Technology Improvement Plan

Option #1: Technology Improvement Plan

Community development increasingly relies upon the Internet to bridge divisions and to forge linkages between disparate communities. From Facebook, MySpace, and LinkedIn, to instant messaging and e-mail, communities across the United States have turned to the Internet to not only connect communities but also to provide core government services. It is not an exaggeration to claim that the Internet has transformed the way that communities do business.

As the Planning Associate, you have been asked to submit a plan to the City Manager’s Office on strengthening your efforts in the area of technology. In an 8- to 10-page plan, reflect upon what strategies community developers could enact that would capitalize on the Internet to not only provide government services to citizens, but also to spark renewed development and interest in local communities. You may wish to focus on the following considerations:

  • Do all citizens need Internet access? If so, how can communities provide greater access to broadband Internet access to their citizens? How would this enhance responsible community development?
  • What government services can be transmitted to citizens via the Internet? Which should not? Why?
  • Are social networking sites an effective mechanism for communities to link citizens and to encourage community development?
  • What dangers, if any, confront community developers as they seek new technological means to provide linkages between citizens and between government and citizens?

You may, and indeed are encouraged to, support your arguments using strategies that you have either read about in the news or that you have seen enacted in your local communities. Use this as an opportunity to brainstorm about ways that community development can be enhanced in this, the Internet age. You also can visit the Urban Institute (Links to an external site.) for ideas or your local community development website.

The paper is due at the end of week 8 and must be:

Make sure you include headings, per APA guidelines. Include a minimum of five (5) outside sources as well as course material. Sources should be adequately chosen to provide substance and perspectives on the issue.

Option #2: Communities of Interest Briefing

A community of interest is a group or community of people who share a common interest or passion. These people exchange ideas and thoughts about their given passion but may know (or care) little about each other outside of this area. Participation in a community of interest can be compelling, entertaining, and create a lot of emotion about the fairness of a topic or an issue. Frequently, they cannot be easily defined by a particular geographical area. In other words, a community of interest is a gathering of people assembled around a topic of common interest. Its members take part in the community to exchange information, to obtain answers to personal questions or problems, to improve their understanding of a subject, to share common passions, or to play. A “community of interest” is defined not by space or by a specific location but by some common bond (e.g., feeling of attachment) or entity (e.g., farming, church group, water quality, or the right to bear arms).

The sense of community that many Americans have no longer necessarily translates into interacting with people that live within a town, village, or city. This development—as one might expect—can lead to severe challenges to local community groups who seek to galvanize the population to work behind local initiatives, all the while realizing that many people who live in communities today consider not only their state but indeed—the world, as their community. Whether this is a good thing, or a bad thing, overall is best left for individuals to decide on their own.

As a Planning Associate, you have been asked to prepare a Community of Interest brief to the City Manager. In an 8- to 10-page paper, identify an issue or problem in your community that resulted in either citizen action or community development. Discuss the history of this situation and identify the factors and social forces that influenced some type of community development that you are aware of, or interested in, that you will focus on in your Portfolio Project for this class. Keep in mind that your response must focus on a community of interest. You also can visit the Urban Institute (Links to an external site.) for ideas or local community development website.

The paper is due at the end of week 8 and must be:

Make sure you include headings, per APA guidelines. Include a minimum of five (5) outside sources as well as course material. Sources should be adequately chosen to provide substance and perspectives on the issue.

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