The Urban Institute’s Community Economic Development Hub provides decisionmakers insights on effective approaches for creating and sustaining communities that are rich with opportunity for all. We bring wide-ranging expertise in how to simultaneously spur economic growth in distressed cities, towns, and neighborhoods and promote inclusive community development in places facing displacement pressures. Our experts leverage decades of multidisciplinary research knowledge to highlight promising financing strategies and program interventions and develop policy and practice recommendations that accelerate economic opportunity. We also partner with and facilitate collaboration among philanthropic, nonprofit, private, and government decisionmakers who seek to build thriving communities. The hub helps these influencers evaluate whether their investments—from upgrading neighborhood aesthetics to creating incentives for businesses to relocate to still-transforming locales—will be fruitful for both residents and enterprises of all sizes.

Urban is helping leaders and advocates promote inclusive economies, identify solutions to underinvestment, and boost local economies through innovative workforce strategies. Our efforts include the following:

Evaluating federal economic development programs
Through research and evaluations of federal programs administered by state and local government, including Opportunity Zones, New Market Tax Credits, and Small Business Association lending, Urban improves how state and local policymakers use federal economic development programs.

Promoting inclusive recovery
We report on trends in economic health and inclusion to inform how cities can harness economic recoveries to promote opportunity for all residents, particularly those who have been historically excluded.

Comparing financing for community development initiatives
Some localities access programs and regulatory supports that help finance community development, while others struggle to secure the same capital. Our research on the national landscape of federal community development financing, as well as city-specific research, enable decisionmakers to understand capital flows at the county level.

Expanding CDFI impact
Our research and convenings on community development financial institutions (CDFIs) support how CDFIs work in communities historically underserved by mainstream lenders.