People First - A Community Self-Help Planning Manual

Publisher:  Edmonton Social Planning Council, Edmonton, Canada
Year Published:  1979
Pages:  191pp   Resource Type:  Book
Cx Number:  CX2037

This manual describes the various practical measures taken to mobilize several communities within the city of Edmonton. It outlines step-by-step how communities can involve residents in the decision-making processes that take place involving change. The models described can be applied to any Canadian community that wishes to deal with issue on its own. The author begins by listing the number of ways citizens can be recruited into active participation. Typically, residents of many communities have pooled their resources to see particular plans carried through. The manual describes how to set up workshops, to conduct meetings, to set a planning process in motion and to carry out community surveys. The manual also contains a chapter on "How to Survive without Money", " How to Get Money" and "Where to Get Money".

In order to better exemplify her approach the author uses common community issues such as housing, transportation, community recreations, community services. She describes how these issues can be worked through, leaving the majority of community residents content with the resolutions of the problems. For example, in the recreation area the innovative idea of recreational use of cemeteries is expressed. " they could accommodate pastoral activities appropriate to their character. Their narrow roads, varied topography, grass, and varied plant material provide a secluded haven for walking, hogging, or nature study. Cemeteries could play a role in the conservation of wildlife habitats."

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