Understanding Community Challenges, Common Topics, and Concepts for Your Locale

Published: June 16, 2023

Community volunteer work, and even serving as an elected official, can be incredibly satisfying or intensely frustrating. To increase your chances of rewarding participation, you will need to learn about selected challenges, common topic, and concepts that are relevant to the particular situation of your neighborhood or town.

This division of the website is huge, but I know that most of you will only need to know a fraction of this material.  I have tried to organize it so you can pick and choose.  Just do not underestimate how much you need to know to be a wise leader in your community.

two women at community meeting

Not everyone needs to understand the following subject matter areas, but if you do, just below are the photo links to the entry pages for economic development, redevelopment, crime prevention, sprawl, sustainability on this website. These might be related to either your challenges or your strengths. 

I decided to keep the sustainability topics section very brief, not out of any disregard for the importance of this subject matter for interested neighborhoods, but simply because there is so much good information available that motivated communities will find plenty of general material.

Now for Some Concepts You May Need to Absorb

If you are to avoid demoralizing blunders and see the greatest possible gains in return for your hard work in the community, you might need to master some or most of the concepts described below.  Unlike the heading just above,  these big concepts are standalone pages. 

Some of you may not be accustomed to the term community development. Well, as a spoiler alert, if you were to open the page shown below as "definition of community development," you would find that my definition is expansive to say the least. So if you find the language offputting, just substitute whatever term feels comfortable for you.  

One other note is that under the Planning and Community Development Terms item, where we invite you the reader to ask a question about a term you encounter that you don't understand, you are going to find people asking about both big ideas and smaller concepts and programs, as well as some acronyms. All this is welcome.

But since we have some  big ideas sandwiched among others,  it may take a while to digest all of this.  Give yourself that permission.

  1. Community Development
  2.  › Community Challenges, Common Topics & Concept

Join GOOD COMMUNITY PLUS, which provides you monthly with short features or tips about timely topics for neighborhoods, towns and cities, community organizations, and rural or small town environments. Unsubscribe any time. Give it a try.