Saskatoon – According to a recent Centre for Policy Alternatives groundbreaking study on inner city community development, a unique form of ‘bottom up’ development in Saskatoon and Winnipeg has been created largely by core residents themselves.
Professor Jim Silver, University of Winnipeg, says in his study, The Inner Cities of Saskatoon and Winnipeg: A New and Distinctive Form of Development, ”this new form of community development holds considerable promise for resolving the problems arising from spatially concentrated racialized poverty.”
The successes of Saskatoon community-based organizations, particularly Quint Development Corporation’s housing programs and CHEP’s food security programs, are characteristic of the new development strategies.
“Station 20 West, an ambitious social enterprise project is the most recent manifestation of Saskatoon’s emerging community development model,” Silver says. When completed it will see the construction of a grocery store, 55 units of affordable housing, a childcare centre, a dental and community health clinic, a public library and office space for community based organizations.
Aboriginal community-based organizations are also at the forefront, particularly the Saskatchewan Native Theatre Company. SNTC is delivering several youth- oriented programs focusing on the transformative powers of traditional Aboriginal teachings as a means of developing Aboriginal people’s capacities, Silver says.
“This asset-based approach identifies and builds on community strengths and develops people’s capacities to solve their own problems.”
To ensure long term success Silver says “governments must fashion a more deliberate and strategic approach to create a sustainable community infrastructure. And governments need to work hand-in-hand with these community-based organizations to build a more coordinated, strategic and transformative approach to the spatially concentrated racialized poverty of these neighborhoods.”
For more information contact Shauna MacKinnon at 204-927-3202.
The report is available free of charge from the CCPA website at http:www.policyalternatives.ca.