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September 09, 2016

Foundations Pledge $20 Million to ‘Reimagine’ City Spaces

Four major grant makers committed $20 million to boost revitalization efforts in four cities by transforming neglected sites into vital neighborhood assets, according to CityLab, an Atlantic magazine website that covers urban policy. An additional $20 million from local sources in the target cities, Akron, Chicago, Detroit, and Memphis, will buttress the investment by the JPB, Knight, Kresge, and Rockefeller foundations.

The three-year venture, “Reimagining the Civic Commons,” counters what Kresge Foundation senior fellow Carol Coletta termed “big anchor” redevelopment strategies. The four cities will use program funds to improve highly local and often underused assets, such as vacant lots, closed schools, and recreation centers to reinvigorate surrounding communities, encourage neighbors and neighborhoods to interact, and more widely spread the benefits of revitalization.