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Four leading national institutions announce partnership to promote and expand shared prosperity in U.S. cities

American Cities

Four leading national organizations focused on the economic growth and vitality of cities and metropolitan areas announced the creation of a new collaboration dedicated to supporting and accelerating local efforts to grow inclusive economies in U.S. cities. The Shared Prosperity Partnership, a joint undertaking of The Kresge Foundation, the Brookings Metropolitan Policy Program, the Urban Institute and Living Cities, contends that the strength of American cities – and the nation as a whole – depends on generating inclusive economic growth, prosperity and opportunity for all people, regardless of race, ethnicity, gender and income.

Even in our most economically vibrant cities, there exist stark racial and economic disparities. These chasms are even more evident in distressed communities, where scores of residents are unable to benefit from or contribute to surrounding economic growth. By promoting innovative and actionable ideas, the partnership aims to strengthen and accelerate existing local efforts to expand shared prosperity, inform smart urban policy and practice and ultimately increase economic mobility and decrease disparities across race, ethnicity, gender and income.

The partnership will principally focus on achieving three goals:

Shared Prosperity Partnership Three Goals
  • Engage with cities to better understand the most pressing chal­lenges to building a more inclusive economy.
  • Work with local leaders to collaboratively determine if, where and how the partnership can provide meaningful support to advance shared prosperity.
  • Elevate what is learned by sharing insights with other leaders, both locally and nationally, to inform the broader field of urban practice.

“Our nation only succeeds when our cities succeed; and our cities only succeed when all members of their communities succeed,” said Kresge CEO and President Rip Rapson.  “This collaboration is an innovative coming-together of national funders, researchers and technical assistance providers to work in a more robust, more interconnected way in place. The nation needs new approaches and resources to support local efforts to push forward economic inclusiveness. This partnership seeks to ignite that very change.”

Across the U.S., the partnership will convene local leaders in a select number of cities to discuss barriers to inclusive growth, as well as provide data, research and access to national experts, urban practitioner and community development networks and philanthropic resources. One such meeting was already held in Minneapolis-St. Paul with others planned for Memphis, Cleveland and Fresno. At the national level, the partnership will elevate promising models through publications, research, commentary and public forums.

“Building an inclusive economy is the fundamental issue facing leaders of metropolitan America,” said Brookings Vice President Amy Liu, director of its Metropolitan Policy Program. “By accelerating promising solutions already underway in cities and lifting up examples to inspire other innovators, the Shared Prosperity Partnership will help establish a new, city-led practice to build inclusive growth in a disruptive age.”

“Tackling the challenge of increasing economic opportunity for all people requires turning our best research insights into action and solving problems that cut across multiple policy domains,” said Urban Institute Vice President and Chief Innovation Officer Erika Poethig. “The Shared Prosperity Partnership leverages the best local knowledge and pairs it with the resources, technical expertise and data-driven insights that decision-makers need to build stronger, more inclusive communities.”

“We must all work together differently to close racial gaps in income and wealth fueled by evolving technologies, shifting labor markets, changing demographics and an unwillingness to address historical wrongs. Alongside the partners of this initiative, we are excited to be all in for change,” said Ben Hecht, CEO and president of Living Cities.

The partnership’s work will lead to a national summit in the latter part of 2019, which will showcase lessons learned at the municipal and regional level and elevate best practices to further shared prosperity in U.S. cities.

To learn more about this collaboration, visit: