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How does a community move forward? On one hand, citizens could focus on all the negatives and jump from one problem to the next, like a game of whack-a-mole. Or they could take the Asset Based Community Development (ABCD) approach.
In this long-form interview with Dr. Darrin Wilson from Northern Kentucky University, we focus on ABCD as a tool for embracing a community’s strengths and doubling down on them.
Raised in rural Kentucky, Dr. Wilson has seen this approach work in a wide array of communities. From big businesses to great storytellers, blank walls to local universities, there are countless assets that can be leveraged for community prosperity. But, first, you’ve got to know where to look.
As Dr. Wilson said in the episode, ABCD is a way for communities to “Get busy living or get busy dying. And Norwood is too wonderful of a place to let die.”
Links from the interview with Dr. Darrin Wilson
In Asset Based Community Development, there are the types of assets to be leveraged:
- Human – knowledge, skills, and abilities of people in a community. “What pool of talent do we have?”
- Social – Strong or weak bonds. Neighbors knowing each other. Kids playing together. Community organizations. Churches.
- Physical – Buildings, roads, sewers, water systems. Reactivating old buildings.
- Financial – Banks, corporations, community wealth,
- Environmental – Qualities of community’s water, soil, air, accessing natural beauty and views of natural features
- Political – Govt institutions, political activism, interest groups, neighborhood associations, school boards, regional governments
- Cultural – history, values, traditions, “sense of place”
Overview of Charles Tiebout’s theory about people “voting with their feet.”
Check out how the laneways of Melbourne, which are an asset made from an eyesore.
Similar to the Hudson-Floral Micro Park, Ryan Salzman of Bellevue, KY turned an unused space into a public art installation and gathering place.
The following is the Asset Based Community Development map, which is a key tool for planning.
Learn more about the origins of The Catalytic Fund, which brings projects to life in Northern Kentucky. More recently, they’ve worked with the Northern Kentucky Chamber on a public art and way-finding project.
Dip your toes into the world of CDFIs.
Move Norwood Forward aims to shed light on the people, businesses and happenings of Norwood, Ohio that are bettering the city. If you know of a person who should be featured on an episode, nominate them here.
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