Place-Based Development

Place-Based Development

Place-Based Development includes a number of different equity-focused strategies that center the needs, visions, and cultures of those living in a particular neighborhood, city, or region. Aligned with the tenets of Solidarity Economics, place-based economic development done well creates pathways for local people to envision, advocate for, and realize the changes they want to see for their communities. Listen in as CEMI organizational leaders Silvia Paz (Alianza Coachella Valley), Esmeralda Vazquez (Inland Empire Labor Institute), Benjamin Torres (CD Tech, Los Angeles), Alexis Villanueva and Tom Bui (City Heights CDC, San Diego), and Miriam Nieto (Just San Bernardino) talk about the various approaches they are using to make sure that local economic development is driven by and accountable to those living, working, and raising families in their communities. 

How is it applied in Solidarity Economics?

Traditional approaches to economic development focus solely on the physical environment – blighted buildings, roads, vacant lots. A solidarity economics approach focuses on people and starts with the experiences, needs, stories, and connections that already exist in the community. It starts from community organizing efforts and continues to build and strengthen social infrastructure – not just the physical infrastructure. 


A traditional economic development approach uses a deficit frame – it sees people living in disinvested communities as problems to be solved instead of partners in the work of transformation. Solidarity Economics recognizes that all communities have networks, culture, and people power – all resources that can be leveraged to make sustainable change.


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