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.

NSP2 Announcement Coming Soon

HUD Secretary Shaun Donovan is expected to announce the NSP2 grantees, benefitting from nearly $2 billion of neighborhood stabilization program funds made available in the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act. Donovan will hold a press...

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 day, the IOC sent Chicago packing in the first round...

Sustainable Revitalization For America’s Smaller Cities

Andre Leroux, executive director of the Massachusetts Smart Growth Alliance, believes that New England’s smaller cities hold the potential to absorb much development that could help save the region’s countryside from sprawl. But it...

Van Jones: The Green House, Redux

The Spring 2009 issue of Shelterforce ran a brief about Van Jones’ being named White House special advisor for Green Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation for the White House Council on Environmental Quality: the “Green...

The Obama Administration’s Remarkable Week on Sustainable Cities, Smart Growth & Revitalization

Wow. Last Monday, before heading out to toss the first pitch at Tuesday’s baseball All Star Game, the president kicked off a White House forum on urban policy by criticizing past federal measures that...

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

Here are 11 key principles for measuring how well schools and school policies fit in with their communities.

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 really like them: Restoration Preference: Will old schools be restored rather...

Tracking Job Creation in the Nonprofit Sector

Rick Cohen, a long-time Shelterforce contributor and editor of The Nonprofit Quarterly‘s “Cohen Report” wrote last week on the importance of nonprofits tracking their own industry’s job growth as a result of additional funding...

Tracking the Recession and the Recovery

The Metropolitan Policy Program at Brookings announced today the launch of its MetroMonitor, a tool that measures the health of 100 of America’s largest metropolitan economies. The tools aims to look “beneath the hood...

Can the Silk City Forge its Next Industrial Revolution?

New Jersey's Paterson is among the nation's oldest planned industrial cities, but it has fallen on hard times since the once-booming silk industry there declined in the latter half of the 20th century. Much of the industry in this city of 150,000 has since left, but now a geological attraction once envisioned by Alexander Hamilton as something that could be harnessed for industrial might, is fully protected, and could be channeled, this time, for its community-building potential.

My Favorite Revitalization Story: The Rebirth Of Old North

My view is that no other single category of activity is more important to sustainable development than revitalization. When done properly, it’s great for residents old and new, great for cities, and great for...

Great Falls And The Silk City

PATERSON, New Jersey — It’s early February and the air temperature hovers in the low teens — never mind the windchill that could only be tolerable to a Midwesterner. But despite the cold temperatures,...

Operation Neighborhood Recovery and the Future of Community Development

Urban Essex County, New Jersey, one of the hardest hit areas in the state by the ongoing foreclosure crisis, could be the laboratory for an ostensible reinvention of community development, as a local CDC there announced today the successful acquisition of 47 mortgages on troubled properties with an eye toward stabilizing neighborhoods in some of the oldest suburban communities in New Jersey.

Beyond the Stimulus: Whither Communities In The Next Transportation Bill?

I am immensely grateful to my colleagues at NRDC and in the broader smart growth movement for being on top of what’s been going on in the stimulus negotiations, particularly with respect to transportation...

Let’s Take Advantage of The Bad Times

With city budgets shrinking rapidly, municipal governments are desperate to collect property tax revenue wherever they can find it. So they are moving to fast-track new, large development projects that can bring an infusion...

Vacant Storefronts: They’re Not Just For Ghost Towns Anymore

From the City of Millville way down in South Jersey to Morristown up in the northern state suburbs, downtowns across New Jersey are approaching alarming levels of storefront vacancies. And why? Well, you can...

Fighting Wage Theft

Monday brought the announcement of a record 70,000-plus jobs lost worldwide, from drug companies to automakers and everything in between. Meanwhile each year millions of Americans who still have jobs are having their wages stolen...

Parks For Revitalization

The image in this post, which photographer Bill Lim has made available to us through the wonder of the Creative Commons, is of the beautiful Martin Luther King, Jr., memorial water sculpture in San...

Will The Creative Class Fly Back?

Perhaps this is a pointer to where America’s recovery will come from. Some of the less fashionable parts of the country may quietly get on with the business of growing. Places like Chattanooga. And...

Riding the Storm Out

The $3.92 billion Neighborhood Stabilization Program can spur recycling of the stock of abandoned and foreclosed homes produced by the mortgage crisis.