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.

The spires and statue atop an old bank building.

Would Trump’s CRA Reform Really “Do No Harm?”

NCRC examined every single Community Reinvestment Act evaluation for mid-size banks conducted during 2016.

HUD Announces NSP2 Grants

The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development announced this morning the long-awaited list of grantees for the second round of the Neighborhood Stabilization...

5 Tips for Increasing Contractor Diversity

RATE YOUR CONTRACTORS Consider creating “contractor report cards.” Chances are contractors bidding on a project have worked in your city before. Check to see how...

Small Numbers, Great Expectations: A Case for Rural Investment

“Drop dead” wasn’t an acceptable answer to urban decay in the 1970s. And it isn’t the right answer for struggling rural areas today.

A Response to ‘A New Gospel of Wealth,’ Part Two

In my last blog post, I responded to Ford Foundation president Darren Walker’s essay in which he outlines a new direction for the foundation ...

“Learning In”: A Coalition Organizes for Equitable Redevelopment

Residents and small business owners are already seeing rents rise in Union Square, a diverse neighborhood in the largely working class city of Somerville...

Q: Do economic development incentives support small businesses?

A. Not very much. Despite the claims of many states, when you look at the numbers, the vast majority of taxpayer dollars directed to economic development go to big corporations.

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...

Putting the Impact in Impact Investing

Impact investing is a popular idea that promises to channel the power of market capitalism into serving the common...

Sprawl vs. Unions

The three very different stories of the building trades in Atlanta, Denver, and Portland, Ore., show just how much urban development patterns affect workers.
A sticker on a window promotes Bernal Bucks, a business initiative in San Francisco.

Why Your Community Should Kick the Subsidy Habit

Corporate incentives won't help communities thrive, even distressed ones. But nurturing local businesses will save municipalities money and promote the growth of income, wealth, and jobs.

City Halls Help Plant Seeds for Community Co-ops

What do Austin, New York City and Denver have in common? All three cities voted to support the development of cooperatives for the first time this year. The amounts are modest, but the trend is clear—mayors and economic development leaders are beginning to add cooperatives and community wealth building to the economic development toolbox. In […]

Let’s Talk About Jobs—And Ownership

Community economic development is not just a matter of helping some households to get jobs and pay their bills. Done thoughtfully, it’s about . . .

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...
A yellow house on a corner.

The Power of Proximity: Making the Case for Living Where You Work

Twenty years later, it’s hard to overstate how wise I think that group of board members was in imposing its residency requirement on me. While initially skeptical, over the years I’ve learned some powerful lessons about the benefits of proximity.

Countrywide CEO’s Cyberblunder

We hear it a lot these days, the Dante Alighieri quote that declares that the hottest places in hell are reserved for those who...
A woman holds a sign outside of the Oakland City Council chambers that reads "Democratic Workplaces equal Democratic Oakland!"

In the World of Community Wealth-Building, Ownership Has Its Privileges

What local government can do to support new, more inclusive economic models.

Response to Darren Walker’s New Gospel of Wealth

Ford Foundation President Darren Walker recently circulated a thought-provoking piece declaring the foundation’s commitment to tackling the worldwide problem of inequality. In the piece, Walker...

Want a Stronger Economy? Focus More on Racial Inclusion

  As housing and community development practitioners, you need little convincing that dismantling racial barriers to economic opportunity—from policing practices to exclusionary zoning—is critical to building stronger, more cohesive communities. But what about the economic cost of these persistent racial inequities? Might segregated regions not just undermine the country’s moral fabric, but also hinder its […]

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)...