Strengthening Local Economies

Picked up on Weitzenegger’s Website for International Development Cooperation, and its Newsletter.

Published on worldwatch (not dated).

The wealth of a nation depends in large measure on the economic health of its cities. Strong local economies are the foundation of strong communities that can grow and withstand the pressures created by an increasingly urbanized world. And strong communities require a holistic approach that not only provides the traditional deliverables of economic development—jobs, income, wealth, security—but also protects the environment, improves community infrastructure, increases and develops local skills and capacity, strengthens the social fabric, and respects heritage and cultural identity.

While individual actions and lifestyle choices, such as buying organic produce, are important personal contributions, strengthening local economies requires a collective shift in individual actions and political choices. The cooperative economy of Emilia Romagna in northern Italy, the Grameen Bank in Bangladesh, Vancity Credit Union in Vancouver, the Women’s International Sewing Cooperatives of Nueva Vida, and the campaigns for local trade across North America are all examples of the potential of community mobilization to help strengthen local economies … (full text).

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