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.
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.
Updated by Julia Parzen of JP Consulting, this edition describes how development decisions can help increase civic participation—for the public at large and especially for populations traditionally excluded from decision-making. The paper features case studies of ways funders can promote civic education and participation in development planning. It includes case studies of regional visioning processes that engage resident input, as well as examples of ways funders can promote civic education and participation in development planning.
Greg LeRoy of Good Jobs First, and Mafruza Khan of the Pratt Institute Center for Community and Economic Development describe the implications of sprawling development patterns from the perspective of workforce development. They argue that funders trying to help workers gain family-supporting skills and jobs should consider becoming involved in the smart growth movement.
Examples From The Field
Writing for Smart Growth America, John Bailey and Cheryl Little first explain the connection between reclaiming vacant properties and smart growth, then look at the "hidden costs" of vacant properties and some of the obstacles that prevent reclamation. They also note successful innovations across the country and suggest how grantmakers from different disciplines can ensure that vacant properties are central to the smart growth agenda.
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.
This guide focuses on the intersection of race, class, and access to opportunity with growth/ development decisions made by governments, private developers, and nonprofit organizations. It’s intended to assist funders in making decisions to provide more philanthropic resources for projects and efforts that are transformative in nature, resulting in the reduction of local and regional disparities; the development of leadership opportunities across a range of communities; and the advancement of strategies that simultaneously benefit people and place.
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.
Examples From The Field|Special Report
This report documents ways foundations can support better planning and decision making to improve communities and regions. It includes 21 case studies designed to inspire and inform new efforts to advance social, environmental, and economic justice in neighborhoods and regions across North America.
Writer Tony Proscio describes why the community development and smart growth movements have tended to diverge, and how they might come together around a more effective, common vision. He gives examples of community development projects that have taken shape in explicitly “smart” deliberations with regional authorities and planners.