Civic Foundations of Successful Community Goal Setting: Lessons from the Committee for Economic Development and Ten Community Case Studies

Center for Public Affairs Research (CPAR), University of Nebraska at Omaha


Omaha and its surrounding areas will experience major social and economic changes during the next few years. Lessons from other communities show that managing change strategically is an important key to successful development. The local governments described in the following case studies have been public entrepreneurs, experimenting with new ways to fully utilize the expertise and resources of the private sector. In turn, business leaders have made significant investments in these communities, but their contributions have been realistic and have benefited their organizations and communities. Finally, each community described in this report has established a process for integrating citizen participation with the overall planning process. In some cases, organized neighborhood associations have worked with local governments and businesses to identify strategic issues.