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Paperback – 352 pages
7.5 Inches × 8.875 Inches (w × h)

Weight: 1.24 lb
BISAC: BUSINESS & ECONOMICS / Development / Sustainable Development
Publisher: New Society Publishers
ISBN: 9780865719323
Pub. Date: 2020-05-05

About the Author

James S. Gruber

James S. Gruber PhD, PE, is Director of the PhD Program in Environmental Studies at Antioch University New England, a member of the IUCN Council for Environmental Economic and Social Policy, and a recent delegate to the UN Environmental Assembly in Nairobi, Kenya. He has consulted for governments and NGOs in the US, Eastern Europe, South America, and Africa on environmental issues and local governance, focusing on citizen empowerment in developing and implementing policy and programs. His work over the past three decades as a consultant, solar and environmental engineer, town manager, and university professor has had a strong focus on local citizen engagement and facilitating positive adaptive change in local communities. He resides in Alstead, New Hampshire. https://howcommunitiesthrive.weebly.com/

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Building Community

Twelve Principles for a Healthy Future

by James S. Gruber



Strong local communities are the foundation of a healthy, participatory, and resilient society. Rather than looking to national governments, corporations, or new technologies to solve environmental and social problems, we can learn and apply the successes of thriving communities to protect the environment, enhance local livelihood, and grow social vitality.

Building Community is an easy-to-use guidebook that distills the success of healthy thriving communities from around the world into twelve universally applicable principles that transcend cultures and locations.

Exploring how community building can be approached by local citizens and their local leaders, Building Community features:

  • A chapter on each of the 12 Guiding Principles, based on research in 27 countries
  • Over 30 knowledgeable contributing author-practitioners
  • Critical practical leadership tools
  • Notes from the field – with practical dos and don'ts
  • A wealth of 25 case studies of communities that have learned to thrive, including towns and villages, inner-city neighborhoods, indigenous groups, nonprofits, women's empowerment groups, and a school, business, and faith community

This is essential reading for community leaders, activists, planners, policy makers, and students looking to help their communities thrive.