Public Intervention Strategies for Distressed Communities

Lester O. King

This research presents a methodology to comprehensively define Distressed Communities. We further identify if there is a significant difference in public investment between Distressed communities and Wealthy communities. One of the key tools in sustainability planning is the use of sustainability indicators (Sis). A considerable amount of scholarship has contributed to define and develop SI programs for local level application (Elgert and Krueger, 2012). Much of the focus of SI research is on developing the ideal indicator based on defined criteria for each indicator (Hart, 1999; Innes and Booher 2000; Holman, 2009). Here we suggest a methodology beyond defining the ideal indicators to demonstrating how indicators can be used for more in-depth analysis of complex urban problems. In this analysis we reduce 34 development metrics to a smaller number of factors that represent how the data can be classified into groups based on similarities among 88 communities. Using the factor (group) that contained measures identifying Distressed Communities, the communities were alloted an index score and ranked. The top 10 communities were then compared to the bottom 10 communities according to 14 place based variables related to opportunities for local government led improvement.

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