An Overview of Community Development

Communities have the best chance to grow and prosper when a neighborhood’s residents and business owners work together to improve their community and increase their well-being. This happens when a community identifies neighborhood assets – such as land, buildings, businesses, workforce and purchasing power – which become a base from which to organize and attract investment and increased economic activity. The tangible results are civic engagement, better places to live, new and growing businesses, more employment and useful public spaces – in short, a community where everyone has an opportunity to prosper – goals shared by all Floridians.

The Florida Alliance for Community Solutions (Alliance) is the only statewide coalition that focuses exclusively on building the capacity and professionalism of community-based development organizations and nonprofits engaged in the revitalization and stabilization of lower wealth communities. Our members work with their communities to develop existing assets and attract new ones. As we are successful, the people who live in these communities have greater opportunities to increase their own wealth and contribute to the well-being of the community as a whole.

Every community, rich and poor, has unmet opportunity. Investments in older or disadvantaged neighborhoods may offer smaller or slower financial return, which make them less attractive to private developers. Alliance members specialize in putting opportunities in these areas to work by fostering broad public participation, engaging community members in planning and decision making on their own terms and in their shared interests. As individual neighborhoods improve, they become attractive to new residents, new visitors, new businesses that create new jobs and to new and stronger relationships with surrounding areas. The result is an increase in regional as well as local prosperity and economic competitiveness.

Community-based development is driven by opportunity. How we work together with community residents and stakeholders to take advantage of the opportunities in our communities sets Alliance Members apart from their private development counterparts. Our Members recognize that successful community stabilization and revitalization work to create places where children get good educations, residents are safe, employment is plentiful and no one is left behind economically is

Place-Based occurring where the opportunities are
Community-Driven the residents and other stakeholders must participate in the process
Comprehensive taking into account all aspects of the community – homes, businesses,
schools, churches, colleges and universities and others
Long-Term everyone involved recognizing that it takes time to find the best
opportunities and marshal the resources required to invest in them
to obtain the desired results