Living Cities, a philanthropic collaborative of 22 of the world's largest foundations and financial institutions, today announced that Albuquerque, New Orleans, San Francisco and Seattle/King County will advance to the implementation phase of its signature effort, The Integration Initiative (TII). Now in its second round, TII supports civic leaders who are reshaping their communities to increase opportunities for low-income people. The four cities will receive a combined total of one million dollars annually for up to three years to implement their respective efforts.
Through TII, Living Cities has developed a framework for building cross-sector partnerships to tackle complex challenges. TII uses a collective impact approach to bring together decision-makers from the public, private, philanthropic and non-profit sectors to address systemic barriers to meaningful change in urban communities.
"Many cities today are program-rich, but systems poor," said Ben Hecht, President and CEO of Living Cities. "TII enables local leaders to align their institutions and funding streams to get better results for low-income people consistently over time, not just until grant funds run out."
The cross-sector partnerships will focus on the following:
- Albuquerque plans to accelerate job creation and economic mobility for low-income people through a "grow our own" innovation partnership that will help revitalize the downtown, bring research to market and provide new opportunities to foster the city's entrepreneurial spirit and underutilized assets.
- New Orleans seeks to create new opportunities for low-income populations through a cluster-based economic development strategy, connecting low-income, low-skilled individuals to job training and opportunities developed through planned urban core spending, hospital expansions and infrastructure related to relief, recovery and resiliency.
- San Francisco aims to transform low-income, public housing-intensive neighborhoods into diverse, mixed-income communities through education, workforce development and human services reform, along with physical redevelopment.
- Seattle/King County is working with neighborhood- and county-level cross-sector partners to improve health and well-being in the places that face the greatest inequities today. The initiative strategies support residents' visions for their communities and progress is tracked using economic opportunity, chronic disease and housing affordability indicators.
The four cities were chosen based on existing efforts of demonstrated success. Each city has the presence of a cross-sector table of stakeholders, a city government able to commit time and resources to systems change work and a willingness to explore how different funding streams and investments can be used to address the identified problem.
"The past year these leaders have been hard at work to develop data-driven strategies to improve the lives of low-income people in their cities," said Tynesia Boyea-Robinson, Director of Collective Impact at Living Cities. "TII is a signature initiative of Living Cities and the work being done in Albuquerque, New Orleans, San Francisco and Seattle/King County will further strengthen the cohort. I look forward to continuing to learn with and from them."
In addition to grants, TII cities receive flexible debt from Living Cities and its members in order to work across sectors toward a shared result. Cities also participate in knowledge exchanges and technical assistance opportunities including one-on-one meetings, site visits, online collaboration tools and convening’s with other sites known as "Learning Communities."
TII began in 2010 with a challenge grant in the first round of cities, including Baltimore, Cleveland, Detroit, Minneapolis-St. Paul and Newark. In May 2013, the Federal Reserve Bank of Boston adapted the TII framework for use by small and medium cities in Massachusetts – The Working Cities Challenge.
About Living Cities
Living Cities harnesses the collective power of 22 of the world's largest foundations and financial institutions to develop and scale new approaches for creating opportunities for low-income people and improving the cities where they live. Its investments, research, networks, and convening’s catalyze fresh thinking and combine support for innovative, local approaches with real-time sharing of learning to accelerate adoption in more places. Additional information can be found at www.livingcities.org.
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