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Community is, of course, a gigantic subject. This is just a taste of the many
powerful and co-intelligent approaches to community-building.



Resilient Communities Project: "We believe that there are large numbers of folks in the U.S., Canada, Australia and other parts of the world who are looking for new ways to talk with each other about things that matter -- and to begin to make changes in our lives."

The Healthy Cities/Communities movement provides lots of articles and links, woven together with the insight that it takes democracy, sustainability, justice, celebration and all those other good things -- as well as good health care -- to make a healthy community.

Among the community-building organizations with web sites, you might find The Institute for Local Self-Reliance and The Center for Neighborhood Technology interesting. Some others without web sites are listed on the "community-building organizations" page of this site. See also self-sufficient sustainable village page.

Civic Practices Network - an umbrella for dozens of groups, organizations and networks doing on-the-ground work in communities. Lots of how-to stuff and great contacts.

People interested in intentional communities will find the Fellowship of Intentional Communities site fascinating; it, too, has great links to sustainability subjects. John Curl provides compelling history about how people have worked together for mutual aid, including an inspiring story of Oakland, CA, in the 1930s ("Living in the UXA").


Co-intelligence for communities

Deep Democracy and Community Wisdom by Tom Atlee explores the intrinsic advantage that a community has over an individual in generating wisdom: an individual is limited by their single perspective, whereas a community contains many perspectives, diverse capacities, wide-rangling knowledge. An important task of government and leadership is helping communities translate their diversity into usable wisdom. (For more on the co-intelligent vision of community and societal self-organization, self-governance and holistic politics, see Co-Intelligence, Democracy and Holistic Politics)

A toolbox of processes for community work by Tom Atlee gives dozens of processes, references and links to help communities tap into their collective intelligence. It was written for activists helping communities deal with crises, but 95% of it is applicable to any community that wants to be more co-intelligent.

Co-Intelligence and the Holistic Politics of Community Self-Organization [35K] describes, from a permaculture perspective, some design principles for self-organizing communities. Includes notes on leadership, co-intelligence, a couple of dozen tools for self-organization and dialogue, the spectrum of politics and the powerful formula REPRESENTATIVE DIVERSITY + CONSENSUS PROCESS = POLITICAL WISDOM.

Ways to make a Community Stronger, Wiser, More Resilient and Engaged - an outline for a course offering 26 approaches to making a better community.

Self-organizing community networks - a variety of novel neighborhood organizing methods that grew out of Y2K community preparation work.



  • Creating Community Anywhere by Carolyn Shaffer and Kristin Anundsen (Tarcher/Perigree, 1993). "The most comprehensive book I know of about the community movement." -- M. Scott Peck. Building community with friends, family, support groups, neighborhoods, co-workers, cyber-companions, shared households and visionary communities. Excellent guidance on conflict, decision-making, celebrations, communication and dealing with community evolution and "shadow side."
  • The Basketmaker: Helping People Create Communities of Opportunity, ed. by Michael Patterson, et. al. (available online). A fascinating mix of vision, inspiration, how-to's, references and stories, especially targetted for people working with disadvantaged communities, but powerfully useful to all of us.
  • The Quickening of America: Rebuilding our Nation, Remaking our Lives by Frances Moore Lappé and Paul Du Bois (Jossey-Bass, 1994). Powerful examples and new theory about how Americans are "doing democracy."
  • Reworking Success by Robert Theobald (New Society, 1997). An accessible re-examination of how to make communities and societies work better in the 21st Century.
  • Building Communities from the Inside Out: A Path Toward Finding and Mobilizing a Community's Assets by John P. Kretzmann and John L. McKnight (Center for Urban Affairs and Policy Research, 1993; $15 from ACTA Publications [800] 397-2282). The manual for asset-based community development.
  • The Spirit of Community: The Reinvention of American Society by Amitai Etzioni (Touchstone/Simon & Schuster, 1993). The kick-off of the communitarian movement.
  • The Power in our Hands: Neighborhood-Based World Shaking by Tony Gibson (Jon Carpenter, UK,1996). How-tos and stories for those who want to make a creative difference in their communities.
  • Going Local: Creating Self-Reliant Communities in a Global Age by Michael H. Shuman (The Free Press, 1998). The title says it.
  • Self-Reliant Cities by David Morris (Sierra Club Books,1982). The classic visionary text on the relationships of American cities to energy. This and many other books on that topic can be found at


Here are some of the stories on this site that relate to community

Measuring Community Health
Sustainable Racine
Ordinary Folks Recommend Good Policy
Chattanooga's Adventure in Revitalization
Curitiba, Brazil - "The Best City in the World"
Circles and Dress Codes
Canadian Adversaries Dream Together
Citizen Study Circles
Future Search in Kansas City
Chattanooga's Adventure in Revitalization
Curitiba, Brazil - "The Best City in the World"
It all began in a Fertilizer Factory
Life Song
Measuring Community Health
Sustainable Racine
Ordinary Folks Recommend Good Policy

These are "imagineering" visionary stories that could happen

Imagining Collectively Intelligent Communities
Pat & Pat, a view from 2019


See also Community Co-Intelligence (there's a lot of duplication between these two pages which will be sorted out s o m e t i m e . . . . )


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