Community development projects are a means of strengthening a local region in one of many different ways. There are several types of community development projects, including those aimed at helping specific segments of the community, improving safety conditions, and enhancing social and cultural pursuits throughout the region. By financing targeted community development projects, foundations and local governments can spur their towns and cities toward future growth and sustainability.
The goal of some development programs is to assist segments of the population who are in need of social services. This could include building a job training center for the unemployed or creating or upgrading facilities for domestic violence victims or homeless people. Some projects might involve providing food or medical care for children and families struggling with poverty, or tuition assistance at local community colleges for those who can demonstrate financial need. Improving the health, education, and future prospects of the neediest members of society can help the community grow as a whole.
Disaster preparation, prevention, and mitigation are often the source of community development projects. A community program geared toward improving fire safety, for instance, could include handing out free or discounted smoke alarms, holding coordinated school and business fire drills, and sending local firefighters into schools to teach children about fire prevention and safety. In an area prone to flooding, a community program might exist to help improve or retrofit flood barriers and dams, thus increasing the protection level for homes and businesses near the flood zone. A community that is known for strong safety programs may enjoy increased property values and a higher level of safety and security for citizens.
The social and cultural component of a community is vital to its sustainability. By enhancing and encouraging a strong local social scene, a town or city can help enhance its reputation as a fun, enjoyable place to live and work. Creating and funding a city orchestra is one example of a culture-based community development program. The building or improving of community spaces for entertainment, education, and meetings is also a popular way for a region to improve its cultural and social offerings. Towns may also engage in community development projects that help restore and maintain historic buildings, parks, and other areas that help define the character and history of the region. These projects can not only enhance the lives of citizens, but help increase the flow of travel and tourism to the region, thus promoting the local economy.