“People first”: Factors that promote or inhibit community transformation

Mary Brown, Birgitta L. Baker

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    16 Scopus citations


    Residents are key assets in community change. Despite this, little is known about residents’ perspectives regarding factors that facilitate or inhibit successful planning for neighborhood transformation. We conducted focus groups with residents of a low-wealth community involved with a neighborhood planning initiative and examined a planning document to elicit lived experience perspectives. Using Colaizzi’s approach to phenomenology, the following themes emerged: (1) trust; (2) resident-driven transformation; (3) sense of community and cohesion; (4) engagement and collective action; and (5) openness to transformation. Attending to the factors identified by neighborhood residents can inform community development planning and practice.

    Original languageEnglish (US)
    Pages (from-to)297-314
    Number of pages18
    JournalCommunity Development
    Issue number3
    StatePublished - May 27 2019


    • Community-based research
    • community development
    • community engagement

    ASJC Scopus subject areas

    • Geography, Planning and Development
    • Sociology and Political Science


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