In cities across the nation, a few enjoy rising affluence while many struggle to get by. This situation is created in part by the practices of traditional economic development. Current trends threaten to worsen, unless we can answer the design challenge before us. Can we create an economic system—beginning at the local level—that builds the wealth and prosperity of everyone?
The cities profiled in this new Democracy Collaborative report show the way forward. Economic development professionals and mayors are working in partnership with foundations, anchor institutions, unions, community organizations, progressive business networks, workers, and community residents. What’s emerging is a systems approach to creating an inclusive, sustainable economy where all can thrive. The work is place-based, fed by the power of anchor institutions, and built on locally rooted and broadly held ownership. It’s about building community wealth.
Cities Building Community Wealth is available as a free PDF download; if you’d like to order printed copies, either for yourself or to distribute to local elected officials and community stakeholders.
Table of Contents
|Welcome, by Ted Howard|
|Preface, by Shawn Escoffery|
|Summary and Introduction|
|The design challenge before us|
|The drivers of community wealth building|
|A powerful alternative to development as usual|
|Two approaches to economic development|
|The seeds of a new community-based economy|
|Part I: Defining the New Approach|
|The Seven Drivers of Community Wealth Building|
|The power of common language|
|Defining community wealth building|
|Seven drivers that build community wealth|
|Part II: Why Change|
|The Seven Drivers of Traditional Economic Development|
|Signs of progress, and retreat|
|Benefits of adding community wealth drivers|
|Currents of failure|
|The incentives wars|
|The seven drivers of traditional economic development|
|Part III: Why Now|
|A Historic Moment|
|A new wave of progressive mayors|
|Capital flight and the limited city|
|A third force in municipal economic development|
|The seedbed of a new progressive movement|
|A desperate need for alternatives|
|Part IV: How to Do It|
|Six Strategies for Building Community Wealth|
|Anchor procurement strategies|
|Enterprise development and retention strategies|
|Land and real estate strategies|
|Ecological resilience strategies|
|Workforce development strategies|
|Part V: Where It’s Headed|
|Going to Scale or Remaining Marginal|
|Challenges of this work|
|Opportunities at hand|
|Design for catalyzing the new paradigm|
|How community wealth building can fail, and how it can succeed|
|A need to come together as never before|
|Part VI: Twenty Cities Building Community Wealth|
Kansas City, MO.
New Orleans, LA.
New York, NY.