Holistic Community Development (HCD) is an approach that aims to improve the well-being and sustainability of a community by considering and addressing all aspects of its social, economic, environmental, and cultural needs in an integrated and interconnected manner. This approach recognizes the interdependence of various factors within a community and seeks to create synergies among them to create a more resilient, vibrant, and thriving community for all its members.

HCD plans address problems by improving the environment people live in. Fixing someone’s problem but allowing the environment that support problems to remain may mean a return of the same problem.

Improving the environment means improving social and resource connections.

A holistic community development plan promotes:

1. In-person social networking
Increasing the number of places people can meet and socialize—such as “Hi Neighbor” gatherings, workgroups, resource festivals, pocket parks, and library events.—reduces social isolation and improves quality of life.

2. Networking of locally available resources
Making resources easier to access, and crisis management more effective, is aided by creating a local resource directory, and encouraging local talent and nonprofit resource providers to engage directly with the community through workgroups and locally sponsored meetings.

3. Workgroups for meetings
Encouraging less formal, more collaborative and friendly meetings enables participation by a wider range of community members, reduces stress, improves group decision-making, strengthens social connections between participants, and fosters greater trust and collaboration.

4. Sustainability and livability initiatives
Encouraging the creation of parks, interconnecting walkways, social spaces, cultural exchanges, efficient energy use, managed natural environments, and a friendly government environment—things that help make people feel good about where they live—improves quality of life, and increases citizen participation.

5. Community mission statements
Stating local community government values and goals helps guide officials and citizens to keep the focus on what they want to achieve.

We need to treat the environment as well as the problem, and the way to do that is to adopt a more holistic view of community life – treat social interactions as a functional network.

Contact Alan Pakaln if you are interested in learning more about participating in a project to promote holistic community development: holisticcommunitydevelopment [at] gmail.com

A book describing the HCD plan is scheduled for release early 2025:

“The Center of Trust: From Industrial Revolution to Community Revolution”

Holistic Community Development

Books by others

Holistic Community Development