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.

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.

Toward Comprehensive Approaches for Strengthening Communities

Last January, The New York Times Magazine published "The Myth of Community Development" by Nicholas Lemann. The article painted a gloomy picture of urban...

The Dollar Stores Take Their Place on the Block

When I lived in the big city, there was a Family Dollar among the various retail, cafe, bar and restaurant establishments on the nearby...

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,...

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...

Capital Catch-up

Community lenders try to address the capital crunch faced by small businesses of color.

Local Hire: Popular and Controversial

In March, USDOT Secretary Anthony Foxx began moving toward fully implementing “Local Hire,” a new, year long model program...
mallach book cover

Can Cities Fix Their Polarization Problem? A Review of The Divided City

How different would cities look and how different would people’s lives be if those with the power to set policy and invest resources prioritized the most vulnerable residents and the neighborhoods they live in?

Do New Yorkers Need an Emerald City?

The Christian Science Monitor reported a few days ago on the Bloomberg administration’s plans to redevelop the Willets Point industrial area of Queens (just...

More Than Marching: Creating Good Jobs That Protect Our Water And Air

Trump and his cronies are backtracking on ensuring a clean energy economy that provides green jobs to make our communities sustainable.

Neighborhood Schools that Work for Kids, Communities, & the Environment

Smart Growth Schools expert Nathan Norris lists 11 key principles for measuring how well schools and school policies fit in with their communities. I...
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.

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...

How Not To Do Economic Development

Camden is one of the most distressed cities in the United States, and if any city needs state help...
One pager begins with Q: Do Immigrants “Take Our Jobs”? A: No! This is a common fear, especially for people who are already struggling to get by. But it’s not true. Then it provides references to studies showing economic benefits to immigration. Image links to a pdf version.

Q: Do Immigrants “Take Our Jobs”?

A: No! This is a common fear, especially for people who are already struggling to get by. But it’s not true. Here are the facts:

CRA Modernization:  A Critical Moment for Underserved Neighborhoods

The Community Reinvestment Act and the Consumer Financial Protection Agency Act hold great promise for the creation of a more financially inclusive nation, but both depend on critical "moments in time" in Congress that will determine whether they become good laws or are weakened beyond recognition
A photo of the Rush University Medical Center.

Connecting Companies to Business

A Chicago organization is bringing together local businesses and large institutions to promote economic growth.

A New Way to Finance Equitable Economic Development?

Big companies discovered the long-stagnant Immigrant Investor Program EB-5 after the 2008 financial crisis. Can community developers bend the program toward their goals too?

“Women- and Minority-Owned Businesses” Is a Meaningless Category

How many times have you seen the phrase “women- and minority-owned businesses” or seen an organization list a single...

In Detroit, the Fight for Community Benefits Begins Anew

For equitable development activists, Detroit’s Community Benefits Ordinance may seem like major progress. And it is—just not how they may imagine it to be.