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Community Benefits Agreements: Representation, Collaboration, and the Role of Government in U.S. CBAs

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Community Benefits Agreements: Representation, Collaboration, and the Role of Government in U.S. CBAs

Ling, Ethan A. (2014) Community Benefits Agreements: Representation, Collaboration, and the Role of Government in U.S. CBAs. Masters thesis, Concordia University.

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Abstract

Over the past forty years, government at all levels has shifted from a managerial to an entrepreneurial style of governance, to varying degrees. This neoliberal shift in rule, which espouses market deregulation, corporate tax reduction, funding cuts, privatization of public services, increased competition for global capital, and the clawback of social assistance programs, has been promoted as a cure for the ailing economy. At the municipal level, expansion of the economic development agenda and an “open for business” mentality has dominated the local planning agenda for many years. ‘If it’s good for the economy, it’s good for the city’ is increasingly the basis on which development projects are planned, subsidized and constructed.

However, the negative externalities that are caused by these large, often publicly funded, projects are forcing citizen groups to seek innovative ways to have their voices heard. Community Benefits Agreements (CBAs) are becoming an ever more popular tool for community coalitions who desire more input and participation in the planning and development process. CBAs are negotiated agreements between parties involved in a development project which ensures the direct delivery of some of the economic benefits that are often advertised, but rarely materialize, in large-scale development projects.

This work looks at ten U.S. CBAs and explores the themes of representation, collaboration, and the role of government within the individual cases. Comparing the academic and practical literature that is emerging, this research demonstrates that the success of any given CBA is tied to a community organization's ability to mobilize the local and non-local resources and alliances that can best support their context-specific needs, and it illustrates the varied means by which this mobilization is achieved.

Divisions:Concordia University > Faculty of Arts and Science > Geography, Planning and Environment
Item Type:Thesis (Masters)
Authors:Ling, Ethan A.
Institution:Concordia University
Degree Name:M. Sc.
Program:Geography, Urban & Environmental Studies
Date:15 September 2014
Thesis Supervisor(s):Rantisi, Norma and Rutland, Ted
ID Code:979015
Deposited By: ETHAN LING
Deposited On:01 Dec 2014 18:03
Last Modified:18 Jan 2018 17:48
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