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.

Right on Target: Reaching New Heights In DC

Vacant land gives way to residential and commercial development is a classic urban renewal storyline, but DC's Columbia Heights is getting more than just retail and residential: it’s reclaiming its history.

R Street Apartments: Transit-Oriented Affordable Housing Goes Green

Once marked by underinvestment and criminal activity, few neighborhoods in Washington, D.C. have undergone as significant a redevelopment over the last decade as the historic Logan Circle neighborhood.

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...

Here’s How CDCs can Overcome the People-Based, Place-Based Gap

“Self interest generalized is community interest” — Kenneth Jones, community organizer Throughout my experience in leading NeighborWorks America's Superstorm Sandy response, two critical aspects have...

CDFIs “Rethink” Systems, But (Hopefully) Not Identity

We are definitely in some danger of losing a connection to the animating social movements that gave rise to the industry.
rusty door knock

Panacea or Problem? The Possibilities in Opportunity Zones

With Opportunity Zones, the potential is there for great benefit, but it is not yet clear where, how, and to whom any benefits will accrue. People who care about connecting residents and businesses in distressed communities with opportunities need to act now so they fulfill their promise.

Smart at the Roots

Smart growth principles can’t be imposed from the outside.

Building Bridges, Building Muscle, Building Momentum

Two cities show how community-based organizations and labor can overcome their historical divide to work together.

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,...

Revitalize Our Building Stock, Revitalize the Economy

For the same reason that many admire the Flatiron building in New York City, I had a special affinity...

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.

A Mobility Strategy Offers Real Choices

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

Hubs Help Move the Local Food Movement to the Next Level

It’s not unusual to read a press release from a governor’s or mayor’s office celebrating a deal to bring a new company to a neighborhood or city. Typically we’d be talking about a new manufacturing or tech firm, and the press release would speak glowingly of the prospects for economic development. Which makes a bit […]
bright sunlight on city street

The CFPB Needs Sunlight: Keep Easy Access to HMDA Data

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau's reassurances on continued public access to Home Mortgage Disclosure Act data are not very reassuring.

Lighting a Spark Between Energy Advocates and Community Development

Partnerships between utility companies and affordable rental housing owners are ripe for development, when the right switch is flipped.

Building the Cars of the Future . . . in Detroit

How the nonprofit Focus: HOPE is helping to bring manufacturing jobs back to Detroit, and the Detroiters who need them.

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...

Evergreen Cooperatives Sows Sustainable Jobs with New Greenhouse

If my food shopping habits can in any way predict the success of the latest Evergreen Cooperatives initiative than they're in luck. Every year I...

Community Groups’ Role Vanishes Under New Federal Workforce Legislation

On July 22, 2014, after it passed by wide bipartisan margins earlier in the year, the Workforce Innovation and...

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?