The concept of a Community Development Ecosystem is derived from the ecological systems theory that “ecosystems” consist of all the organisms and the physical environment with which they interact. Further, the importance of ecosystem theory was the understanding of the transfer of energy or materials between organisms and their interconnected environments.
Applying this theory to the function of a city, we can better understand the complexity and interconnectedness of our stakeholders and the environment in which they interact and transfer “ energy” – i.e. money, services, power, influence, built environment, systems, etc.
In an environmental ecosystem, the absence or introduction of a single organism or element can devastate the entire system. In the Community Development Ecosystem, this reality also holds true, though it may not be as evident as in an ecological environment. By applying an ecosystem approach to the development of our communities, we can start to understand how to solve many systemic challenges.