Community Development

  • Good Places to Live

    Poverty and Public Housing in Canada

    By Jim Silver     February 2011

    Public housing projects are stigmatized and stereotyped as bad places to live, as havens of poverty, illegal activity and violence. In many cities they are being bulldozed, ostensibly for these reasons but also because the land on which they are located has become so valuable. In Good Places to Live, Jim Silver argues that the problems with which it is so often associated are not inherent to public housing but are the result of structural inequalities and neoliberal government policies. This book urges readers to reconsider the fate of public housing, arguing that urban poverty – what Silver calls spatially concentrated racialized poverty – is not solved by razing public housing. On the contrary, public housing projects rebuilt from within, based on communities’ strengths and supported by meaningful public investment could create vibrant and healthy neighbourhoods while maintaining much-needed low-income housing. Considering four public housing projects, in Vancouver, Toronto, Halifax and Winnipeg, Silver contends that public housing projects can be good places to live – if the political will exists.

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  • A New Notion: Two Works by C.L.R. James

    The Invading Socialist Society and Every Cook Can Govern

    By Noel Ignatiev and C.L.R. James     July 2010

    C.L.R. James was a leading figure in the independence movement in the West Indies, and the black and working-class movements in both Britain and the United States. As a major contributor to Marxist and revolutionary theory, his project was to discover, document, and elaborate the aspects of working-class activity that constitute the revolution in today’s world. In this volume, Noel Ignatiev, author of How the Irish Became White, provides an extensive introduction to James’ life and thought, before presenting two critical works that together illustrate the tremendous breadth and depth of James’ worldview.

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  • Cities

    By Jeremy Seabrook     January 2007

    Every year tens of millions of people abandon rural areas of the South for life in the city. Already overcrowded urban centres are under increasing pressure. With education, health care and even safe water in short supply, cities risk becoming sites of violent conflict for future generations. The urban poor are less accepting of their fate than the scattered rural poor. And yet, world governments are doing little to address these demographic shifts or to provide the basic services that rapid urbanization demands. Jeremy Seabrook offers a vivid portrait of the lives of people who migrate from impoverished villages to towns and cities.

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  • Doing Community Economic Development

    Edited by John Loxley, Kathleen Sexsmith and Jim Silver     January 2007

    Challenging traditional notions of development, these essays critically examine bottom-up, community economic development strategies in a wide variety of contexts: as a means of improving lives in northern, rural and inner-city settings; shaped and driven by women and by Aboriginal people; aimed at employment creation for the most marginalized. most authors have employed a participatory research methodology. The essays are the product of a broader, three-year community-university research collaboration with a focus on the strengths and difficulties of participatory, capacity-building strategies for those marginalized by the competitive, profit-seeking forces of capitalism. no easy answers are offered, but many exciting initiatives with great potential are described and critically evaluated.

  • Learning to Leave

    The Irony of Schooling in a Coastal Community

    By Michael Corbett     January 2007

    It has been argued that if education is to be democratic and serve the purpose of social and cultural elevation, then it must be generic and transcend the specificity of the locale. Corbett’s case study of Digby Neck, Nova Scotia, which shows continuing rates of highschool drop-out among youth in rural and coastal communities, particularly among young men, illustrates the failure of this approach.

  • Transforming or Reforming Capitalism

    Towards a Theory of Community Economic Development

    Edited by John Loxley     January 2007

    Growing worldwide interest in community economic development has led to a blossoming of “how to” manuals,as well as analyses of co-operatives, development corporations, gender, financing, etc. Yet in all this discussion very little is said about the basic objective of CED: Is it designed to fill holes left by capitalism or is it intended to replace it? There is equally little on a theory of CED. This book draws on several disciplines–particularly economics, sociology and political studies–to assess the state of CED theory and to identify implicit issues for building that theory. It emphasizes the necessity to draw theoretical insights from each discipline, in the process howing the efficacy of interdisciplinary approaches. It concludes with a discussion of both future theoretical directions and of what existing theory has to say about achieving a transformative CED.

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  • In Their Own Voices

    Building Urban Aboriginal Communities

    By Parvin Ghorayshi, Peter Gorzen, Joan Hay, Cyril Keeper, Darlene Klyne, Michael MacKenzie, Jim Silver and Freeman Simard     January 2006

    In Their Own Voices is an examination of the urban Aboriginal experience, based on the voices of Aboriginal people. It is set in Winnipeg’s inner city, but has implications for urban Aboriginal people across Canada. While not glossing over the problems that confront urban Aboriginal people, the book focuses primarily on innovative community-based solutions being created and run by and for urban Aboriginal people. Separate chapters examine Aboriginal involvement in community development, adult education and the mainstream political process. The concluding chapter, based on in-depth interviews with 26 experienced, Aboriginal community development workers, describes a well-defined and very sophisticated form of Aboriginal community development that is holistic and is rooted in traditional Aboriginal values of community and sharing. Out of their often harsh urban experience, Aboriginal people are defining and creating their own, innovative community-building strategies. In cities with significant Aboriginal populations, these strategies are the basis of a better future, for Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal people alike.

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  • Under One Roof

    Community Economic Development and Housing in the Inner City

    By Lawrence Deane     January 2006

    Under One Roof is a case study of an innovative and alternative model of community economic development, one quite at odds with the conventional “export/free market model” of CED. Using the North End Housing Project in Winnipeg as his focus, Lawrence Deane assesses the strategy of housing as the centrepiece for CED. The people in William Whyte neighbourhood founded and ran NEHP to buy, renovate, rent and sell housing to residents in one of the lowest-income locales in the city. Their efforts provided adequate, affordable shelter and increased the surrounding housing values. In addition, the project was a catalyst for jobs for the unemployed, for developing the economic structure for the area and for building social capital in the neighbourhood. The project also included a strong Aboriginal focus. The lessons learned at NEHP will be valuable to anyone concerned with community development that works.

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  • Voices of Nova Scotia Community

    A Written Democracy

    By Scott Milsom     January 2003

    From Birchtown and Harbourville, Kennetcook and Oxford, Lincolnville and Orangedale, these stories explore why the people of small communities across Nova Scotia value the quality of life they enjoy. The author ensures that it is the voices of the people who live in these communities that ring truest, allowing both neighbours and those visiting for the first time a better understanding of life in rural and small-town Nova Scotia.

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  • Social Economy

    Health and Welfare in Four Canadian Provinces

    Edited by Louise Tremblay and Yves Vaillancourt     January 2002

    The fundamental principles of the social economy are solidarity, democratic organization of work, and user and community participation. Based on a three-year study carried out by researchers at the Université du Québec ” Montréal, Université de Moncton, the University of Ottawa and the University of Regina, the essays here testify to the value and diversity of the social economy sector in four Canadian provinces. Researchers explore the realities of the third sector in the fields of health and welfare in changing social and economic conditions. Authors of Social Economy argue that the crisis of the welfare state is an opportunity for the development and growth of a solidarity-based economic model involving new relationships between the social economy sector, the state, the market and the informal economy.

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