Our Approach

Racial Equity and Inclusion 

We are working to ensure that our commitment to accelerating progress on issues of racial equity and inclusion at the systems level is reflected and centered in all of our work. To do this, we have adopted value and culture norms to guide our action.

Our Approach

Working with Our Members 

The foundations and financial institutions that fund us are critical partners in our efforts to close racial income and wealth gaps. Beyond simply funding together, our board has explored ways to collaborate and move toward alignment on the root cau…

Our Approach

Open Sourcing Social Change 

We work at the intersections of learning, information, story, and technology to bring people and resources together to deepen and accelerate promising solutions to closing racial income and wealth gaps.

Our Approach

Narrative Change 

To close racial income and wealth gaps in U.S. cities, Living Cities recognizes that stakeholders across all sectors—public, philanthropic and private—need to change beliefs and practices. To harness the forces of the private sector, Living Cities a…

Our Approach

Collective Impact 

We support ambitious data-driven, results-oriented cross-sector partnerships committed to solving complex social and economic problems.

Our Work

City Accelerator 

Through the City Accelerator, an initiative supported by the Citi Foundation and in partnership with Governing, city teams--both public servants and local partners-- have tested new approaches to improve municipal services, practices and policies. S…

Our Work

Capital for the New Majority 

In a country undergoing rapid demographic shifts, addressing systemic racial disparities is paramount. We test innovative investment approaches to addressing the racial wealth gap, shift power within the capital systems and achieve better outcomes f…

Our Work

Builders & Benefactors 

The Builders & Benefactors network (B&B) is a community of Black and brown founders and fund managers working to scale businesses and close racial income and wealth gaps.

Our Work

The Catalyst Funds: Our Impact Investing 

We deploy concessionary, flexible debt from socially motivated investors to improve the lives of low-income people and the communities where they live.

Past Work

Public Sector Innovation 

We work with public sector leaders to foster more nimble, collaborative and data-driven local governments.

Past Work

Neighborhood Stabilization 

Recognizing the incredible challenges cities face to stabilize neighborhoods struggling with foreclosures and abandonment, in 2010 we convened a Neighborhood Stabilization Boot Camp in partnership with the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Develo…

Past Work

Sustainable Communities 

Living Cities worked with HUD, the Ash Center for Democratic Governance and Innovation at Harvard University, and other partners to help create a plan that would facilitate increased comprehensiveness, integration and overall effectiveness of region…

Past Work

The Working Cities Challenge 

Public, private, and nonprofit leaders across Massachusetts and Rhode Island are teaming up to help resolve economic issues in smaller cities – and they're challenging leaders in those communities to do the same.

Past Work

Closing the Racial Gaps: Together We Can  

Our new blog series, with contributions from our members, grantees and many other leaders, highlights ongoing efforts across the U.S. that show promise of contributing to closing the racial opportunity gaps.

Past Work

Data and Collective Impact 

Using data in decision-making is one the biggest challenges for collective impact initiatives. We’ve created several free resources to help you better manage the use of data for collective impact.

Past Work

Foreclosure Mitigation 

In 2008, responding to the impact of concentrated foreclosures on urban neighborhoods, and in the absence of promising large-scale solutions, Living Cities launched an initiative to catalyze, test and learn from 10 local pilot initiatives to reclaim…

Past Work

Cross-Sector Partnerships 

Addressing the complex challenges cities face today requires collective effort from across sectors: public, private and nonprofit.

Past Work

Innovation Teams 

We partnered with Bloomberg Philanthropies to support a growing network of cities with dedicated innovation teams that developed and deployed bold ideas to tackle the biggest issues facing city governments.

Past Work

Brookings and Living Cities State and Metropolitan Prosperity Collaborative 

The Brookings Institution and Living Cities State and Metropolitan Prosperity Collaborative was a peer exchange forum intended to promote deeper collaboration between state and metropolitan leaders on issues critical to creating economic opportunity.

Past Work

Income and Assets 

Living Cities established a working group with Board Members and their staff to approve grants to define a common funding and knowledge agenda that would help low-income families move from poverty to financial stability.

Past Work

Mayors and Schools Field Trip 

Living Cities hit the road with former Minneapolis Mayor R.T. Rybak to survey the partnerships between mayors and schools with an eye toward improving outcomes for kids.

Past Work

Gulf Coast Initiative 

Living Cities and our member institutions invested together in the Gulf Coast, where the magnitude of the post-Katrina challenge was unprecedented and the groups and organizations requiring help were exceptionally burdened.

Past Work

Just Change: How to Collaborate for Lasting Impact  

In a new book, our Chief Impact Officer shares tools, ideas and best practices for change-makers who want to do better, faster.

Past Work

The Integration Initiative 

Our signature, multi-city initiative supports cities that are reshaping programs, policies and resource allocation to achieve enduring change that benefits low-income people.

Past Work

Democratic Innovation in World Megacities 

Living Cities and the National Democratic Institute are launching a new partnership to find and tell stories of civic innovation in selected megacities around the world.

Past Work

Civic Tech and Data Collaborative 

We are working with Code for America and the National Neighborhood Indicators Partnership to support teams of civic technologists, data practitioners and government officials in cities to develop data and technology solutions to address pressing pro…

Past Work

Anchor Institutions 

From 2010-2013, Living Cities supported several cities experimenting with the potential of Anchor Institutions—local universities and hospitals to transform economic systems

Past Work

Connect 

We have worked to increase affordable access to job opportunities and essential services by advancing equitable transit-oriented development financing strategies and exploring the potential of other emerging models.

Past Work

Shared Prosperity Project 

The strength of American cities—and the nation as a whole—depends on generating inclusive growth for people of all races, ethnicities, and incomes.

Past Work

Green Economy Working Group 

The Green Economy Working Group was established to provide a forum for our board members and their staff to align and coordinate efforts in the green economy, identify emerging areas of opportunity in the field, and drive an agenda that promotes eco…

Past Work

The Project on Municipal Innovation 

We work with the Harvard Kennedy School’s Ash Center to convene and support a network of mayoral chiefs of staff and policy leaders who advance transformative change through innovation in city government to improve the lives of residents.

Past Work

Pay for Success 

We are investing in Pay for Success partnerships to test new ways of investing in human capital, and to develop a commercially viable market for doing so.

Past Work

Prepare 

We are working to improve the economic well-being of low-income people by ensuring that they are prepared for quality 21st century jobs.

Past Work

Admiral Center 

Living Cities launched the Admiral Center in 2009 for the express purpose of maximizing the engagement of celebrities in systems change on behalf of low income people.

Past Work

Racial Equity Here 

Racial Equity Here supports five U.S. cities committed to improving racial equity and advancing opportunity for all.

Past Work

Capital Absorption 

We developed a research and experimentation agenda that helps communities to strengthen their ability to deploy investment for public purpose.