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Human Development Projects (HDPs)

Building a human community

The first community project of the ICA was launched in 5th City, a neighborhood of East Garfield Park in Chicago in 1963. The Band of 24 replicated the 5th City model in Human Development Projects (HDPs) in every time zone around the world.  The following three videos give the history of the development of these projects. The first video is a 20 year celebration of the 5th City project, narrated by Oprah Winfrey. The second video is about the replication of the 5th City project around the world, narrated by Ben Kingsley. The third video is about the International Exposition for Rural Development (IERD) in 1984, narrated by Sir Richard Attenborough. For more on the 5th City Project go to:

FIFTH CITY: A DECISIONAL CITY narrated by Oprah Winfrey (1983)

THE WORLD OF HUMAN DEVPT, narrated by Ben Kingsley (1977)

THE WORLD OF HUMAN DEVPT, narrated by Ben Kingsley - Part 2

COURAGE TO CARE narrated by Richard Attenborough 1984

5th City: The Pilot Project

The 5th City pilot project was envisioned as a model that could be replicated in other communities, both rural and urban.  Lela Mosley narrates the five presuppositions that guided its development and became the framework for future community projects:

      1. Work is done in a DELIMITED GEOGRAPHICAL AREA.

      2. Deal with the DEPTH HUMAN PROBLEM.

      3. The use of SYMBOLS IS KEY.

      4. ALL THE PROBLEMS must be dealt with at the same time.

      5. ALL THE AGE LEVELS must be dealt with at the same time.


Human Development Projects

Human Development Projects (HDPs) were initiated by the Institute of Cultural Affairs (ICA) as a catalyst in the evolution of a new society of the future.  Among the many actors playing a role in this process, the ICA’s focus was on the local community. HDPs sought to involve people on the street in a selected community in building a microcosm – an example of what a “new social vehicle for planet Earth” would look like within a small geographical area. While trade, technology and infrastructure influence social change, the second perspective for HDPs was aimed at harnessing the “human element” through motivating residents, releasing their creativity and building leadership skills to empower them in the task of comprehensive change.