In this article, we argue the need for a critical turn in community development practice and research in the face of two scalar tensions in the existing academic literature and US community development policy. The first tension is the perceived ineffectiveness of neighborhood-based community development in the context of globalization despite the increasing interrelatedness of neighborhoods and globalization. The second tension emerges in a growing body of academic literature and policy action that privileges the region as the place from which to understand urban decline and to address issues that have historically been the concern of community development. These two tensions dominate community development discussions and often undermine community development politics and policy by contesting its relevance for multiscalar processes. Instead, we argue that neighborhoods are more important than ever because it is from the place of the neighborhood that it becomes possible to understand the multiscalar (global and local) processes that shape it.
- Community development
- Urban politics