If you want strong local leaders and involved citizens in the future, start today by helping people find one another and get organized for any legitimate purpose. Then be patient. The good news: Cities are good at helping people make connections. With a little effort, they could be great.
This is may be the most critical phase for civic projects because it requires so much from leaders, including the ability to plan, a mastery of detail, and a willingness to ask others for help. It demands commitment and the ability to focus.
To start a community change process, focus on the need. Once people are convinced the need is important, urgent, and solvable, create a guiding coalition to find the solution.
What leaders need is a theory of change simple enough to fit on a single sheet of paper but which fully explains how complicated and diverse communities make up their minds to do something different . . . and get it done. Here it is.
There’s another book that defied conventional wisdom about cities and expanded the possibilities of community development. And this one wasn’t written by Jane Jacobs.