Throughout the United States, neighborhoods of the central city have increasingly been characterized due to their lack of stability. As deterioration has taken hold in these communities, there has been a decline of engagement in the social forces that shape the neighborhood. This has further severed the ties between residents and their investment in the future outcomes of the neighborhood. This study, however, reveals the importance of community engagement in influencing positive related outcomes for a neighborhood. In facilitating this goal, a theoretical model is developed to uncover of the strength of community engagement in achieving neighborhood development. A review of relevant literature is used to discuss the importance of neighborhood organizations, and the role of social capital in achieving community development goals. The theory of community engagement is applied to the cases of four Chicago neighborhoods, and is assessed on its viability to achieve its goals. The findings reveal that community engagement may be used to influence how a neighborhood targets its goals, but may be limited in achieving stability due to its current neighborhood status, and external sources of change.


Burnell, James


Urban Studies


social capital, neighborhood stability, community engagement

Publication Date


Degree Granted

Bachelor of Arts

Document Type

Senior Independent Study Thesis



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