ABCD Europe

Asset-based community development in action, all over Europe.

A bit of background to Asset-Based Community Development

The Asset-Based Community Development Institute (ABCD), established in 1995 by the Community Development Program at Northwestern University's Institute for Policy Research, is built upon three decades of community development research by Jody Kretzmann and John L. McKnight (pictured, right).


The ABCD Institute spreads its findings on capacity-building community development in two ways: through extensive and substantial interactions with community builders, and by producing practical resources and tools for community builders to identify, nurture, and mobilise neighbourhood assets.


Challenging the traditional approach to solving urban and rural development problems, which focuses service providers and funding agencies on the needs and deficiencies of neighbourhoods, towns and villages, Kretzmann and McKnight have demonstrated that community assets are key building blocks in sustainable urban and rural community revitalisation efforts.

These community assets include:

  • the skills of local residents
  • the power of local associations
  • the resources of public, private and non-profit institutions
  • the physical and economic resources of local places.


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