The relationship between the planner and community in a community-based project is a well-documented concern. Often noted is the need for grassroots work to be carried out ‘with,’ rather than ‘on’ or ‘for,’ a community. Although this notion implies partnership, how the planner-community relationship is conceived depends largely on how the community is defined. From a community-based perspective, action is critical to the development of a community’s identity. This outlook suggests that participation determines community membership. Accordingly, conventional community limits may be transformed. The purpose of this article is to offer an understanding of how community-based planners may be viewed to be community members. The focus is the various perspectives on community and their respective implications for membership. To begin, the traditional perspective of community that is grounded in realism is presented. A community-based outlook based on participation is then provided. Subsequently recognized is the importance of dialogue, which is an underdeveloped and, at times, overlooked strategy in community-based practice. The connection between the planner and community is later described, followed by an examination of the issue of power. To conclude, an emphasis is placed on the possibility for a planner to become a community member when a project follows community-based philosophy.


dialogue, community-based, planner-community relationship

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial 4.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial 4.0 License


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