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Spring 2014 - 63444 - PA388K - Advanced Topics in Public Policy

Contemporary Community Development Practices

Instructor(s): Franklin, Shirley
Unique Number: 63444
Day & Time: T 9:00 am -12:00 pm
Room: SRH 3.220
Waitlist Information:For LBJ Students: UT Waitlist Information
Course Overview

Topics for these policy seminars have included environmental and natural resources policy, health-service delivery policy, social welfare policy, transportation policy, science and technology policy, international affairs, national security, urban and regional growth policy, and political campaigns.


Section Description

"At one time policy discussions revolved around whether community development was about people or places... Successful community development is based on attention to both the physical infrastructure, whether housing or commercial spaces, and the health and welfare of residents therein."

Elizabeth A. Duke, Governor, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System opens Investing in What Works for America's Communities: Essays on People, Place and Purpose with this statement as recognition of a shift in community development to a holistic and integrative approach to build sustainable communities.

We will use Investing in What Works as the starting point to review the history and fundamentals of community development in America today. We will explore the perspectives of leaders in the field including Obama Cabinet officials and federal initiatives including Race to the Top,  Promise Neighborhoods and Choice Neighborhoods and not for profit leaders such as PolicyLink's Angela Glover Blackwell and Living Cities'  Ben Hecht.

We will study the models and leadership of several nationally recognized transformative community development organizations especially Neighborhood Centers, Inc, STRIVE, Purpose Built Communities and the Harlem Children's Zone.  Each of these organizations  has gained the attention and support of foundations, business and civic leaders We will review the status of their social, economic, educational  impact on the lives of the families they serve and the neighborhoods they target.  We will review current research in the field and determine where there may be gaps in the research. There will be practitioners invited as guest lecturers. I will share my experience in community development as part of planning and preparing for the 1996 Centennial Olympics in Atlanta and as an executive with Purpose Built Communities.

We will consider a broad scope of questions in our coursework.

  • Are  these models replicable?  
  • Cost effective?
  • Are the communities sustainable?
  • Are there health benefits for the families?
  • Is gentrification a necessary evil?   
  • What does success look like?
  • Is one element of community development more important than another?
  • How are local residents involved in determining the plan?  Project focus?

Students will have an opportunity explore their area of interest - affordable housing, education reform, community wellness, land use planning, parks and recreation, arts, social services and others - in the context holistic community development and to learn from practitioners in the field.

Investing in What Works, published by the Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco and the Low Income Investment Fund is the primary text.  There is no cost for this book and it will be made available to each student free of charge.  Other readings will be available on Blackboard.

There will be a final report and several individual and group projects during the semester.