Course Description

Community development refers to the broad set of skills and institutions that local communities utilize in an effort to improve the quality of life for all residents.  This course examines the history of housing, economic trends, and social policies that have affected marginalized communities across the US, and the various ways through organizing and capacity building that community development professionals and activists have sought to improve these conditions.  Topics will include the provision of affordable housing, community economic development and finance, education and workforce development, food systems, and environmental sustainability.


Many of your readings for this course are located on Blackboard.  We will read one text, available at the Temple University Barnes & Noble in the Gittis Student Center.  You may use either the third or fourth edition.

Green, Gary Paul and Haines, Anna.  2016 (2014).  Asset Building & Community Development.  Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage Publications (GH)

Selected Readings on Blackboard Site, Organized by Week/Topic (BB)

Assignments and Course Grades

Course grades are determined by the following assignments:

Participation/Attendance: 10%

Response Papers (3): 60%

Final (Cumulative): 30%


Participation/Attendance: You are required to attend all class sessions, and will be allowed two unexcused absences before points are deducted from your grade.  It is your responsibility to notify the professor of your absence prior to the start of class, and provide documentation of all excused absences. 

Reading Responses: You are required to submit three (3) response papers to the weekly readings by the end of the semester.  These response papers will be between 3-5 pages, and cover any of the assigned readings and classroom discussions before the assigned due date.  The purpose of these assignments is to ensure you are engaging the reading critically, and will be of use for your final examination.  You will print and submit these papers in class.

Final: There will be a cumulative, sit-down examination at the end of the semester. The final will be short essay, discussing core concepts of the course, and I will provide you with a study guide. 


Academic Honesty

Please do not plagiarize! It’s a form of oppression and erasure and those are bad things! Please read the University’s policy on Academic Honesty:


 Class Schedule

 Week 1: Introduction to Community Development

 January 12:

·         Introduction, Syllabus Review

January 14:

·         Chapter 1 (GH)

·         “The Economic Impact of Community Development Corporations in the City of Philadelphia and the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania” – Report by: Econsult Solutions, Inc, Philadelphia, PA.  2014. - {BB}

 Week 2: History of Community Development

January 19:

·         Chapter 2 (GH)

January 21:

·         Lake, R. & Newman, K.. 2006.  “Democracy, Bureaucracy and Difference in US Community Development Politics since 1968.”  Progress of Human Geography. 30(1): 1-18. {BB}

·         Rohe,W.  2009.  “From Local to Global: One Hundred Years in Neighborhood Planning.”  Journal of American Planning Association. 75(2): 209-230. 2009 {BB}

Week 3: The Community Development Process & Engagement

January 26:

·         Chapter 4 (GH)

January 28:

·         DeFilippis, J. 2008.  “Paradoxes of Community Building: Community Control in the Global Economy.”  International Social Science Journal.  59(102): 223-234 {BB}.

·         Fields, D. 2014.  “Contesting the Financialization of Urban Space: Community Organizations and the Struggle to Preserve Affordable Rental Housing in New York City.  Journal of Urban Affairs.  37(2): 144-165 {BB}

Week 4: Community Development Organizations & Community Engagement

 February 2:

·         Chapter 5 (GH)

February 4:

·         Ferman, B. and Kaylor, P. 2004. “Building the Spatial Community: A Case Study of Neighborhood Institutions.”  Policy Studies Review.  18(4): 53-79. {BB}

·         Frisch, M. & Servon, L. 2006. “CDCs and the Changing Context for Urban Community Development: A Review of the Field and the Environment.”  Community Development, Journal of Community Development. 37(4): 88-108. {BB}

Week 5: Building Community – Human & Social Capital

 February 9:

·         Chapters 6 & 7 (GH)

February 11:

·         Putnam, R. 1995.  “Bowling Alone: America’s Declining Social Capital.” {BB}

·         Sander, T. and Putnam, R. 2010. “Still Bowling Alone? The Post 9/11 Split.”  Journal of Democracy.  21(1): 9-16. {BB}

·         DeFilippis, J. 2001“The Myth of Social Capital in Community Development.”  Housing Policy Debate.  12(4): 786-806. {BB}

·         Ravitch, D. April 2011. “Dictating to the Schools: A Look at the Effects of the Bush and Obama Administrations on Schools.”  Virginia Journal of Education.  4-9.(BB)  


Week 6: Building Community – Physical Capital

 February 16:

·         Chapter 8 (GH)

February 18:

·         “Developing Without Displacement: Keeping Communities Strong” Report by Philadelphia Coalition for Affordable Communities.  Spring 2015 - {BB}

·         Wachter, S. 2005.  “The Determinants of Neighborhood Transformations in Philadelphia Identification and Analysis: The New Kensington Pilot Study.”  {BB}

·         Axel Lute, M. & Kane, M. Fall/Winter 2009. “Slipping Away.” Shelterforce. {BB)}

 Week 7: Building Community – Financial Capital

 February 23:

·         Chapter 9 (GH)

February 25:

·         Immergluck, D. 2008.  “Community Response to the Foreclosure Crisis: Thoughts on Local Interventions.”  Community Affairs Discussion Paper, The Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta.  01-08. 25 pp. {BB}

·         McQuarrie, M. 2013.  “Community Organizations in the Foreclosure Crisis: The Failure of Neoliberal Civil Society.”  Politics and Society.  41(1): 73-101. {BB}

Week 8: Spring Break – No Class

 Week 9: Building Community – Civic & Political Capital

March 8:

·         Chapter 11 (GH)

March 10:

·         Johnson, K. 2004. “Community Development Corporations, Participation, and Accountability: The Harlem Urban Development Corporation and the Bedford-Stuyvesant Restoration Corporation.”  American Academy of Political and Social Science.  594: 109-124.  {BB}

·         Smith, S. & Evans, D. 2001.  “Nonprofit Organizations in Urban Politics and Policy.”  Policy Studies Review.  18(4): 7-26.

·         Biberman, N. Fall/Winter 2009. “A Sense of Place: Mind + Body in Community Development.”  Shelterforce. (BB)

Week 10: Building Community – Environmental Capital & Environmental Justice

 March 15:

·         Chapter 10 (GH)

March 17: No Class Session

 Week 11: Food Systems and Food Justice

 March 22:

·         Chapter 13 (GH)


March 24:

·         Slocum, R. 2010.  “Race in the Study of Food.”  Progress in Human Geography.  35(3): 303-327.  {BB}

·         Clifton, K. 2004.  “Mobility Strategies and Food Shopping for Low-Income Families: A Case Study.”  Journal of Planning Education and Research.  23: 402-413.   (BB)

Week 12: Immigrant Communities & Community Development

March 29:

·         Fernandez, K. 2006.  “Community Development in Dynamic Neighborhoods.”  Community Investments.  18(2): 17-23. {BB}

·         Sidney, M. 2014.  “Outsiders/Insiders: How Local Immigrant Organisations Contest the Exclusion of Undocumented Immigrants in the US.”  in New Border and Citizen Politics.  Schwenken, H. and Rub-Satter, S., Eds.  Palgrave-McMillan.  (BB)

March 31:

·         Theodore, N. & Martin, N. 2007.  “Migrant Civil Society: New Voices in the Struggle over Community Development.  Journal of Urban Affairs.  29(3): 269-287.   (BB)

Week 13: Universities and Community Development

 April 5:

·         Lambert-Pennington, K., Reardon, K., & Robinson, K. Spring 2011. “Revitalizing South Memphis through an Interdisciplinary Community-University Development Partnership.  Michigan Journal of Community Service Learning.  59-70. {BB}

·         Franz, N. 2014. “Measuring and Articulating the Value of Community Engagement: Lessons Learned from One Hundred Years of Cooperative Extension Work.”  Journal of Higher Education Outreach and Engagement.  18(2): 5-15. {BB}

·         Review websites for Temple/Community Initiatives (BB)

April 7:

·         Benson, L., Harkavy, I., & Puckett, J. 2000. “An Implementation Revolution as a Strategy for Fulfilling the Democratic Promise of University-Community Partnerships: Penn-West Philadelphia as an Experiment in Progress.  Nonprofit and Voluntary Sector Quarterly.  29(1): 24-45. 

·         Ehlenz, M. 2015. “Neighborhood Revitalization and Anchor Institutions: Assessing the Impact of the University of Pennsylvania’s West Philadelphia Initiatives on University City.”  Urban Affairs Review. 1-37 (BB)

Week 14: Climate Change & Community Resilience

 April 12:

·         Chapter 14 (GH)

April 14:

·         Chandra, A. et al. 2013. “Getting Actionable about Community Resilience: the Los Angeles County Community Disaster Resilience Project.”  Government, Law, and Public Health Practice, American Journal of Public Health. e1-e9.   {BB}

·         Storr, V. & Haeffele-Balch, S. 2012. “Post-Disaster Community Recovery in Heterogeneous, Loosely Connected Communities.”  Review of Social Economy.  70(3): 295-314. {BB}\

·         Rivera, J. & Nickels, A. 2014. “Social Capital, Community Resilience and Faith-Based Organizations in Disaster Recovery: A Case Study of Mary Queen of Vietnam Catholic Church.”  Risk, Hazards, and Crisis in Public Policy.  5(2): 178-211. (BB)

 Week 15: Final Week

 April 19:

·         Chapter 15 (GH)

April 21:

·         Review for Final Examination