Local development can be described as area-based local initiatives based on a strategy built around a local partnership. Local development is about solving local problems locally, by mobilising local actors and resources. Local in
this sense refers to a functional area with a geographical coverage that may include one or several local authorities or parts of local authorities and can cross administrative borders (local, regional or Member State). Examples of geographical areas that may be covered include rural and urban areas, costal zones, river basins, mountain ranges, cross-border regions and fishery areas.
Local development is both a socio-economic approach, rethinking development from a local perspective: boosting endogenous development or promoting economic development, as well as a socio-political approach, focusing on governance, e.g.,autonomy and capacity for self-organisation of local groups and mobilisation of people through active partnerships. This approach implies a working method based on a bottom up process and a broad partnership between public, private and civil society actors which together develop an integrated local development strategy based on the needs and potential of the area and implement it with their own management competences. Within the scope of this study approaches not based on the working method set out above are not to be considered as integrated local development. Finally, local development is also about the development of sustainable communities, whether in terms of society, environment, health and well-being, economy or demography.
The purpose of local economic development (LED) is to build up the economic capacity of a local area to improve its economic future and the quality of life for all. It is a process by which public, business and nongovernmental sector partners work collectively to create better conditions for economic growth and employment generation. World Bank(cache)