The Funders’ Network exists to inspire, strengthen and expand funding and philanthropic leadership that yield environmentally sustainable, socially equitable and economically prosperous regions and communities.
In 2012, the Funders' Network for Smart Growth and Livable Communities (TFN) commissioned Reconnecting America to conduct a national scan of transit-oriented development (TOD) activities across the United States. The goal of this scan was to assess the level of activity and momentum around TOD across the country. Of special interest was the role that funders are playing to influence TOD outcomes that are benefitting low- and moderate-income people--what we call equitable TOD--and drawing lessons from their experiences.
Cities coping with vacant land, food insecurity, and poor food access are increasingly turning to urban agriculture to overcome these and other problems. Authored by Kimberley Hodgson, this paper guides funders from urban agriculture's beginnings to entry points for funding. The paper also highlights examples of places where funder investment has made a difference.
This summary of focus group findings and recommendations from ActionMedia offers a framework and language for advancing public investment and land use and transportation decisions that address the needs of low-income communities.
Arthur C. Nelson of the Metropolitan Institute at Virginia Tech explains overarching national and local market forces and demographic trends, explores emerging consumer preferences, and suggests a future research agenda to increase understanding of housing trends and human impacts.
William Fulton and Ryan Aubry of Solimar Research Group show how social mobility and economic opportunity are often tied to housing, as are regional transportation and environmental problems. They explore challenges that make it difficult to address housing issues at the regional level, as well as some public policy opportunities to better connect housing with regional growth and development.
These case studies address a range of community foundation initiatives that are bringing together stakeholders to make college accessible, affordable, and attainable for non-traditional and traditional students. Commissioned and prepared by the Funders' Network for Smart Growth and Livable Communities with support from the Lumina Foundation for Education, the case studies were written by Aleta Watson and Amy Rutledge.
Examples From The Field
This paper outlines the experiences of three places – the nine-county San Francisco Bay Area, the Twin Cities of St. Paul and Minneapolis, and Baltimore – where funders have joined forces to attract and guide transit investments in equitable ways.
A team from the Center for Neighborhood Technology describes the relationship between the housing market and markets for energy and transportation and how these markets affect households and the environment. The paper offers funders a perspective on the relationship between housing issues (affordable housing, specifically), transportation and energy use, and environmental impacts and highlights best practices for consideration.
A team from ChildTrends examines how the characteristics of childrens' homes affect their health, social, and emotional well-being, and offers strategies for funders concerned with improving outcomes for children.
Angela Glover Blackwell and Radhika K. Fox, both of PolicyLink, discuss the emergence and evolution of the regional equity concept and its use by diverse groups across the country (as a concept, regional equity seeks to ensure that individuals and families can participate in and benefit from economic growth and activity throughout a region). Their framework for action includes four strategies: 1) living near regional opportunity, 2) linking to regional opportunity, 3) promoting equitable public investment, and 4) making all neighborhoods stable, healthy, and livable.