Brazilian community development banks (CDBs) have established various coordinated financial mechanisms aiming to restructure poor and peripheral local economies. Their development strategy includes an instrument to facilitate access to microfinance and a community currency, combined with the definition of vocational training programmes and support for business start-ups. Put together, these different activities constitute the endogenous and resilient territorial development strategy defined by community development banks. Little scientific literature has been devoted to the study of community currencies in this process. This article presents an overview of the symbolic meanings conveyed by the currency of Banco Palmas, the first and most prominent CDB. First, we present some historical and territorial characteristics of Banco Palmas. Second, we analyze the symbolic role of its currency : money as a bond/link (the building of the community on its territory); money as a medium for institutionalization (of the community itself and to the exogenous actors, as to define a federative project); and finally money as a vector-catalyst (when the plasticity of money allows to explore its different formats and so, to adapt it to the new perspectives of community and territorial development).
Marie Fare, Carlos de Freitas and Camille Meyer
To cite this article: Fare, M., de Freitas, C. and Meyer, C, (2015) ‘Territorial development and Community currencies : symbolic meanings in Brazilian Community development banks’ International Journal of Community Currency Research 19 (D) 6-17 <www.ijccr.net> ISSN 1325-9547 http://dx.doi.org/10.15133/j.ijccr.2015.002