Founded in 1991, Living Cities harnesses the collective power of the world’s largest foundations and financial institutions to build a new type of urban practice that gets dramatically better results for low-income people, faster.

Together, we are working with cross-sector leaders in cities to develop and scale new approaches geared at achieving dramatically better results for low-income people. Our investments, research, networks and convenings catalyze fresh thinking and combine support for innovative, comprehensive, local approaches with real-time sharing of knowledge to accelerate and deepen adoption in more places.

Our members are not simply funders. They shape our work and priorities by participating on the Living Cities Board of Directors and four standing committees.

Member Convenings

Our Mission, Vision and Values

Founded in 1991, Living Cities harnesses the collective power of the world’s largest foundations and financial institutions to close racial income and wealth gaps in American cities.

Together, we are partnering with cross-sector leaders in cities across the country to imagine and create an America in which all people are economically secure and building wealth. Our staff, investments, convenings, and networks support efforts that operationalize racial equity and inclusion in local government, create inclusive narratives, bring communities together to devise and act on a shared vision for the future, and eliminate inequities in systems such as entrepreneurship, homeownership, and access to capital.

We combine support for innovative, comprehensive, local approaches with cross-city learning communities and the real-time sharing of knowledge to accelerate and deepen adoption in more places.

Mission:

Living Cities harnesses the collective power of philanthropy, financial institutions, and local governments to close racial income and wealth gaps in American cities.

Vision:

All People in U.S. Cities are economically secure, building wealth, and living abundant, dignified, and connected lives.

Values:

Living Cities’ core values – those we believe are fundamental to the organization’s success in achieving its mission – are collaboration, innovation, leadership, impact, and racial equity and inclusion. These organizational values guide our everyday decisions about how, why and what we do.

We value:

  • Collaboration: As a partnership of foundations and financial institutions, collaboration is core to who we are. We believe that respect, diverse perspectives and the open exchange of ideas will lead to the innovative solutions and catalytic change that our country needs.

  • Innovation: We take risks, catalyze fresh thinking, and test new approaches in order to creatively disrupt the status quo, change broken systems and provide opportunities for all.

  • Leadership: We continually ask difficult questions, challenge obsolete norms, and support others in their efforts to do the same. We look for strategic opportunities to promote our point of view and to move innovation from the periphery to the mainstream.

  • Impact: We are committed to making material improvements in the lives of low-income people, cities, and the systems that affect them. We hold ourselves accountable for evaluating our effectiveness and are intentionally self-reflective as we strive to continuously improve, adapt, and inform future innovation.

  • Racial Equity and Inclusion: Racism is at the root of so many of the problems we are trying to solve, so addressing racism must be squarely at the center of how we work. We rely on each other to hold the organization accountable to moving the needle on racial equity and inclusion, including through living the following culture norms: Work to Understand History and Ongoing Legacy of Racism; Interrogate Our Own Biases; Extend Mutual Acknowledgement and Respect; Challenge Damaging Power Norms; Be Open to Vulnerability and Risk

Where We Work

See all of the cities where we work. This map also features cities participating in our Integration Initiative, including highlighting our other work in those places.

Explore the cities