Comments on Local Action Plan and Community Economic Development by mtPjMYC


									Comments on Local Action Plan and Community Economic Development

Claude Jacquier
Lyon 25 of June 2008

1 - This comment relates some key element of a Local Action Plan (LAP) concerning a local
    community (figure 1) and underlining the economic dimension (cf. the Urbameco’s challenge).

    Figure 1: A local community and its constituents in relation with sustainable development

     Local community
     Constituents                                   Place
     Institutions                                   (social)
     (public and private
     economic and social)
     Constituents                                  (economy)
     in unstable dynamic equilibrium

2 - In order to build an efficient local action plan, four steps have to be climbed using learning from
    the Regenera network.

                     Building a Local Action Plan
                   -1-                                        -2-
       Actual and Expected Profile                New Metropolitan Projects
          of the Urban Region.                    Which Provisional Impacts
       What is the Economic and                   on Selected Communities?
       Urban Strategy of the City?

                         Opportunities and Potentialities
                            of Selected Communities
                           (place, people, institutions)

                               Local Action Plan
                             (set of local projects)
                        Making the Best with Community
2.1 First of all, it is necessary to have information concerning the economic profile of each
    metropolitan area (actual profile and the expected profile in the future –see the economic and
    urban strategy of the city) in order to know and to imagine how the various components of
    deprived area (place, people, institutions) have a chance to be part of the economic process or to
    gain from it (cf. trickle down effects).

    There is little chance for an area of a small size to succeed in an economic strategy (see
    endogenous approach) without creating connections to the successful economic parts of the city.
    A LAP (targeted on economic dimension) could be one of the ways and a mean for thinking and
    implementing this kind of connections: employment for low qualified and inexpensive workforces,
    ethnic business, special cultures, attractive areas (patrimony), opportunities and capacities to
    attract resources coming from outside, etc. (see figure 2).

    Figure 2: Large economic projects concern blue and green areas. How to reconnect
    deprived communities?

     Economic spatial
       trickle down
        Connected                                CZ
       disconnected                  DZ                          DZ
      an urban region
                                         CZ                   CZ


                            CZ Connected Zones            DZ Disconnected Zones
                                Flows of Resources           Potentiel flows

2.2 In the same time (because of the short time available in a fast track), we need to have an
    attentive look to the projects or programs already imagined or launched at the metropolitan
    scales in order to identify how they could have positive or negative impacts on the selected
    areas. This attentive look could show how it is possible to influence these projects or programs
    by improving their contents from the deprived area point of view and how it is possible to redirect
    the resources they use (figure 3).

    Figure 3: The various economic components of an urban region

     The economic                                 base
                                                   (labour and
     base                                       capital incomes
                                               of local activities)

                       Public                                              Social
                        base                                                base
                                                       Local             (social benefits,
                      (wages paid by                 community            unemployment
                       public sector )                                  benefit, pensions

                                              (pensions, incomes
                                                 from outside ,
2.3 Third aspect, we need also a particular diagnosis (like anthropological economy?) of the
    opportunities and potentialities of the selected areas in order to understand what are their
    capacities to attract and capture a part of the flow of resources circulating within the city and in
    their surroundings and how they can exchange with the rest of the metropolitan area (what kind
    of goods and services they can export –as an example tourism, what kind of resources they
    could attract – allowance, social benefit, pensions, etc. and how and where they could spend
    them , etc.). Here we have to give a place to gender approach of the communities’ organization
    in relation with the five different types of economy (market, welfare, domestic, social economy
    and poaching economy) (figure 4 and 5).

    Figure 4: The engine of a community economic development process, ACAR (Attractor,
    Collector, Accumulator, and Redistributor)


                     1                               4
                  Attractor                     Redistributor


    Figure 5: Gender and economy (some lessons from Polanyi + additions)

                                        Market           Men            Poaching
           Gender                      economy                          economy
                                                                 Econom ie

            and                                                  ém ergée

                                      Emerged                                Immerged
         Economies                    economy                                 economy
       Access to jobs,               Welfare
                                    economy                                    economy
         economic                                                                         Econom ie
                                                                                          im m ergée

       activities and
         resources                                        Social

2.4 The collect of these three types of information and data could help cities and Urbameco to
    imagine which local projects have to be implemented in such community. These projects have
    to be well rooted in an area and need to have links with the economic networks inside and
    outside the neighbourhood (metropolitan and regional areas, rest of the country and may be
    foreign countries from where people are coming – the diaspora dimension). These local projects
    have not to do local communities but they have to do with theme. They have to be focused on
    production and exchange processes (production of goods and services, shops, e-economy, etc.).
    They have to be also focused on amenities that improved the attractiveness of the considered
    local community:
       - as place (location in the regional area, quality of public spaces, environmental protection,
         comparative advantage carbon cost, etc.),
      - as people (education and training, learning different languages, cultures, etc.),
      - as institutions (innovations reducing local bureaucracy, implementing proactive and
         creative attitudes, empowerment of community organizations, etc.).

3 - In brief, these local action plans have to take into account different dimensions (figure 6): the
    special characteristics of the community (1) at various scales (local area, city, urban region,
    outskirts) in order to be both well rooted in the local area and well networked with the rest of the
    city and the region. They have to take into account the atmospheres (2) of these different scales
    in order to imagine fecundating projects (3) based on “conflictive cooperation”. The know-how
    (le savoir-faire) (4) is essential to succeed in this matter because these kind of local projects
    cannot be imposed to the existing city and communities but they have to do the best with them.
    In order to do that each city member in the Urbameco network has to mobilize a good project
    management director and cleaver professionals well trained in the field of community
    economic development.

    Their role is to well understand what is a local community (1), its atmosphere (2) and the
    adequate projects (3) in order to mobilize various actors and organize them in an efficient
    partnership strongly support by cooperative and “coproductive” processes (5) linked by
    contracts (6) from which can emerge social and political coalitions (local support group –
    LSG). Consequently these agents have to be able to deal both with frameworks and
    procedures (apparatus, bureaucracies, sectorial policies) and with networks and processes
    (weak forces and weak ties, transversal and integrated approaches) to implement the necessary
    changes and reforms this local action needs. Frequently these agents have to bypass
    bureaucratic resistances and behavioral routines. That is the reason why we can say that the
    way of thinking and making a local action plan is like a reformist conspiracy.

Figure 6:       Making a Local Action Plan

                                    Cooperation and coproduction
     Making the best                with inhabitants
     of the city                    and communities
                                    Interactive approaches
                                    Simultaneous actions

               Place                    5-Partnership

                                 2-Atmosphere                        A

              People            3-Project
            Institutions                                             B
            1- Community          4-Savoir-faire
                                              (A, B, C)

4 - Assessment is a main topic the Urbact Urbameco network has to deal with. Evaluation of local
    action plan and their impacts on communities, cities or urban regions is not easy because of the
    complexity of the processes implemented involving a lot of actors, public and private playing at
    different scales. Figure 7 tries to present a part of the assessment challenge and the difficulties
    encountered to run this essential aspect of local action plan (LAP). Consider the state (A 0) of
a local community and its provisional decline towards a more run-down state (An), which
justifies a local action plan. This policy is implemented on the basis of an assessment of the
current state of the situation (A 0) that is to say starting from a representation of the reality (R 0).

A possible new vision (Rn) can be proposed by the project manager to the partnership and
to the local support group with the Urbameco Network help. On this basis a strategy is drawn
up and the combination of evolutionary processes and the outcomes of strategy
implementation will lead to a new situation (A’n) and to a representation (R ’n). The
assessments that ought to be made should compare the original state (A 0), the provisional
state if nothing is done (An), the designed state (Rn) and the situation actually observed (A’n).
In fact assessments are just able to compare representations of reality: the representation (R 0)
of the original state (the diagnosis), the representation of the designed state (Rn) and the
representation (R’n) of actual state. In a word, an assessment can, at best, be but a set of
representations. There are often successful representations! What concerning reality?

Figures 7: Assessment
Evaluation of an integrated policy                          R’ n

  A : Reality    R : Representation
     R0                                           Rn

                   (aimed transformation)
                                                            A’ n

                            (real evolution)           Ev
                           (expected evolution)

        Evaluation that should be
        carried out                               An
        Evaluation carried out
5 - The main aim of the Urbact Urbameco Network is to help each city member in the design and the
    implementation of local action plan (LAP). The Urbameco Network role is to deliver a collective
    understanding of the domestic situations during visits of experts, exchanges of professional staff
    and informative seminars and to initiate engineering processes. In a way those who take part in
    these network are at once ambassadors for their country and cities, specialists able of providing
    informed opinions on the projects they visited, unbiased observers and professionals undergoing
    training whose mind was freed up by the magic of travel. Is it not said that the journey towards
    others is a way of discovering oneself and one’s own city reality? The diagram below illustrates
    some dimensions of this European know-how production (figure 8).

    Figure 8: Urbact Urbameco Networking

      Local Action Plan
      An Integrated policy

      Visited city

      Visiting cities        V1   V2   V3   V4            Vn    Capitalisation
                           R1     R2   R3   R4            Rn
      Visiting report
      Building new
      Collective knowledge T1     T2   T3   T4            Tn

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