Essays on People, Place & Purpose

Investing in What Works for America's Communities

Portfolio Tag children

Crossing Over to an Improved Era of Community Development

The field of community development is at an inflection point, poised to achieve scale, impact, and integration of the many lessons learned over the past 40 years. It is on the threshold of entering a new phase capable of meeting the twin goals of revitalizing low-income neighborhoods …

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America’s Tomorrow: Race, Place, and the Equity Agenda

The quintessential promise of America is that through hard work, anyone born poor can succeed. The antipoverty movement grew out of recognition that this is a pipe dream for millions of people of color who are disproportionately saddled with failing schools, unemployment, poor health,…

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It Takes a Neighborhood: Purpose Built Communities and Neighborhood Transformation

About 70 percent of prisoners in New York State come from eight neighborhoods in New York City. These neighborhoods suffer profound poverty, exclusion, marginalization and despair. All these things nourish crime.1 In December 1993, Atlanta developer and philanthropist Tom Cousins came…

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The Future of Community Development

This volume offers a series of views on the future of community development. The future entails developing effective ways to increase human development. Over the last three decades, our industry has made dramatic strides in rebuilding the physical fabric of neighborhoods. It has mobil…

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Crime and Community Development

Community development has traditionally focused on investments in housing, commercial revitalization, and physical improvements. Although all three are clearly critical to communities, the field has largely ignored (or paid too little attention to) one of the key factors that shape th…

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Early Childhood Development: Creating Healthy Communities with Greater Efficiency and Effectiveness

Healthy communities are catalysts for personal health and economic success. Creating healthy communities by transforming disadvantaged ones, is an enormous challenge. Possible solutions are myriad. Or so it seems. Thanks to developmental, social, and economic science, we know more tha…

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Mobilizing Science to Reduce Intergenerational Poverty

The proposition that local communities can generate innovative strategies to rise out of poverty has a long pedigree. Its roots are embedded in a rich combination of scholarly thought and popular conviction. Its growth is marked by parallel processes of rigorous evaluation and partisa…

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Inflection Point: New Vision, New Strategy, New Organization

What does it cost to build a great society? More pointedly, what does it cost to lose a great society? Since the War on Poverty began almost 50 years ago, investments in America’s communities have spurred those questions. Today we face a society more unequal than at any time since the…

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About The Project

Investing in What Works for America’s Communities is a joint project of the Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco and the Low Income Investment Fund.

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The views expressed in this book and on this website do not necessarily reflect the views of the Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco, the Federal Reserve System, or the Low Income Investment Fund.

Tell Us What Works

The ideas in Investing in What Works for America’s Communities are just a start. We want to hear about what’s working in your community. Tell us about innovative ideas for addressing poverty and share examples of people and places that inspire you. We want to share these ideas and spark conversation about how to create opportunity and prosperity for all Americans. Tell Us What Works

Funding for this project was generously provided to the Low Income Investment Fund by the Citi Foundation.