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Community Empowerment Manual, Second Edition

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More than a decade since the release the innovative original, Partners for Livable Communities announces the release of the second edition of its Community Empowerment Manual (preview copy). Expanded and reorganized by former staff member, Carly Grimm, the new edition builds on the tried-and-true approaches to community development showcased in the original, and invigorates the document with new case studies and a new section that helps readers better understand the challenges to livability—aging population, deteriorating infrastructure, and declining local economies—that exist in American communities.

The first edition of the manual was published in 1999, and was the culmination of four years of work and collaboration with communities across the United States and Europe, with support from Bank of America, the Healy foundation, and the US Department of Housing and Urban Development. It was met with great success and featured in Governing Magazine.

The new edition could not come at a better time, as more communities are facing fiscal constraints. To maximize assets over the next decade, communities will need to be more self-sufficient, and the Community Empowerment Manual, with its focus on making the most of community resources, is a valuable tool for pursing livability from a local level.   

More than just a primer on livability, the Community Empowerment Manual is a workbook for community development that educates readers about leadership strategies, effective collaboration, creating regional partnerships, and developing and realizing a vision. The Community Empowerment Manual is a valuable guide for:

  • Citizens—both those currently engaged and those frustrated by lack of action
  • Local government officials
  • Community organizers
  • Civic leaders
  • Non-profits and NGOs
  • Business organizations
  • Social agencies
  • Educational and cultural institutions  

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The Creative Community Builder's Handbook: How to Transform Communities Using Local Assets, Arts, and Culture

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Written by Tom Borrup with Partners for Livable Communities, this book features best practices and technical assistance how-to's on using culture as a fundamental tool for transformative community development. The book is a tool of broad scope covering topics such as: Asset Mapping; Funding and Policy; Effective Partnerships; Assessment and Evaluation. The book follows up on Partners ground-breaking Culture Builds Communities work.

Borrup writes, “In 1993 PLC began an extensive developmental program called Culture Builds Community, which aims to systematically place cultural assets within the portfolio of community development efforts…Nationwide in scope, the program gave rise to a publication, Culture Builds Communities, that inspired this book.”

Published by Fieldstone Alliance, Saint Paul, MN, 2006, 261 pages ($25)

(This Report/Book is only available for purchase. Partners does not have an electronic version available)

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The Creative City Anthology

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The Creative City Anthology is a comprehensive collection of articles backgrounding the issues of Partners' Creative City initiative. Authors include New Economy heavy-hitters Richard Florida and Joel Kotkin, policy advocates Bruce Katz and Thomas Hylton, and business developer John Howkins. The twenty-five complete articles are divided according to issue area, and are accompanied by a full reading list.

Published by Partners for Livable Communities, 2004 ($10)

(This Report/Book is only available for purchase. Partners does not have an electronic version available)


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The Creative City Policy Source Book

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The Creative City Initiative is a multi-year technical assistance and networking program that builds upon Partners’ work with amenity-based economics. Research by MIT’s Lester Thurow states that creativity is the fuel of the information age. It is time to look at the relationship of amenities, creativity, technology and e-commerce to the globally competitive region and its ability of attracting the best and the brightest. This book has tools and resources related to the Creative City program.

Published by Partners for Livable Communities, 2004 ($10)
(This Report/Book is only available for purchase. Partners does not have an electronic version available)

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The Mid-Sized City: Exploring its Unique Place in Urban Policy

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An exploration of whether midsize cities should have a league of their own, i.e. are they unique and special and should they have a stronger voice on public plicies in the U.S. and on global business development abroad? The results of a conference of invited researchers and public policy leaders led by Tom Argus of Rochester and Laura Durham of Partners for Livable Communities.

Author: William Fulton, Solimar Research, 16 pages, November 2002. ($5) Or Download the Report for Free here

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