As you reflect on the past year and plan for the year to come, enjoy a selection of our most-read blogs from 2015.

Happy New Year! It’s the start of 2016, and a great time to look back at your accomplishments and make plans (or resolutions!) for the year to come.

In 2015, we worked tirelessly alongside our members and partners to refine our understanding of the elements that make up a new urban practice. We released three “Pilot Projects” - new tools and resources including a guidebook on municipal innovation, an e-course on community engagement in collective impact, and a new framework for underwriting Pay For Success. In addition, we began working with Bloomberg Philanthropies and the Innovation Teams, launched the first Pay For Success “Construction Loans” and released an Assessment tool to support cross-sector partnerships.

As we gear up for 2016, Living Cities has committed to delving deep into topics like data infrastructure, community engagement and collaborative leadership. We’ve also made strides to keep racial equity and inclusion at the center of our work. These efforts are reflected in the top 10 most-read blogs of 2015. We hope you enjoys these popular reads and resources as you plan for the year to come!

Top Reads of 2015

1) Why Involve Communities in Collective Impact at All? - By Jeff Raderstrong

The recent surge of interest and resources around collective impact principles has highlighted an important concern and challenge for many practitioners: given the often grasstops-heavy nature of collective impact, where does the community fit in?

2) From the 4Cs of Credit to the 4Ps of Pay For Success - By Eileen Neely and Andy Rachlin, The Reinvestment Fund

A new financing mechanism requires a new way of underwriting. In this blog, we cover the top four things to consider before investing in any Pay for Success Project.

Hands with Money, from Flickr.

Four hands holding money.

3) How Can We Recapture the Spirit of Community Engagement That Built America? - By Ben Hecht

We need to reinvigorate our democracy with actionable, effective, honest partnerships between government, institutions and citizens.

4) Community Rhythms: The Five Stages of Community Life - By Mike Wood, The Harwood Institute

The five stages of community life help explain why some communities move faster and others slower when it comes to change.

A U.S. Town Hall meeting.

5) Amplifying the Voice of Community in Collective Impact - By Juan Sebastian Arias and Jeff Raderstrong

Like others, Living Cities believes that genuine collective impact requires community members to be “at the table” in some way. But how and in what way community members are involved in collective impact efforts will vary case-by-case.

6) How Innovation Districts Can Be Platforms for Economic Growth and Opportunity - By Bruce Katz, The Brookings Institution

Economic recovery has eluded many low-Income people. Now, we have to re-think how we build our cities, to achieve better economic opportunities for these low-income residents.

Boston Innovation District Sign, by Flickr user izzointeractive.

A building in Boston’s Innovation District

7) How Can Shared Mobility Connect Low-Income People to Opportunity - By Juan Sebastian Arias

In the last decade, bike-share, car-share and ride-share programs have taken off across the country, changing how many Americans navigate the cities in which they live.

8) Entrepreneurship for Social Change: Foresight, Courage, and Persistence - By Robin Brule, City of Albuquerque

Social entrepreneurship, used in a collaborative way, will change inefficient systems to create large-scale change.

Space Shuttle Taking Off, from Wikimedia Commons

A space shuttle right after takeoff.

9) Head, Hearts, Hands: A Framework for Taking Action on Racial Equity - Juan Sebastian Arias

The “Head, Heart and Hands” framework, developed by Jarrod Schwartz at Just Communities is based on a model developed by Anthony Neal, for talking about and taking action on equity.

10) Measuring Storytelling for Social Change: What’s the Special Sauce - By Nadia Owusu

We have set out on a course to tell an honest and meaningful story about what works and what doesn’t in terms of Open Sourcing Social Change.

Happy Reading this New Year!

Happy New Year 2016 - Staff Photo

The Living Cities staff wish you a very, happy New Year!