Perspectives on Communities: A Community Economic Development Roundtable


277 pages
Contains Bibliography
ISBN 0-920336-68-X
DDC 338.9716'9




Edited by Gertrude Anne MacIntyre
Reviewed by Christine Hughes

Christine Hughes is a policy analyst at the Ontario Native Affairs


This collection of 13 essays focuses on community economic development
initiatives designed to create jobs and develop local self-reliance,
particularly among communities and groups that are economically and
socially disadvantaged. Most of the case studies are drawn from efforts
on Cape Breton Island, Nova Scotia. As the resource-based economies of
fishing, steel mills, and coal mining have declined on Cape Breton, many
attempts have been made to stimulate economic development. This book
highlights a number of community development initiatives, some more
successful than others, that have involved Cape Bretoners in the
planning and policy development processes.

The essays are grouped into four areas of community economic
development: foundational concepts, empirical cases, technology, and
research and development. The first part provides a theoretical
framework for the sections that follow. The contributors look at the
role of universities, governments, business, financial institutions, and
not-for-profit organizations in promoting community economic
development. The latter chapters offer examples of practical
applications of successful community economic development ventures that
have had a social and economic impact on the people involved by
affording them with meaningful employment opportunities.

The book is not indexed, but there is an extensive bibliography for
those interested in further research. Besides those interested in or
practising community economic development, this book may appeal to
public policymakers. The editor provides a short introductory chapter
that gives the reader a general overview of the book’s contents. Each
chapter stands on its own, but the book would have been enhanced by a
concluding chapter drawing the themes together and/or outlining links
between the four sections.

Editor Gertrude MacIntyre is director of the Community Economic
Development Institute and coordinator of the M.B.A. in Community
Economic Development program at the University College of Cape Breton.
Many of the contributors also have connections with the UCCB, an
institution that has been a leader in community development projects on
the island.


“Perspectives on Communities: A Community Economic Development Roundtable,” Canadian Book Review Annual Online, accessed April 23, 2024,