Neighborhoods as Magical Places: The Connected Community Book Talk

The Common Good podcast is a conversation about the significance of place, eliminating economic isolation and the structure of belonging.

For this episode, John McKnight & Cormac Russell discuss their new book, The Connected Community: Discovering the Health, Wealth & Power of Neighborhoods, as a part of the ABCD Book talk on January 19.

The Asset-Based Community Development Institute (ABCD) is at the center of a large and growing movement that considers local assets as the primary building blocks of sustainable community development. Building on the skills of local residents, the power of local associations, and the supportive functions of local institutions, asset-based community development draws upon existing community strengths to build stronger, more sustainable communities for the future.

Six Basic Building Blocks of Community

  1. The contribution of residents
  2. The contributions and other resources of associations
  3. The community-building supports of local institutions
  4. The built or natural environments of local places
  5. Economic and other forms of exchange
  6. Stories, shared heritage, and cultural diversity

Seven Functions of a Connected Community

  1. Enabling health
  2. Ensuring security
  3. Stewarding ecology
  4. Shaping local economies
  5. Contributing to local food production
  6. Raising our children
  7. Co-creating care

The recited poem was Dead Stars by Ada Limón.

About the book: We may be living longer, but people are more socially isolated than ever before. As a result, we are hindered both mentally and physically, and many of us are looking for something concrete we can do to address problems like poverty, racism, and climate change. What if solutions could be found on your very doorstep or just two door knocks away?

Cormac Russell is a veteran practitioner of asset-based community development (ABCD), which focuses on uncovering and leveraging the hidden resources, skills, and experience in our neighborhoods. He and John McKnight, the Co-Founder of the ABCD Institute, show how anyone can discover this untapped potential and connect with his or her neighbors to create healthier, safer, greener, more prosperous, and welcoming communities.

This episode was produced by Joey Taylor and the music is from Jeff Gorman. You can find more information about the Common Good Collective and the reader here. Common Good Podcast is a production of Bespoken Live and Common Change – Eliminating Personal Economic Isolation.



Going Further:

About the Lead Author

John McKnight
John McKnight
John McKnight is emeritus professor of education and social policy and codirector of the Asset-Based Community Development Institute at DePaul University. He is the coauthor of Building Communities from the Inside Out and the author of The Careless Society. He has been a community organizer and serves on the boards of several national organizations that support neighborhood development.

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