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Think tank offers plan for new approach to reduce neighborhood poverty

Strategy uses more targeted approach to invest in low-income areas.

March 22, 2021 |

Courtesy Pixabay

The Brookings Institution has released a “strategic action playbook” containing a five-step plan that community, city, and regional leaders can use to design and implement community-rooted economic inclusion policies.

Brookings says community-rooted economic inclusion requires identifying and investing in strategic sub-geographies that have the greatest potential to reduce economic inequity in a community. Guidance from the playbook is derived from a pilot initiative implemented in Indianapolis, Los Angeles, and Philadelphia between fall 2019 and January 2021.

Despite billions of dollars spent on place-based initiatives over the past 25 years, Brookings says the number of high-poverty neighborhoods in the U.S. doubled between 1980 and 2010 and remains high as cities seek to recover from the COVID-19 economic crisis. Brookings’ approach aims to break down disciplinary siloes to integrate community, economic, and workforce development efforts with capacity-building efforts.

The plan would nurture investments within communities, while connecting residents and small businesses to their regional economies. It urges key holders of power at the city and regional levels to forge long-term partnerships with underinvested communities.

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