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PAPER | Five Keys to Broad and Inclusive Community Engagement

Cities Deepening Community, neighbours, Neighbourhoods

Building strong communities is not easy. In Bowling Alone, Robert Putnam documents the decline of community life in North America. He blames poverty, suburbanization, television, and more time spent at work. Others have added fear, mobility, globalization and increased professionalization and specialization to the list of culprits.

Jim Diers

By Jim Diers

Jim Diers has a passion for getting people engaged with their communities and in the decisions that affect their lives. His work in the Seattle Department of Neighborhoods was recognized with an Innovations Award from the Kennedy School of Government. He was appointed the first director of Seattle’s Department of Neighborhoods in 1988 where he served under three mayors over the next 14 years creating what some would say is a miracle of neighbors where he put his passion to work for a direct-action neighborhood association, a community development corporation, a community foundation, and the nation’s largest health care cooperative. He teaches courses at the University of Washington and serves on the faculty of the Asset-Based Community Development Institute. Jim travels internationally to deliver speeches and present workshop on neighbours and neighbourhoods. His book, Neighbor Power: Building Community the Seattle Way, is available in both English and Chinese editions.

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