Community Vitality: From Adaptation to Transformation
Ann Dale, Rebecca Foon, Yuill Herbert and Rob Newell
AJ(readers are familiar, perhaps to the point of saturation, with the discourse around sustainability. Community Vitality is a valuable addition to the conversation primarily because it explores the myriad connections among the environmental, social and governance aspects of sustainability.
"Vital communities are characterized by strong, active and inclusive relationships between residents, private sector, public sector and civil society organizations that work to foster individual and collective wellbeing. Vital communities are those that are able to cultivate and marshal these relationships in order to create, adapt and thrive in the changing world and thus improve well-being of citizens."(7)
What makes the difference between surviving and thriving? In 2009, respected academic Dr. Ann Dale (Royal Roads University) asked her research team to explore the notion of community vitality, seen as a key concept underlying the question of why "some communities are resilient, adaptive and innovative in the face of change and others are not?" (1). The aim of this accessible book is to "translate" such research into a straightforward yet sophisticated primer for anyone interested in that question.
Each community has its own unique set of values, problems and goals. Community Vitality offers a conceptual framework that allows people in very different places to begin discussing how to map their community's path to satisfying sustainable living. There is no cookie-cutter model here. One of the book's central points is the necessary role of 'homegrown' participatory governance in designing for and achieving community vitality.
"Part of the transition to new forms of governance is expanding the base of...