- University of Illinois Extension
- 905 S. Goodwin Ave., 557 Bevier
- Urbana, IL 61810
- Website Link:
Purpose of the Program
Through the Community Swap program, a team of local residents visits a similar community, incognito and unannounced. During their visit, team members use an assessment guide to take notes that will help them to provide honest and constructive comments about the community to the people who live there. A reciprocal visit takes place by the partner community. The information these teams gather, and the impressions they form, will be the basis for a series of community meetings.
The Community Swap process is organized by University of Illinois Extension Educators and Unit Leaders, who help community members, address topics such as downtown revitalization, community development, leadership and volunteer development, tourism development, small business management, and economic development.
A group of community members, with a designated Team Leader, spend one day in a partnered community making observations and recording their experiences. Team members will evaluate things such as availability of services, customer service, “curb appeal” of the town, ease of finding their way around and getting information. They will also make general observations about the town. After both towns have been visited, a report will be compiled by each Team Leader and presented to the visited community.