The United States is a country of tremendous economic opportunity. However, that opportunity isn’t shared equally. Currently, long-standing wealth gaps across race, gender, and class are widening, fueled by evolving technologies, shifting labor markets, changing demographics, and continued racial bias. Instead of leveraging these economic and social forces to broaden individual and community pathways to prosperity, the US federal government is continuing to withdraw from major areas of investment in families and communities, including crucial safety net supports. Across the country, cities are stepping up to fill this void, buoyed by strong public trust, a lack of partisan gridlock, and a commitment to what we call shared prosperity.
In this brief we review the three common principles that underlie strategies to ensure shared prosperity in cities and introduce the Shared Prosperity Partnership, a joint initiative of the Kresge Foundation, the Brookings Institution, Living Cities, and the Urban Institute, which seeks to accelerate the locally driven solutions to economic inequality that are emerging in urban communities across America. While the specific approaches of each city are unique, all build on the fact that our nation only succeeds when our cities succeed, and our cities only succeed when all their communities succeed.