Economically challenged cities need additional resources to pursue a turnaround agenda, but money alone is rarely sufficient. In these cities, government leaders often lack basic operational capacity to address a depleted civic infrastructure. They are ill-positioned to partner effectively with community organizations, businesses, philanthropies, anchor institutions, and other agencies to achieve increased equity and economic competitiveness. Moreover, struggling cities are often ill-equipped to address simultaneously downtown development, neighborhood quality of life, crime, health, public education, and other challenges. The Network’s comprehensive, tailored approach looks across focus areas and develops effective turnaround plans that offer new solutions to cities.
The Network works with city leaders to find pathways toward fiscal sustainability, often by developing multi-year financial plans and undertaking operational reviews. In partnership with city leaders and a steering committee of local stakeholders, the Network identifies challenges, analyzes opportunities for savings and new revenue, and provides a blueprint for fiscal health that allows the city to invest in priority programs and services.read more
The Network partners with economically challenged cities to reimagine their economic futures so that their residents can prosper. The Network combines traditional attraction, retention and redevelopment approaches with localized, asset-driven strategies to revitalize neighborhoods, invest in small businesses and grow employment.read more
Many economically challenged cities struggle with affordable housing, renters at risk of eviction and homelessness, neighborhood decline, vacancy and a lack of local leadership capacity to address these issues. The Network provides analysis and tools to help cities deploy limited resources strategically, leverage local partnerships, use data and outcomes to drive decision making and adopt best practices from across the country to address these critical community concerns.read more
A ready and trained workforce is a critical part of any city’s effort to attract new employers and retain existing ones. The Network brings deep experience in education and workforce development to help economically challenged cities develop local strategies to prepare and connect residents to regional employers and build sustainable cross-sector partnerships.read more
In many economically challenged cities, high poverty, high unemployment and abandonment are concentrated by neighborhood. Often, this economic segregation is the result of historic – and present-day – racial segregation. For some cities, this division between haves and have-nots is the critical challenge preventing economic turnaround. The Network partners with cities to transform their most distressed neighborhoods into communities of opportunity – places where residents, families and children throughout the city can thrive.read more
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