Reclaiming the inner city, an assessment of community organizing practice in Winnipeg's core

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Hopkins, Megan
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This practicum focuses on a critique of the types of community organizing processes within Winnipeg's inner city neighbourhoods. This study examines the extent to which organizers involve community members. Current planning theories--including equity planning, collaborative planning, and radical planning--as well as different models and types of organizing techniques were examined and then used as a knowledge base from which the empirical research findings were analyzed. The empirical data was gathered through a series of twelve interviews with local inner city organizers using an interview guide approach. The overall organizing trend within Winnipeg's inner city appears to be one that is inclusive and democratic. When applied to the organizing literature, the empirical findings indicate that local community organizing can be compared to the technique of community building. This research has determined that people need control of the process and planners and organizers need to become resources for the community as opposed to leading the process. It is recommended that learning from radical planning theory and its application to community organizing practice can assist planners and organizers to realize the role they must play in order for their work to be empowering for community members.