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Community Development has been part of much of my adult life. While I played roles in the process, I never have been part of the core development itself, but a resource to those who were. In Chicago I was a researcher and consultant in the definition and assembly of the collateral” (land) around O’Hara Airport for Mayor Harold Washington (Chicago’s first black Mayor) The controversial idea was to develop underutilized land around the airport into vast industrial, retail and housing complex. In Atlanta I was Commissioner of Planning for the City, at the beginning of then Mayor Andrew Young’s, vision to develop a high crime and decayed area in downtown, to a vibrant downtown entertainment, bar and restaurant district for locals and city visitors. Now called the “Underground”. My central point here is that the approach to use for these developments could not be plucked from a hat, each possessed different assets, social capital and requirements. While understanding the optional approaches to development that can be achieved, determining the correct one to apply to community development is the most difficult challenge and should consume the first steps. The Community must be a major player for its own self-help and determination.


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