Instead of focusing on a community's needs, deficiencies and problems, asset-based community development helps them become stronger and more self-reliant by discovering, mapping and mobilizing all their local assets. Few people realize how many assets every community has: the skills of its citizens, the dedication of community organizations, the resources of its businesses, schools, libraries, colleges, universities, hospitals, parks, and other voluntary sector organizations.
- Asset-based community development has provided leaders and institutions in all sectors with an approach that is relatively inexpensive, effective and empowering while avoiding paternalism and dependence. It is an approach that creates synergy by supporting all aspects of a community.
- Community Mapping2 is a technique to identify what exists in your community; particularly the assets that help a planning initiative successfully achieve its goals and activities.
For more information about Community Mapping see http://www.sesp.northwestern.edu/abcd/about/
2 Kretzmann, John P. and McKnight, John L., Building Communities from the Inside Out: A Path Toward Finding and Mobilizing a Community's Assets, 1993. Chicago, IL.