Strong Cities, Strong Communities

In 2011, President Obama launched a suite of place-based programs and policies to help cities confronting dramatic economic change. Under the umbrella of the Strong Cities, Strong Communities moniker, SC2 sought to fundamentally change the terms of how the federal government engages local governments and how it can facilitate greater cooperation among and across federal agencies. Supported by an interagency council, these federal agencies came together to design and develop collaborative approaches for providing communities with new forms of technical assistance and resources. Their goal was to help distressed cities build new capacities to advance locally driven community revitalization and economic recovery policies and program.

Four themes consistently emerge across SC2’s diverse and sizeable body of work. 

  1. Intergovernmental collaboration in program design, execution, and implementation
  2. Capacity building
  3. Place-based approach
  4. Redefining federal government role at the local level

These themes take different shapes within SC2s five major components: (Link to each nested: page from this list of initiatives as outlined in the diagram below.)

By curating the activities, reports, and programs, the SC2 initiatives offer important and timely lessons in how to design and deploy placed-based urban policies that can assist communities improve their community and economic development outcomes and capacity.