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Comprehensive Community Development: An Intro

Comprehensive community development is a complex field designed to address the complicated work of reviving low- and moderate-income communities.

To read more about the work of the Institute to learn and promote best practices in the field, visit the About Us section.

For an overview of what comprehensive community development is and how it works, read Patrick Reardon's article, Comprehensive development -- 'How you approach everything.'

Research on comprehensive community development is--like the field itself--relatively new. However, there have been a number of studies and reports that provide insight into what has worked and lessons for implementation.

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Circuit Rider Reviews for LISC's Building Sustainable Communities Program
These reviews, published by LISC offices in seven different U.S. states, focus on the implementation of the Building Sustainable Communities program.
"Placemaking in Legacy Cities: Opportunities and Good Practices"
Focusing on former industrial hubs, largely in the Northeast and Midwest, that experienced industrial and population declines, this report gives four case studies of how to build momentum for a…
Community Change: Lessons from Making Connections
This report gives an overview of the Making Connections program’s history and impact—including statistics on preparing children for school and increasing earnings and income.
"Creating Equitable, Healthy and Sustainable Communities"
This publication highlights how to integrate environmental justice, smart growth and equitable development approaches to create more inclusive and sustainable communities.
Next Generation Community Revitalization: A Work In Progress
Common strengths of six promient CCD networks, including building on “what works,” embracing key management principles and practices, and recognizing that lasting change requires a robust…
Comprehensive Community Initiatives: Lessons Learned
Although this report says that evidence is elusive that comprensive community development lowers poverty, it concludes that it does show great potential.
New Approaches to Comprehensive Neighborhood Change: Replicating and Adapting LISC’s Building Sustainable Communities Program
The first installment of a long-term assessment of how LISC Chicago's New Communities Program platform has been replicated in the first 10 demonstration cities of the Sustainable Communities program.
Creating a Platform for Sustained Neighborhood Improvement
MDRC's interim report on LISC Chicago's New Communities Program focuses on rollout and early implementation years, examining community conditions, how local groups worked together, and projects…
Hard Lessons about Philanthropy & Community Change from the Neighborhood Improvement Initiative
A report that describes the challenges and mistakes encountered by the Neighborhood Improvement Initiative (NII) in three communities in the Bay Area.
Going Comprehensive: Anatomy of an Initiative that Worked
Five major take-aways from the Comprehensive Community Revitalization Program (CCRP), an early demonstration of comprehensive approaches in the South Bronx of New York City
Learning from the Journey: Reflections on the Rebuilding Communities Initiative
This 15-page report focuses on six lessons from the $15 million, seven-year Rebuilding Communities Initiative in five cities.
Reflections on Community Organizing and Resident Engagement in the Rebuilding Communities Initiative
This report defines the essential capacities for effective community organizing and outlines four major barriers to resident engagement, based on experiences from an early comprehensive community…
Voices From the Field II: Reflections on Comprehensive Community Change
The reportevaluates the concept of “community” as a way to organize social policies and anti-poverty programs.
Sandtown-Winchester Neighborhood Transformation Initiative – Lessons Learned
What worked and what didn't in one of the first attempts to systematically bring together diverse strands of thinking about comprehensive community change.
Lessons from the Implementation of the Neighborhood and Family Initiative
A summary report on the Neighborhood and Family Initiative (NFI), one of the earliest incarnations of comprehensive community development
The Paths to Leadership in Community Change
Lessons on situational leadership from the Rebuilding Communities Initiative gives insights into how to select the appropriate response and keep moving forward on a project.
Defining Community Capacity: A Framework and Implications from a Comprehensive Community Initiative
This research paper analyzes the practice of building community capacity and how to use this concept as a way to measure progress.
Final Assessment Report: Comprehensive Community Revitalization Program
The summary report for the Comprehensive Community Revitalization Program (CCRP), a collaborative effort to boost the quality of life in the South Bronx over a six-year period, has five key lessons…
The Eye of the Storm: Ten Years on the Front Lines of New Futures
An analysis of New Futures, a five-year, five-city, $50 million experimental venture to support comprehensive approaches to the multiple problems of “at-risk” children.
The Ford Foundation's Neighborhood and Family Initiative – The Challenge of Sustainability: An Interim Report
A report on the Neighborhood and Family Initiative (NFI), a community development launched through the agency of community foundations in four cities
Community Building: Coming of Age
This report explains the practice of community building and discusses how it might best be supported with six main recommendations.
Voices from the Field: Learning from the Early Work of Comprehensive Community Initiatives
This report distills lessons and conclusions from an early period in Comprehensive Community Initiatives.
Comprehensive Neighborhood-Based Initiatives
This paper in the Cityscape journal is an overview and assessment of comprehensive community practices, based on three case studies.
Core Issues in Comprehensive Community-Building Initiatives
A collection of essays and responses offer a cumulative learning process that brings together a wide array of perspectives from the comprehensive community building field.
Investing in Community: Lessons and Implications of the Comprehensive Community Revitalization Program
An academic review of the Comprehensive Community Revitalization Program in the South Bronx.

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