CDCs and the Changing Context for Urban Community Development: A Review of the Field and the Environment
This review takes Rebuilding Communities as a starting point to survey the community development literature, the community development field, and external environmental factors, in order to examine what has happened over the past fifteen years to shape the context in which urban community development corporations (CDCs) now operate. This paper is both a bounded literature review and an environmental scan. We identify categories of changes and influences on the community development field. We find that in the last fifteen years, the community development field has grown increasingly professionalized. Policy initiatives have also shaped the field. New evaluations of community development have been conducted and published. We now know much more about the potential and limits of CDCs than we did when the Rebuilding Communities (RC) study was launched in the late 1980s. At the same time, significant gaps in our knowledge of the community development field remain. In particular, there has been insufficient study of how the changes in this context have affected the work that CDCs do.