New Solutions for Cities

Across the U.S., many cities are challenged by a range of mounting issues such as growing poverty, high unemployment, poor performing schools, aging infrastructure and vacant and blighted properties. These symptoms of economic distress are often accompanied by symptoms of fiscal distress as well – leaving cities without the tax base or resources to address economic challenges or provide basic services that enhance quality of life.

At the same time, the National Resource Network (the Network) knows that cities are, and will continue to be, the key building blocks to American prosperity and the places where families live, work and thrive. The Network partners with American cities that are rounding the corner from major economic challenges to help them identify and implement new and practical solutions to facilitate their path to economic recovery and growth. The firms leading the Network will harness their decades of private sector experience in helping cities identify and attract new private capital, apply business solutions, and forge new partnerships between the public and private sectors. The Network provides three core services:

  • Support for Implementing Solutions: The Network deploys teams of private and public sector experts to work with cities on-the-ground to implement locally identified projects and initiatives that will deliver economic benefits in the near term. Network teams also work to build local capacity and leadership for the future. As of October 30, 2014, cities can apply for direct assistance based on the Network’s evaluation of their needs and readiness to move forward on economic turnaround. The Request for Assistance can be found on the Network website; a compilation of frequently asked questions related to eligibility requirements, the responsibilities of a participating city, and the request process is also available.  

  • Access to Peer Networks and New Ideas: The Network convenes and connects local leaders to their peers and other experts solving similar problems across the country. Through structured peer networks and innovative uses of technology, the Network empowers creative, collaborative problem solving targeting the toughest economic challenges facing America’s cities. The Network also generates real time analysis and policy recommendations that can inform local, state, and federal action.

  • On-Line, On-Demand Access to Expertise: The Network’s website provides an unprecedented on-line library of tools, resources, and technical assistance opportunities that support and enhance the work of local leaders. It also has launched the country’s first “311” resource for public agency staff working on fiscal, economic, and community development issues in cities across the country.