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Communities have practiced strategic planning for decades using a variety of tools and programs based on the initial Take Charge programs of the early 1990s. These efforts generated a large amount of research regarding their effectiveness, as well as ways to measure long-term outcomes and other related issues, in efforts to better understand the process of community change.
This book provides contributions written by researchers and practitioners describing both visioning and other strategic planning efforts. The Great Recession challenged the future of many small and medium sized cities, especially in non-metropolitan areas, renewing the interests of community leaders and elected officials in finding innovative ways to revitalize their local employment base and economic opportunities. Having access to a collection of best practices and successful approaches can greatly assist these practitioners in selecting strategies and techniques for use in their community efforts. The material in this book is especially useful because it includes both methodologies as well as case studies of how and why various approaches used in alternative cultural settings have succeeded.
This book was originally published as a special issue of Community Development.