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Neighborhood Stabilization Boot Camp
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The Integration Initiative
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Changing the Trajectory of an Urban Economy: Living Cites Hosts Economic Roundtable in Detroit
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Project on Municipal Innovation Meeting at Harvard
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Living Cities Welcomes Natalie Proffit as Program Coordinator
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The Integration Initiative


In January 2010 Living Cities launched “The Integration Initiative,” a multi-year effort designed to advance successful models for effective urban investment and transformation. Building upon Living Cities’ long history of investing in cities and acknowledging both the power and limitations of the neighborhood as a lever for change, the Integration Initiative seeks to drive a broader perspective that recognizes the role systems and regions must play in increasing economic prosperity for low-income people. After a competitive selection process, a pool of $75-80 million in grants, program-related investments (PRIs), and senior debt will be awarded this fall to up to five cities committed to integrative and sustainable approaches to revitalizing neighborhoods and connecting low?income people to opportunities in their region.

Goals of TII

The Integration Initiative seeks to improve the lives of low-income people in significant and measurable ways:

  1. Create new “whole system” models of national significance.  Build the new relationships, models and networks needed to ensure that civic, public, private, philanthropic and nonprofit leaders and organizations can come together and solve problems from a whole system perspective.
  2. Alter regional dynamics. Alter regional dynamics that are environmentally unsustainable and that have limited opportunities for low-income people and communities by isolating them from the larger city and region.
  3. Scale change by attracting and blending capital.  Demonstrate how multiple types of funding (grants, loans, PRIs, guarantees, equity) from multiple sources (federal, state, local, private and philanthropic) can be structured and deployed to maximize impact.
  4. Sustain change by establishing “new normals” that will drive ongoing integration and accountability. Create a ‘new normal’ by permanently redirecting public and private sector funding streams away from obsolete approaches and applying them to these new solutions; setting new policy priorities and using data to track, ensure and communicate accountability for results. 

The Finalists

Living Cities received 23 proposals from 19 cities currently working to tackle widespread social and economic problems among their low-income residents. From this pool - Albuquerque, Baltimore, Chicago, Cleveland, Detroit, New Orleans, Newark, the Twin Cities, and San Francisco – were chosen as finalists to submit full proposals this spring.