barn Raising Looks Like in Petaluma, California

December 12, 2017

My last post argued that we should think of the role of local government in communities more in terms of “barn raising” than the more transactional metaphor of a vending machine. This idea was put forth in the great book Community and the Politics of Place by former Missoula, Montana mayor Daniel Ke … Continued

Vending Machines or Barn Raising: The Role of Local Government in Community Building

October 10, 2017

I recently was asked to speak to a joint meeting of town councils of four communities in Eastern North Carolina. The subject they asked me to speak about was community engagement. What I ended up spending most of my time talking about were two frames for thinking about the role of local government i … Continued

Local Governments and Non-Profits: Building Community Through Partnership

February 14, 2017

NBC News recently aired a short feel-good story during its Nightly News broadcast about a code enforcement officer working for the City of Petaluma, California. Joe Garcia had received multiple complaints about a dilapidated home surrounded by overgrown weeds. Clearly the home was out of compliance, … Continued

Behavioral Science in Local Government

January 14, 2016

Anyone who has taken a basic economics course understands that core economic theories rely on the assumption that people act rationally. Anyone who has worked with people understands that, simply put, they are not very rational actors. This is where behavioral science steps in. Professor Dan Ariely … Continued

Wind Energy and Property Values

September 24, 2013

There is a popular notion that people find living near energy generation facilities undesirable.  There are concerns about health, odor, and aesthetics, to name a few.  But does living near electricity generation impact property values? Recently, researchers at the Lawrence Berkeley National Laborat … Continued

Does Your Community Have the Capacity to Undertake Community Economic Development?

July 15, 2013

Say you have learned of a community economic development (CED) program that seems to be a perfect fit for your area.  The need is already there and well documented, the program provides the right mix of projects, and all the program financial resources are available and already approved.   All that … Continued

Citizens Academies and Developing Community Capital

April 10, 2012

For decades now, Cornelia and Jan Flora of Iowa State University have been at the leading edge of community development research. They have found that sustainable communities nurture and make investments in seven types of community capital. Thus community development can be viewed as the development … Continued

Interlocal Cooperation Has Never Been More Important

December 13, 2011

Rick Morse is a School of Government faculty member. Continuing state budget problems, combined with shrinking tax bases and the reduction in federal aid work together to put local governments in long-term fiscal crisis. The responses of local governments to this fiscal crunch have significant conse … Continued