Economic Development

Economic activity is a crucial part of a healthy community, whether it’s access to quality jobs for residents, business support, or a functioning, diverse range of retail options.

Can We Bend the Sharing Economy Toward Equity?

For all of its promises to increase prosperity and sustainability, the so-called “sharing economy” has a serious dark side.

The Raw Extraction Economy

By now most people in urban America who pay attention to the news have heard of fracking, the practice of...

CRA Survives Its Toughest Challenge

There is nothing more exhilarating than to be shot at without result. –Winston Churchill The Community Reinvestment Act (CRA) has survived the most serious attack in...

Why CDFIs Should Go To College

              During three decades of working to close the financial gaps that confront a disproportionate number of low-income, minority...
Black-and-white photo of DACA information table.

Defending DACA Is a Moral and Economic Imperative

President Donald Trump has decided to end the Obama-era program that grants work permits to undocumented immigrants. Over the course of its five-year history,...
person holding Amazon delivery box

Lessons for the U.S.: How the EU Controls Bidding Wars for Jobs and Investment

The European Union’s rules on subsidies limit bidding wars, and make the level of incentives we have seen for Amazon, Foxconn, and other companies completely impossible.
A black and white photo of children playing at New Communities in Georgia, the largest African-American owned parcel of land in the U.S. in the 1960s.

Continuing the Dream

New Communities Inc. was the largest African-American owned parcel of land in the United States the late 1960s. For more than 15 years, it survived attempts at sabotage and other challenges thanks to the collective efforts of as many as 500 families.

Role-Playing for Energy Efficiency

Connecticut experiments with a “megacommunity strategic simulation” to move the needle on residential energy efficiency—providing a look at a tool that could also apply to other community development challenges.

IOC’s Rio Pick Could Be Good News for Chicago

My friend Hank Kalet offered a prescient look last week about the potential pitfalls of Chicago being awarded the 2016 Olympic games. The following...

Inclusive Growth, Identity, Poverty-Alleviation, and Freedom

I am writing from India, where last week a small but significant convening took place. Some 250 experts (business leaders, academics, and other thinkers)...

The Swiss Army Knife of Community Development

Across America—in inner city neighborhoods and rural towns alike—the level of economic and social distress is rising. Although these...

Maintaining a Bastion of Quality—and Affordability

As afforable housing developments age, managing and preserving them, both physically and financially, while neighborhoods change and energy costs rise is becoming a key concern for community developers. Here’s how one group in Philly is taking that on.
Front of Wanda's Hair Salon in DC's Shaw neighborhood

Equitable Development in Shaw

A recent New York Times article on the revitalization of Washington, DC’s Shaw neighborhood highlighted how real estate developers have rebranded the area to...

Questioning the Core of Charlottesville’s Economy

What makes a local economy thrive, not just on the surface, but deep down? I found myself...

Crackdown Rocks Real-Estate Industry

The Federal Bureau of Investigation announced today that the Justice Department has indicted more than 400 defendants in 144 mortgage fraud cases. The indictments,...
An OWN Rochester team member works on an and LED lighting installation.

What Anchor Institutions Can Do by Working Together

Anchor institutions are beginning to realize that they face similar challenges and, by joining forces, can accomplish goals that once seemed out of reach.

How Much Outside Help Do Worker Co-ops Need to Get to Scale?

Though they end up as owners and decision-makers, workers in low-income communities often don't start off doing all the work...

En Mass.: CDCs Generate $1B in Economic Investment from ‘07 to ‘10

A new report issued by the Massachusetts Association of Community Development Corporations that documents the collective impact of CDCs across the state shows CDCs...

Hey Supposed Economic Recovery, You Missed a Spot

The economic recovery is not reaching all people in all places. I suppose this should be obvious. But as a...

Unlocking Community Development: The Anchor Key

Anchor institutions—a term used to describe public and nonprofit hospitals and universities—are today widely recognized for their role in community...