North Dakota communities are facing a number of challenges. Many smaller communities are in need of resources to stimulate local prosperity and growth. Many western communities are challenged to sustain recent economic growth. Resources to encourage and support community building are valuable tools for North Dakota’s current economy.
There are many ways to define and describe a community, e.g., geographical area, shared interests, involvement in joint action, interpersonal relationships. One of the primary research approaches in community building and development is that of the Community Capitals Framework (CCF) developed at Iowa State University. According to Cornelia and Jan Flora’s research, communities most successful in supporting sustainable community development and economic growth paid attention to seven types of community capital (i.e., natural, cultural, human, social, political, financial and built). The capitals interact among each other in such a way that investments in one capital can lead to asset building in another.
In order to understand the community capitals, ND Compass provides a set of key measures grouped under the seven capitals. This is the introduction to a series of articles that will define the capitals and provide indicators, geographies, and characteristics through a Community Building Toolkit. The toolkit aims to help identify forms of capital in the community, understand how capital is invested, and educate the community so they are better equipped to form plans of action.
Look for the first article on Natural Capital soon!
Excerpts from North Dakota Compass