An urban community development model

William J Linder, Fordham University


This thesis studies the evolution of a comprehensive urban community development program. There are very few models of urban community development in technologically advanced countries. New Community, the object of this study, is located in Newark, New Jersey and presents such a model. It reflects a program that has brought about considerable change at the community level. One of the assumptions of New Community, the program under investigation, is that while community development takes place at the micro level of society, there are factors at the macro level which contribute significantly to the outcome of any specific project; yet they often appear beyond the capacity to influence at the micro level. Three such factors are identified herein and are called "givens." They are racism, an anti-urban bias, and an anti-poor value orientation. These factors were accounted for in the emergence of the New Community program. The goal of New Community includes contributing to that part of Newark which is underdeveloped. It is a comprehensive program including many important social and economic factors. It is not restricted by specific neighborhood locale. Even though community is one of the principal elements of this model, the change strategy also includes management of rapid change and the building of new institutional alternatives which reflect the values of the participating people. Certain concepts have been identified which give form to the strategic model called new community. Among these concepts are the role of conflict, religion, networking, leverage, and self-reliance. The idea of nationalism is important since New Community was founded in the late nineteen sixties and was a response to the troubles occurring both nationally and locally at that time. Politics will always be a consideration in any development plan and was often a pivotal element in the New Community experience. Finally, the New Community model includes the physical environment as an important element in building a sense of pride in one's community. Further research is needed to study the transferability of the New Community model of urban community development to other settings.

Subject Area

Social work|Urban planning|Area planning & development|Social structure

Recommended Citation

Linder, William J, "An urban community development model" (1988). ETD Collection for Fordham University. AAI8818464.