Importance of Natural Resources

Roland V. Anglin – Promoting Sustainable Local and Community Economic Development



I have more Glickman I'm here at the LBJ blasting school at Rutgers University with my friend and colleague Rowland Anglin known Roblin for about 20 years father's work as of both of the philanthropist and as a scholar and he's written a new book called promoting sustainable local and community economic development a very interesting book a lot of things I want to ask but let's get right down to business well what's this book about and why did you write it well first of all thanks for agreeing to sit down I can't think of anybody else that I'd rather talk about these issues with given your own experience with Community Economic Development the book is about community it's a field that's now over 40 years old it began as a part of the Great Society period and in which local people were encouraged to take control of their economic circumstance it started with locally controlled economic development institutions coming in all CBC's but it's grown tremendously it's going to a field it's populated by intermediaries such as a local initiative support corporation and partners signifies and wondering should seventh birthday of that list this weekend anchor that's correct right now yeah but it's also testament to the permanence of the field as you just said with the 30th anniversary that this nation is created such a field of endeavor that is addressing blight poverty yeah yes sure follow-up question on that I know what kind of painted things to write a book how much you know spending two years or so writing a book what was your passion for this what midnight should you need to ask that question well it's a good question so the past four or five years I've been feeling unsettled that the field that I care about a lot of practitioners care about a lot of academics care about but being given short shrift that it was being misunderstood it was people were saying it's only about one appendage Community Development Corporation's and I had a different view it's much larger much more encompassing of other institutions they're doing great work sometimes it's dispiriting work sometimes it does it's done fits and starts but I travel a length in breadth of this country now I I see what these organizations in the field in general it's making a difference so I said there's nothing that satisfies me an illusion I wanted to contribute to the literature that paints a broad but specific picture of what's happening and also to show that although the field is now 40 years old it's still giving it it's still changing and it's accommodating new challenges such as globalization and the question of whether we can have placed a place-based development so with that if then I just need to sit down and put this on paper that's great what I want to sort of press you on is this notion of innovation yeah that's a term that's used a lot how how do you use the term innovation in this field why is it important give me some examples of how this was going on well this is where the book becomes and wants because I define innovation in the context of the public sector and what it is doing to knit together these various sectors so truly about public policy innovation and base I'm saying that the field itself is an innovation before 1966 you didn't have communities in charge of or with a voice in development even though this the whole story of how many neighborhoods in st. Louis New York were run over by the federal bulldozer because of those those things a new way of looking at how people's words can shape development patterns emerged and that was an innovation but it doesn't stop there because if that were the case then it would just be a one-off but now we have these institutions that are part of community economic development really doing some interesting things things that really try and cope with the challenges to people development place development the globalization I just think that we need to reinterpret think again about what innovation means it doesn't mean the new new thing it means how a thing can be networked and improved on but it's so it's got a base the base to work from she's making it at the end we're looking at outcomes yes what actually takes place on the ground in yes North Carolina New York LA wherever and what kinds of outcomes result from these innovations what are some examples of good things that are going on sure sure well you know in writing a book I went to visit some old friends practitioners and institutions that I think are doing good work the North Carolina Community Development ition is for example I think you could be a lot of good people and they started to work with the environmentalists in in their state they actually got the state government to issue a bond that would not only preserve them but also figure out how development community development is part of preserving the environment and one of the things that emerged from that and a very good experiment is they're taking along one of their local partners Edie partners they're taking steel from crushed automobiles melting it down put molding it into steel frames for affordable housing all of the fixtures in these houses are green LEED certified and it's better it's it stands a better – whether it doesn't sort of insects are not an issue and it's a really innovative way to continue the evident need to provide affordable housing with a recognition that we have to husband our resources and we use them it's not how people feel and if it looks good its aesthetically pleasing you start to get the glimmers of revival ization there other things that need to be there too but that's an important thing and the last thing I'll mention about the New York example is they're working with local stores in these neighborhoods to provide healthy milk healthy products for local residents and poor communities now yet you should happy you can ask what does that have to do with community I think it has to do with Community Economic Development essentially because if you if you take out the focus on the fordable housing what else do you have you have a human being and you're only addressing one part of their needs you have to dress the totality of the human being I think yes I think that's really interesting because when people often think about Community Development you think about Brixton sticks yeah putting up a house putting a bass there and trying to house people nothing wrong with that yeah but what are the examples you're giving me the example of North Carolina and of course in New York as well is the broad range of things you get going on and that's important part of what you've written here yeah okay what does it all add up to it got these innovations we've got different people doing different things when we got the show for all of us well unfortunately we don't have as much to show as we should one because we don't rigorously analyze and document what's there so I say we keep reinventing what's already there I think we need to start networking these very important projects and institutions so that they can do their work in partnership and I know it sounds a little glib but it's being done in many places but we need to figure out how to get the local Weed and Seed organization which is a Japanese program that helps young people of what a crime network that with the CDC that's doing affordable housing and sake what can we do together to make this neighborhood more habitable what can we do to make the people a much better group so that they can step up on the path of upward mobility try and using groups like youth build absol to do any of houses in building besides building them houses cleaning up existing houses of getting the land and things like that there and so many houses I'm glad you mentioned youth though because it's a program that I highlight extensively in the book the youth bill is in the national program that's started in New York in 1977 it's a it's a great idea but it's a simple idea it says you've got young people standing on a corner you've got homeless people and you've got these abandoned buildings right why don't you just get them all together and figure out how to teach the young people how to build houses and in the process they learn very marketable skills carpenter skills but they learn the soft skills that we always talk about and the YouthBuild program is extremely rigorous I mean they take kids that are tough and they put in for training sometimes called melt mental toughness but help break them down and say you know who are you as a human being need to help you think differently about your circumstance and it's a program that's evidence base you can go and get information and data about its success and my sense is it's it's looked at as youth development I want to claim that community economic development because if you look at it you know one of the most lyrical things about the challenge of trying to reclaim a neighborhood is the young people if we don't address their needs you're not gonna get the people with middle incomes coming to a community spending their money and investing and I think just to follow up a little bit I mean a big part of useful is literacy absolutely learn to read and write to to maths and things like that and that's another advantage of it an example of things that are going on out there let's do one line who's your audience for this book who are about the audience the principle others like there are economic economic development practitioners and community economic development practitioners I'm saying to the heck of the economic development practitioners look I understand your standard operating procedure that is you want to attract more business community or a city and I'm not here to fight that but I want to make the case that it's not just business attraction it's really about helping the core become better because if you lessen the the needs of high high needs people then you can use resources to vent invest otherwise and in the summers that's an opportunity cost and I want to show them how with not a whole lot of investment but true networking in in truth thought we can do something different than links local development to Community Economic Development on the other side I really wanted to value the Community Economic Development practitioners they do tough work and we're faculty I don't think we've had a piece that really shows in rigorous and somewhat objective detailed what they do and what the system is about I tried to be honest and objective I will not say I was totally objective I think it's a balance piece that says here are some good things that are emerging in the anything that you're doing but this real challenges that we ought not to ignore and I offer some not solutions but directions for example in the past a challenge you know this you have a be talk about leadership gap in I think we need to be more proactive and thoughtful about how to train leaders in the field but that can be done we're in an institution that trains leaders for useful planning agencies for government for even private consulting firms we don't need to reinvent the wheel we just need to have a clear pedagogy for helping to train future leaders in the field and I offer some other solutions that a broader macro level I think is gonna be a successful venture for you now you'd like to hear more about when you go out and talk to people about the book another go by the book thank you very much Noor thank you for sitting down with me enjoyed it very question issues


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