This paper outlines some key steps for public sector officials to consider towards creating conditions that attract private capital and ensure it it utilized effectively to build sustainable and equitable communities.

Cities across the nation are under financial pressure. They lack the public funds to create more opportunity by investing in economic development, human capital and physical infrastructure.

What follows in our new report Putting Dollars to Work in the Community: 9 Things Local Government Can Do to Harness Private Capital for Public Good are tips on how local government can best promote effective community investment. They focus on the functions we believe are most suited to local government: convening stakeholders, providing information, setting policy and investing public dollars. Not every suggestion will apply to every place, but taken together, they offer a set of actions that the public sector can take to build capacity, expand resources and achieve vital public goals more effectively.

Our recent paper, The Capital Absorption Capacity of Places: A Research Agenda and Framework, considered how communities successfully and efficiently take investment capital and apply it to community development purposes.

Resource Document: The Capital Absorption Capacity of Places: A Research Agenda and Framework
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We are convinced that leadership from the public sector can make an enormous difference in creating the conditions that attract private capital and ensure it is utilized effectively to build sustainable and equitable communities. This paper outlines some key steps for public sector officials to consider and provides examples of places that have implemented these steps. A resource list at the end of the paper suggests where to find more information.

9 Things Local Government Can Do To Promote Community Investment

  1. Assess the capacity of your place to absorb capital
  2. Engage a wide range of civic leaders
  3. Enable and support a clear vision
  4. Make data transparent and accessible
  5. Simplify and streamline government procedures
  6. Develop a supportive policy environment
  7. Be strategic with public funding
  8. Consider the potential of transformative initiatives
  9. Reach beyond city limits