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Information Technologies in Neighborhood Organizing: Learning from a Minneapolis Neighborhood.

Elwood, Sarah.

Increasingly, neighborhood organizations are using information technologies such as e-mail, the Internet, database software, and geographic information systems (GIS) as part of their neighborhood organizing and revitalization efforts. Questions remain, however, about the usefulness of such technologies, as well as the opportunities and constraints they present for neighborhood orgainizations, neighborhoods, and their residents. This 2000 article presents a case study of the use of information technologies by the Powderhorn Park Neighborhood Association (PPNA) in Minneapolis. Elwood concludes that (1) new information technologies offer significant opportunities to neighborhood organizations and the communities they repressent by improving information management capabilities, expanding the base of resources available to support the organization, and enhancing opportunities for advocacy on behalf of the neighborhood and its residents; (2) new information technologies may have negative impacts on both the organization and the community due to unequal access to the technology, and the resulting marginalization or exclusion of certain participants, and (3) the use of information technologies may be hampered by organizational constraints such as limited financial resources, lack of staff training, and competing demands for staff time.

CURA Reporter
Publication date: 
Minneapolis: Center for Urban and Regional Affairs, University of Minnesota.
Supported in part by CURA's John R. Borchert Fellowship.
30 (4): 1-7.
Online availability
Download from CURA: 
CURA call number: 
Reporter 30 (4)