"Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world.

Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has"

Margaret Mead, Anthropologist
(used with permission)

"If you don't like the news .... go out and make some of your own !!"

Wes "Scoop" Nisker, Newscaster


Government is a slow and tedious process. While it often includes citizen and neighborhood involvement, non-governmental, private organizations have created movements and interesting groups which can create positive change in our cities and towns.

I am fascinated by the way groups are created and how they influence public decision making. This blog merely recognizes them and forwards the description of these groups from their own websites.

Wednesday, December 30, 2015

Future Ready Cities

Location: Nationwide

Website: futureready.dell.com

For many decades, creating a future-ready local economy meant attracting industry. With industry came jobs, people to fill the jobs, and even more jobs from suppliers who supported the lifestyle of the people who came. It was a virtuous circle. Through their economic development efforts, cities reduced the traditional economic frictions of business: those of time, of distance, access to capital and information. To attract industry, they improved their ports, established railroads, built highways and schools, and created financial incentives for growth. And, historically, that worked very, very well.

But in recent years, technology has begun to eliminate or greatly reduce most of those economic frictions. Information is ubiquitous. Virtual infrastructure is as important as physical infrastructure. And access to capital has grown exponentially through democratization and the network effect. Rather than jobs drawing people, today, people draw jobs. But as always, there are winners and losers. Some metro areas are growing rapidly and creating audacious opportunities for members of their communities. While others struggle to march in place. So what strategies should cities adopt to grow and thrive in the future?

Recently Dell and Harvard University posed this question to several dozen experts at the 2015 Strategic Innovation Summit: Enabling Economies for the Future: Enabling Economies for the Future. Economists, educators, local elected officials and administrators, tech infrastructure builders, entrepreneurs and chief innovation officers convened to identify the factors that make cities best poised to thrive in our increasingly frictionless economy.

The consensus at the summit was that communities should focus on three key enablers: 1) attracting and nurturing human capital 2) fostering collaborative, growth-oriented commercial environments; and 3) building an enabling foundation of technology, telecom and physical infrastructure. In a frictionless economy, human capital is critical. Rather than jobs drawing people, today, people draw jobs. Workers care more about what they work on and who they work with than whom they work for, causing companies to pursue talent than the other way around. People arrive for the lifestyle offered by the community. They are attracted by continuous opportunities to learn from others, to collaborate together and to experience culture in all its diversity.

From this fertile talent pool emerge the innovators who will ultimately transform industries and create significant opportunities for economic growth. Future-ready cities understand the need to create a collaborative business environment, supporting not only established firms, with their employees and growing numbers of independent contributors, but growth-oriented entrepreneurs as well. We now know that entrepreneurs drive 50% of GDP and 75% of new jobs. And summit participants suggested that cities put particular focus on nurturing “gazelles”, high-growth companies that have an outsize impact on regional economic growth. Creating public-private partnerships with shared risks and rewards is one important tool that future ready economies can use to spur innovation. The infrastructure that serves citizens has to be robust.

Beyond just transportation, communities must also have the mobile networks, broadband connections and open data platforms that allow value creators to work on their own terms and businesses to provide public services with limited public funds. Coming out of the summit at Harvard, Dell partnered with IHS Economics, an industry-leading macroeconomics firm, to build an economic model for evaluating the future-readiness of cities. The Dell Future Ready Economies Model measures the performance of leading metro areas against the three pillars of human capital, commerce and infrastructure. The model has allowed Dell to identify the Top 25 Future Ready Economies in the U.S. and let public and private sector community leaders compare their own strengths to those of other Future-Ready Economies. (Spoiler alert. The San Jose metro area, home of the Silicon Valley, was ranked number one.)

The 25 cities on the list are well-distributed across the U.S., suggesting that success is no longer just about location, but rather a strong embrace of the factors that enable cities to become future ready.

Friday, December 25, 2015

Million Trees NYC

Location: New York, NY


MillionTreesNYC, one of the 132 PlaNYC initiatives, is a citywide, public-private program with an ambitious goal: to plant and care for one million new trees across the City's five boroughs over the next decade. By planting one million trees, New York City can increase its urban forest—our most valuable environmental asset made up of street trees, park trees, and trees on public, private and commercial land—by an astounding 20%, while achieving the many quality-of-life benefits that come with planting trees. The City of New York will plant 70% of trees in parks and other public spaces. The other 30% will come from private organizations, homeowners, and community organizations.

Trees enrich and improve our environment and dramatically increase the overall quality of life in New York City. Our urban forest totals over 5 million trees and 168 species. It can be found throughout the city along streets, highways, in neighborhood playgrounds, backyards, community gardens, and even along commercial developments. There are 6,000 acres of woodlands in parks alone! The benefits provided by trees are numerous and diverse, making it important to quantify their value to our city and its residents. The primary benefits provided by New York City's urban forest come in three key areas:

Environmental Benefits, Slowing Global Climate Change: Urban trees help offset climate change by capturing atmospheric carbon dioxide in their tissue, reducing energy used by buildings, and reducing carbon dioxide emissions from fossil-fuel based power plants. Our City’s trees store about 1.35 million tons of carbon valued at $24.9 million. In addition, our trees remove over 42,000 tons of carbon each year. Recently, the World Business Council for Sustainable Development cited a study by the United Nations Environment Program (UNEP) which advocates planting trees and increasing topsoil as preferable methods of combating global climate change. Since soil and trees effectively store carbon dioxide and other pollutants, ecosystems have been proven to play an essential role in climate mitigation.

Water Quality Protection: Urban trees capture rainfall on their leaves and branches and take up water, acting as natural stormwater capture and retention devices. Street trees intercept 890.6 million gallons of stormwater annually, or 1,525 gallons per tree on average. The total value of this benefit to New York City is over $35 million each year.

Improved Air Quality: Trees remove dust and other pollutants from the air. In fact, one tree can remove 26 pounds of carbon dioxide from the atmosphere annually, the equivalent of 11,000 miles of car emissions. Our trees remove about 2,200 tons of air pollution per year, valued at $10 million annually.

Lower Summer Air Temperature: According to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, urban forests reduce urban temperatures significantly by shading buildings and concrete and returning humidity to the air through evaporative cooling.

Natural Resource Conservation: By using trees to modify temperatures, the amount of fossil fuels used for cooling and heating by homeowners and businesses is reduced. Our City’s street trees provide $27 million a year in energy savings.

Wildlife Habitat: New York City’s urban forest provides habitat - including food and shelter for many species of birds, insects, and other wildlife, as well as environmental education resources for New Yorkers of all ages. A recent Op-Ed piece in the New York Times outlines many of the environmental benefits of trees, including the role of riparian tree planting in fertilizing plankton populations which in turn feeds the local fish population. The effect of such riparian plantings in Japan have been studied by a recipient of the United Nations Forest Heroes Award.

High Return of Investment: Over the years the City has invested millions in its urban forest. Trees provide $5.60 in benefits for every dollar spent on tree planting and care.

Increased Property Values: A significant link exists between the value of a property and its proximity to parks, greenbelts, and other green spaces. Smart Money magazine indicated that consumers value a landscaped home up to 11.3 percent higher than its base price. Street trees provide $52 million each year in increased property values. A recent article in the New York Observer illustrates an increase in property values for buildings in proximity to parks and large street tree species, especially the Callery Pear, Honeylocust, and Pin Oak.

Community and Business District Appeal: The greening of business districts increases community pride and positive perception of an area, drawing customers to the businesses.

Improved Health: There is growing evidence that trees help reduce air pollutants that can trigger asthma and other respiratory illnesses. Green spaces also encourage physical activity - a healthy habit for any New Yorker.

Crime Prevention: Tree canopy is associated with a decrease in neighborhood crime. Strategically planted trees as well as community stewardship of the urban forest correlated with lower crime rates according to several studies performed in Baltimore, Philadelphia, Chicago, and other cities.

Monday, December 21, 2015

Creative Cities Network

Location: International

Website: en.unesco.org/creative-cities/home

The UNESCO Creative Cities Network (UCCN) was created in 2004 to promote cooperation with and among cities that have identified creativity as a strategic factor for sustainable urban development. The 116 cities which currently make up this network work together towards a common objective: placing creativity and cultural industries at the heart of their development plans at the local level and cooperating actively at the international level.

By joining the Network, cities commit to sharing their best practices and developing partnerships involving the public and private sectors as well as civil society in order to: strengthen the creation, production, distribution and dissemination of cultural activities, goods and services; develop hubs of creativity and innovation and broaden opportunities for creators and professionals in the cultural sector; improve access to and participation in cultural life, in particular for marginalized or vulnerable groups and individuals; fully integrate culture and creativity into sustainable development plans.

The Network covers seven creative fields: Crafts and Folk Arts, Media Arts, Film, Design, Gastronomy, Literature and Music. The Creative Cities Network is a privileged partner of UNESCO, not only as a platform for reflection on the role of creativity as a lever for sustainable development but also as a breeding ground of action and innovation, notably for the implementation of the post-2015 Development Agenda.

Cape Action for People and the Environment (CAPE)

Location: Cape Town, South Africa

Website: capeaction.org.za

Cape Action for People and the Environment (CAPE) is a 20 year partnership of government and civil society aimed at conserving and restoring the biodiversity of the Cape Floristic Region and the adjacent marine environment, while delivering significant benefits to the people of the region.

The rationale of the CAPE partnership is to create linkages between government, the private sector and civil society so that we all work together with a common strategy, avoiding duplication, addressing gaps and uniting to leverage resources and to tackle agreed common priorities in terms of a shared vision. During the first phase of implementation (2001 – 2010), the CAPE programme enabled donor funding to be channelled into new areas of work and exciting new approaches to conservation including landscape initiatives, conservation stewardship, business and biodiversity, fine-scale planning, catchment management, conservation education and strengthening institutions.

During 2011, the programme undertook a review of the CAPE strategy which resulted in a revised strategy being formulated for the period 2011 - 2020. The CAPE programme is co-ordinated through the CAPE Coordination Unit which is hosted by the South African National Biodiversity Institute (SANBI) and its Fynbos Programme. The CAPE Co-ordination Unit (CCU) is located at the Centre for Biodiversity Conservation, Kirstenbosch National Botanical Garden in Cape Town.

Sunday, December 20, 2015

Welcome Table

Location: New Orleans, LA

Website: nola.gov/city/welcome-table

The Welcome Table New Orleans is an initiative of the Mayor’s Office focused on race, reconciliation and community.The Welcome Table will bring diverse groups of New Orleanians together to share experiences, share stories, build relationships, listen & learn from each other and finally create and execute projects that will build a better, stronger city.

Welcome Table Groups (diverse groups of no more than 25 people) will come together to work through a facilitated process of discussion, relationship building and action. By meeting in safe, civil, secure, structured and facilitated spaces, Welcome Table Groups will be able to work through each phase to build greater understanding of each other and critical issues facing our city. Groups will meet in various locations throughout four parts of the city: Central City, St. Roch, Algiers and Little Woods. However, any resident of New Orleans will be eligible to participate. Projects that develop from each Welcome Table Group will not be required to take place in the neighborhood in which they are conceived.

All residents of the city of New Orleans are invited to sign up for a potential spot in a Welcome Table Group.

Since his time as Lt. Governor, Mayor Landrieu has had a keen interest in racial reconciliation and community building. In 2004, Mayor Landrieu learned of the work of the William Winter Institute for Racial Reconciliation (based at the University of Mississippi). At the time, The Winter Institute had been working exclusively on reconciliation efforts in Mississippi. With Louisiana and Mississippi sharing similar histories with race related conflicts, then Lt. Governor Landrieu began conversations with the Winter Institute to share their proven model with Louisiana. Those conversations slowed when Hurricane Katrina hit, but when Mayor Landrieu assumed office in 2010 the opportunity to engage in racial reconciliation efforts rose to the forefront again.

The Winter Institute
was chosen as the City’s partner because of their proven model  of success in Mississippi and the shared alignment of values with the Landrieu Administration, that is, bringing diverse groups of people together who seek common ground.

After a process of focus groups, test retreats and meetings, the City of New Orleans received a $1.2 million grant from the W.K. Kellogg Foundation to implement a multi-year process to support a  racial reconciliation initiative in the city. The Winter Institute, which uses its own funding to do its work, will provide training and technical support. The Urban League of Greater New Orleans, also a partner in this work, will also provide technical assistance and serve as the initiative’s fiscal agent.

Thursday, November 12, 2015

Land and Water Conservation Fund

Location: Nationwide

Website: lcwfcoalition

Created by Congress in 1965, the Land and Water Conservation Fund (LWCF) was a bipartisan commitment to safeguard natural areas, water resources and our cultural heritage, and to provide recreation opportunities to all Americans. National parks like Rocky Mountain, the Grand Canyon, and the Great Smoky Mountains, as well as national wildlife refuges, national forests, rivers and lakes, community parks, trails, and ball fields in every one of our 50 states were set aside for Americans to enjoy thanks to federal funds from the Land and Water Conservation Fund (LWCF).

It was a simple idea: use revenues from the depletion of one natural resource - offshore oil and gas - to support the conservation of another precious resource - our land and water. Every year, $900 million in royalties paid by energy companies drilling for oil and gas on the Outer Continental Shelf (OCS) are put into this fund. The money is intended to create and protect national parks, areas around rivers and lakes, national forests, and national wildlife refuges from development, and to provide matching grants for state and local parks and recreation projects. Yet, nearly every year, Congress breaks its own promise to the American people and diverts much of this funding to uses other than conserving our most important lands and waters.

As a result, there is a substantial backlog of federal land acquisition needs estimated at more than $30 billion—including places vulnerable to development such as the Florida Everglades, Petrified Forest National Park in Arizona, Civil War battlefields in Virginia and other precious places around the country. State governments also report needing $27 billion in LWCF funds for eligible local parks and recreation projects.

The LWCF program has permanently protected nearly five million acres of public lands including some of America’s most treasured assets such as Grand Canyon National Park, the Appalachian National Scenic Trail, the White Mountain National Forest, and Pelican Island National Wildlife Refuge, the nation’s first federal refuge.

Over the duration of the program, funding for LWCF has varied yearly, falling drastically in the last few years to total less than $100 million in 2007. Today, the four federal land management agencies (National Park Service, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, U.S. Forest Service, and Bureau of Land Management) estimate the accumulated backlog of deferred federal acquisition needs to be around $30 billion. Opportunities to protect fish and wildlife habitat, provide public access for recreation, preserve our nation’s most notable historic and cultural sites, and protect scenic vistas are being lost every day to development.

The LWCF state assistance program provides matching grants to help states and local communities protect parks and recreation resources. Running the gamut from wilderness to trails and neighborhood playgrounds, LWCF funding has benefited nearly every county in America, supporting over 41,000 projects. This 50:50 matching program is the primary federal investment tool to ensure that families have easy access to parks and open space, hiking and riding trails, and neighborhood recreation facilities. Over the life of the program, more than $3 billion in LWCF grants to states has leveraged more than $7 billion in nonfederal matching funds. But funding levels have been unpredictable and the average annual appropriation since fiscal year 1987 is a mere $40 million—despite the need for millions more. Today, the National Park Service reports that the unmet need for outdoor recreation facilities and parkland acquisition at the state level is $27 billion. While the LWCF alone cannot address all state park needs, it is a critical federal partnership with our nation’s state and local parks and communities.

Wednesday, November 11, 2015

Association for Neighborhood and Housing Development

Location: New York, NY

Website: anhd.org

The Association for Neighborhood and Housing Development (ANHD) works to build the strength of the community development movement in New York City. ANHD was founded in 1974 with the mission to help low-income communities thrive and to ensure that all New Yorkers can live in decent, affordable housing and neighborhoods.

Today ANHD leads a membership of 99 of the City’s leading community development and neighborhood-based not-for-profit affordable housing organizations. Our member groups use grassroots advocacy strength, bricks-and-mortar development skills, and focused neighborhood-level services to work for more decent, just and equitable communities. ANHD supports our member groups with a mix of training, capacity-building resources, strategic research, and high-impact public policy advocacy campaigns.

ANHD members groups have built over 100,000 affordable units in NYC in the past 25 years. ANHD’s policy activism has directly leveraged over $1.3 billion in new resources for affordable housing in the past 10 years alone, and our policy victories have resulted in the preservation of thousands of affordable units.


Over the past decade alone, ANHD’s training, policy research, advocacy, strategic communications, and leadership development for 100 grassroots groups and residents has resulted in leveraging over $1.3 billion for affordable housing, rescuing over 30,000 apartments and 160 buildings for low-income residents, and creating break-through policies for community development:

2012 – City Council passes Responsible Banking Act, developed with ANHD members.

Following ANHD’s reports on dramatic decreases in banks’ local reinvestments in the 2009 and 2011 “The State of Bank Reinvestment in NYC”, New York City Council passed the nation’s strongest RBA bill in May 2012, providing communities with lending data and a voice to ensure local reinvestments as requested by ANHD members.

Community Development Fellowship Program, matching Masters’ Degree students with community non-profits.

2009-present: 90% success in training and placing unemployed adults: ANHD’s Center for Neighborhood Leadership training and internships for unemployed adults has resulted in 90% of trainees graduating into full-time jobs and / or college.

2008-present – 1000s of units rescued from rent increases: ANHD’s activism achieved an important state regulatory reform, reducing a key rent increase pass-along by 1/3 for thousands of tenants.

2007-present – $750 million to save housing from the crisis of over-leveraging: ANHD won a commitment of $750 million in city funds to incentivize banks to sell to affordable housing developers rather than predatory speculators.

2007-present – 3,100 units for 60-year affordability, $145 million annual tax credits: a result of ANHD research and advocacy, NYC Council Speaker Quinn agreed to doubling affordability from 30 to 60 years on 3,100 housing units per year, leveraging $15 million in annual benefits from the tax credits.

2003-present – 6,900 new units via Inclusionary Zoning: ANHD’s member-group led advocacy established New York’s first inclusionary zoning, gaining 6,900 affordable units.

2002-present – $32 million savings on building costs: ANHD’s Affordable Housing Institute trains residents, developers and building managers in affordable housing maintenance, financing and green retro-fitting for a combined economic savings of over $32 million

1992 to present – Affordable Housing Institute helps housing developments save $32 million: the Affordable Housing Institutes on-going trainings – including green building management training – to affordable housing developers, managers, maintenance workers and low-income residents saves $32 million per year in operational costs.

2010 – Gains in permanently affordable housing: ANHD publishes, “A Permanent Problem Requires a Permanent Solution” to promote permanently affordable housing. In response, the city required permanent affordability in many key 2010 land-use decisions.

2007 – $7,250,000 Housing Preservation Initiative: ANHD secured $1.5 million in annual support for critical housing preservation advocacy in the city’s most disadvantaged areas of which $7.25 million has been realized to date.

2006-2008 – 9,736 fewer harassment cases: ANHD gained breakthrough legislation – the Tenant Protection Act – giving harassed tenants strong new legal rights, reducing the quantifiable instances of harassment in Housing Court by 9,736 documented cases.

2004-2007 – 1,100 Section 8 units rescued: ANHD outreach rescued eleven buildings containing over 1,100 units of housing from leaving the Section 8 affordability program.

2004-2005 – $530 million: ANHD held the City to a promise unfulfilled for 30 years to forge a new Battery Park City agreement that leveraged $130 millionfor 4,500 affordable units, and again in 2010, an additional $400 million for affordable housing.

2003-2005 – 7,200 apartments repaired per year: ANHD led the City to adopt the Targeted Cyclical Enforcement Program to enforce repairs.

Saturday, October 24, 2015

Denver Homeless Out Loud

Location: Denver, CO

Website: denverhomelessoutloud.org

Denver Homeless Out Loud (DHOL) works with and for people who experience homelessness, to solve the issues that arise from the experience of homelessness.

We work to help protect and advocate for dignity, rights and choices for people experiencing homelessness.

To these ends, we commit our efforts toward goals affirmed and raised by homeless people, within our organization and without.

We strive to add our strengths together to create ways of living in which everyone has a place they can call home.

We welcome you to join us in this work.

Our office hours are Monday-Friday 2:00pm – 5:00pm.

Our main meetings are Wednesdays, 4:45pm – 7:00pm at Denver Homeless Out Loud office space shared with Centro Humanitario at 2260 California St Denver CO, 80205! (The cool purple building on Park Avenue and California).

Friday, October 23, 2015

The Nature of Cities

Location: International

Website: thenatureofcities.org

The mission of The Nature of Cities is to promote worldwide dialog and action to create green cities that are sustainable, resilient, livable, and just. The TNOC community comprises a broad diversity of people, from architects and designers to scientists, from practitioners to entrepreneurs and artists—pursuing transformational dialog that leads to the creation of better cities for all.

TNOC is a virtual magazine and discussion site on cities as ecosystems. It is a global collective of contributors, an essay, long-form, media, and discussion site devoted to cities as social-ecological spaces, ecosystems of people, buildings, open spaces, and nature. We believe that cities are human habitat, and that design with nature and public open space at the metaphorical center is key to urban resilience, sustainability, livability and justice.

TNOC was founded and is curated by Dr. David Maddox. Cities are fundamentally ecological spaces. They are ecosystems packed with trees and vegetation that comprise an urban forest. They house birds, insects, small mammals, diverse ecological habitats, and more. They are connected to suburban and rural areas along ecological gradients. Human well being, social justice and effective urban design is intimately connected to the health of urban ecosystems. Cities are habitat for people, and urban design with nature at the center is essential to resilience, sustainability, and livability.

We believe that the nature of cities—by which we mean cities as ecosystems of people, green and blue nature, biodiversity, and built infrastructure…habitat for people-needs more voices, more perspectives and expanded conversation about its critical importance for people and how it can be promoted, conserved, managed, and in some cases designed for the good of all.

The Nature of Cities is a platform—a virtual magazine and media site for a variety of content and conversations on these themes, including blogs and virtual roundtables. In the near future we will introduce other styles of conversation. We are a collaborative of 275+ writers from many disciplines and from many places around the world. New columns are published twice weekly and rotate among our roster. Virtual Roundtables, in which a dozen or so writers respond to and discuss a specific question, appear every month. Podcasts and book reviews appear more or less monthly.

We are, by design, a diverse group and our ideas about the nature of cities emerge from wide-ranging perspectives. Our contributors include activists, designers, biologists, ecologists, sociologists, economists, artists, architects, artists, landscape architects, nature writers, leaders of community organizations, public space managers, lawyers, and leaders in international organizations.

We live and work in 25 countries and six continents. We are men and women. The study, understanding, and management of urban nature is fundamentally multidisciplinary and many-voiced (or should be), and the diversity in our collective attempts to honor this fact.

Yet we remain a work in progress, always striving to make sure we write from many perspectives.

Our readers have visited over 400,000 times, from over 3,500 cities and 140 countries.

Our intended audience is everyone interested in creating better cities that are resilient, sustainable, livable, and just—cities that effectively function as ecosystems and are better habitat for people.

We crave dialogue and comments from our community of readers. So please keep in touch.

Each of the opinions expressed in publications on our site are the author’s own and emerge from the vantage point of his or her discipline, but the core themes of our writing are human habitat nature, ecosystems and biodiversity in urban settings, especially as they relate to sustainability, resilience, livability, and human well-being.

Rights to each essay and its images are held jointly by the authors and designers/photographers of the particular piece and The Nature of Cities. Rights to the site as a whole are held by The Nature of Cities.

Thursday, October 15, 2015

Brooklyn Arts Council

Location: Brooklyn, NY

Website: brooklynartscoucil.org

Who We Are:

We are the arts council for the borough of Brooklyn. We bring leadership and energy to every part of Brooklyn’s arts scene, supporting and connecting it all. It doesn’t matter where you fit into the arts—artist, audience member, participant, venue, educator or supporter—we want you to create and experience the arts in every neighborhood of Brooklyn.

What drives us? Our impassioned belief in the intrinsic value of the arts and artists, as well as what they can do. Art has a unique ability to bridge cultures, inspiring positive transformation in individual lives and entire communities.

What We Do:

BAC gives grants, presents free and affordable arts events, trains artists and arts professionals, teaches students, incubates new projects and promotes artists and cultural groups across our borough. As Brooklyn’s cultural anchor since 1966, BAC has also been the catalyst helping the arts community grow. We continually evaluate and evolve what we do to meet the changing times, and keep our commitment to community engagement, diversity and inclusion when it comes to the arts in our borough.

Monday, October 12, 2015

Blights out

Location: New Orleans, LA

Website: blightsout.org

Blights Out is a collaborative and creative initiative to unite residents, artists, architects, and organizers in the design of a new, inclusive model for development. Our experiential method of “performing architecture” guides us through the purchase, design, and restoration of a blighted structure into a cultural resource center that will seed creative action around issues of blight, disinvestment, and housing. Blights Out will partner with a local Community Land Trust as the cultural organizing arm of the permanently affordable housing movement to share the tools and inspiration for New Orleans residents to build the destinies of their own neighborhoods.

Our objectives are:

- To purchase and restore a blighted property in the Lower Mid-City/ Tremé neighborhood transforming it into functional “social sculpture”: a multipurpose community cultural resource center and socio- economic asset, which will serve at the “mothership” hub of Blights Out’s creative output.

- To align New Orleans’ traditional modes of cultural organizing with today’s most pressing concerns. We believe that the Social Aid nd Pleasure Club is a strong model that can be employed in new terrain. As such, we are using art tofacilitate civic engagement with blight, disinvestment, and housing through programming that draws on New Orleans’traditions of performance, storytelling, and community organizing.

- To partner with a local Community Land Trust (CLT)to organize educational materials and programming on alternative development models, including the CLT.

- To record, visualize, and amplify the history of the neighborhood.

- To document our process and present it as a replicable model for action through the publication of a toolkit that will consolidate scattered resources on housing, lending, and blight remediation in New Orleans, thus serving an unmet need identified at the Greater New Orleans Fair Housing Action Center 2015 Annual Fit for King Conference.

Blights Out produces public art inspired by neighborhood stories, architecture, and history, culled from the multi-disciplinary research and critical interactive strategies that we employ.

Blights Out is a collaborative process, involving residents, artists, architects, and organizers, at all stages of conception and implementation.

Our institutional partners include: the National Organization of Minority Architects; Press Street; Newcomb Art Museum at Tulane University; Junebug Productions; New Orleans Master Crafts Guild; Prospect New Orleans; Loyola Law School Human Rights Clinic; Creative Capital; Justice and Beyond Coalition and The St. Roch Community Church. Economic models and development schemes have been perfected by maximizing profit at the expense of people.” “The American Dream is an individual vision incompatible with collective needs.” “Artists will always hasten gentrification.” We intend to deconstruct these truisms and prove them false through the design of an actionable model for community-powered neighborhood development.

Saturday, July 18, 2015


Location: Nationwide

Website: artplaceamerica.org

ArtPlace America (ArtPlace) is a ten-year collaboration among a number of foundations, federal agencies, and financial institutions that works to position arts and culture as a core sector of comprehensive community planning and development in order to help strengthen the social, physical, and economic fabric of communities.

ArtPlace focuses its work on creative placemaking, which describes projects in which art plays an intentional and integrated role in place-based community planning and development. This brings artists, arts organizations, and artistic activity into the suite of placemaking strategies pioneered by Jane Jacobs and her colleagues, who believed that community development must be locally informed, human-centric, and holistic.

In practice, this means having arts and culture represented alongside sectors like housing and transportation – with each sector recognized as part of any healthy community; as requiring planning and investment from its community; and as having a responsibility to contribute to its community’s overall future.

In scanning the community planning and development field, we found five types of stakeholders working across ten sectors that, while not comprehensive, capture a majority of work taking place.

ArtPlace has four core areas of activity: a national grants program that annually supports creative placemaking projects in communities of all sizes across the country; our Community Development Investments in 6 place-based community planning and development organizations that are working to permanently and sustainably incorporate arts and culture into their core work; field building strategies that work to connect and grow the field of practitioners; and research strategies to understand, document, and disseminate successful creative placemaking practices.

At ArtPlace we believe that successful creative placemaking projects do four things:

- Define a community based in geography, such as a block, a neighborhood, a city, or a region.

- Articulate a change the group of people living and working in that community would like to see.

- Propose an arts-based intervention to help achieve that change.

- Develop a way to know whether the change occurred.

In everything we do and support, arts and culture work to help achieve a place-based change, which means that it is the community development interventions that are creative, not necessarily the outcomes. In creative placemaking, “creative” is an adverb describing the making, not an adjective describing the place. Successful creative placemaking projects are not measured by how many new arts centers, galleries, or cultural districts are built. Rather, their success is measured in the ways artists, formal and informal arts spaces, and creative interventions have contributed toward community outcomes.

Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Legacy Cities Partnership

Location: Nationwide

Website: legacycities.org

The Legacy Cities Partnership aims to establish a framework for the revitalization of legacy cities, improve the community of practice working on these issues, and change the policies that govern practice in these cities. The Partnership was founded by The American Assembly, the J. Max Bond Center on Design for the Just City, and the Center for Community Progress.

We believe that these cities can thrive once again if the assets, energy, capacity and love for these places at the local level can be nurtured by effective shifts in public policy, coordinated advocacy, mutual learning about what works, and careful, strategic implementation.

Association for Community Design

Location: Nationwide

Website: communitydesign.org

Established in 1977, the Association for Community Design (ACD) is a network of individuals, organizations, and institutions committed to increasing the capacity of planning and design professions to better serve communities. ACD serves and supports practitioners, educators, and organizations engaged in community-based design and planning.

ACD is incorporated as a 501(c)3 membership organization and is governed by a volunteer board of directors. Membership is open to both organizations and individuals. The dues collected by the ACD support an annual conference, program development, and the maintenance of this website.

Citizens Institute for Rural Design

Location: Nationwide

Website: rural-design.org

Residents in America’s small towns and rural communities care deeply about the future of their towns and value their uniqueness, strong sense of community, and special places. However, they increasingly face urgent challenges: How can they add jobs and support local businesses? How do they create a positive future for their kids? How can they honor and protect local character and history? How do they use limited financial, human, and natural resources wisely?

Developing locally-driven solutions to these challenges is critical to the long-term vitality of these communities, and the arts and design can play a powerful role in this process. Across the country, community leaders and residents are coming together to tackle these challenges and to find creative strategies that address:

How to build strong economies and grow jobs; Where to locate new growth or redevelop older areas; How to design efficient transportation systems; How to protect the community’s historic and culturally significant resources.

Rural design is an important tool for rural communities to build upon existing assets and improve the way a community looks, its quality of life, and its economic viability. However, few rural communities have access to design assistance or the expertise to tackle these challenges on their own.

The Citizens' Institute on Rural Design™ (CIRD) provides communities access to the resources they need to convert their own good ideas into reality. CIRD works with communities with populations of 50,000 or less, and offers annual competitive funding to as many as four small towns or rural communities to host a two-and-a-half day community design workshop. With support from a wide range of design, planning and creative placemaking professionals, the workshops bring together local leaders from non-profits, community organizations, and government to develop actionable solutions to the community's pressing design challenges. The community receives additional support through webinars, conference calls, and web-based resources.

Established in 1991 as Your Town: the Citizens' Institute on Rural Design™, CIRD has convened more than 70 workshops in all regions of the country, empowering residents to leverage local assets for the future in order to build better places to live, work, and play. Initially a partnership among the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA), the National Trust for Historic Preservation, and the State University of New York (SUNY) at Syracuse, the program was managed by Richard Hawks and Shelley Mastran from 1991-2012.

CIRD remains one of the NEA's key design leadership initiatives and is currently conducted in partnership with the U.S. Department of Agriculture and Project for Public Spaces, Inc., along with the Orton Family Foundation and CommunityMatters® Partnership.

Mayors' Institute on City Design

Location: Nationwide

Website: micd.org

The Mayors’ Institute on City Design (MICD) is a leadership initiative of the National Endowment for the Arts in partnership with the American Architectural Foundation and the United States Conference of Mayors with support from United Technologies. Since 1986, the Mayors’ Institute has helped transform communities through design by preparing mayors to be the chief urban designers of their cities.

MICD achieves its mission by organizing sessions where mayors engage leading design experts to find solutions to the most critical urban design challenges facing their cities. Sessions are organized around case-study problems. Each mayor presents a problem from his or her city and get feedback from other mayors and design experts.

Every year, the partner organizations plan and manage six to eight Institute sessions held throughout the country. Each two and one-half day session is limited to less than twenty participants, half mayors and half a resource team, consisting of outstanding city design and development professionals. Mayors present a range of challenges, including waterfront redevelopment, downtown revitalization, transportation planning, and the design of new public buildings such as libraries and arts centers. Following each presentation, mayors and the resource team identify important issues, offer suggestions, and discuss potential solutions. The interchange sparks lively debate, opens new perspectives, and generates creative ideas.

Sunday, June 28, 2015

Walkable and Liveable Communities

Location: Nationwide

Website: walklive.org

The WALC Institute helps to create healthy, connected communities that support active living and that advance opportunities for all people through walkable and bikeable streets, livable cities and better built environments.

Eachyear, we directly help as many as 80 communities across North America by providing technical assistance and working alongside them to plot a course toward a more walkable future. We also develop and broadly disseminate educational materials and tools that are free to the public and that help to advance the walkability movement. And because a picture is worth a thousand words, we produce inspiring photo-visions to help local leaders and residents see for themselves how walkability, bikeability and livability can transform the community.

Saturday, June 27, 2015

Homes For All

Location: Nationwide

Website: homesforall.org

Homes For All is a national campaign with the goal of broadening the conversation of the housing crisis beyond foreclosure and putting forth a comprehensive housing agenda that also speaks to issues affecting public housing residents, homeless families, and the growing number of renters in American cities.

Homes For All aims to protect, defend, and expand housing that is truly affordable and dignified for low-income and very low-income communities by engaging those most directly impacted by this crisis through local and national organizing, winning strong local policies that protect renters and homeowners, and shifting the national debate on housing.

RTC is working collaboratively across sectors to develop national housing policy that ensures that our communities and future generations have homes that are truly affordable, stable, and dignified.

Today, people who buy their homes are thrown out if they cannot make their mortgage payments, renters are either the new hot deal on the housing market or dealing with rising rents and costs and buildings in disrepair. With no comprehensive federal plan to preserve and build public housing, the idea of housing as a human right is under threat of demolition. As vacancies climb in cities, homeless families look on, wondering why there are so many homes without people in them.

The Homes for All campaign wants to draw attention to the housing crisis facing urban and suburban low and extremely low-income people of color. We want a to assert a holistic vision to affirming housing as a human right. Through this campaign, we are challenging the absurd assumptions that the housing crisis is over and that the market holds all (if any) of the solutions to our problems. We believe our government has a responsibility to create and strengthen laws and programs that will allow our communities to remain and flourish.

The recent and ongoing financial crisis has revealed that millions of residents of the United States experience housing insecurity, many of them for years at a time. Yet, housing policy in recent decades, whether implemented by government, the corporate sector, or some combination of the two, has contributed to a loss of affordable housing and has often displaced the members of our communities in the name of de-concentrating poverty. At the same time, corporations have shifted enormous amounts of investment into our cities, but their interest in property speculation and maximizing quarterly profits undermines our interest in long-term neighborhood stability. And when the crisis hit, they got bailed out and we got left out.With the latest wave of REO (Real Estate Owned) to rental properties being snatched up as the newest gambling scheme for hedge funds and private enterprise, we are on the cusp of what could become the creation of yet another housing bubble. Astronomical rents and displacement are already on the rise and this unbridled “game” threatens to further weaken an already fragile economy and devastate the hope for stable and sustainable communities now or in the future.

We want policies that allow us to strengthen the bonds we build with each other in our communities, and which help us to survive in the face of resource scarcity, economic hardship, environmental degradation, and political marginalization. To this end, we call for an end to speculation driven development in our cities that produces housing our communities can’t afford. We assert our right to stay in the communities we have built and refuse to be displaced!

Friday, June 26, 2015

Living Mobs

Location: Mexico City (DF)

Website: livingmobs.com

La Ciudad de México necesita tu ayuda en el Audi Urban Future Award 2014, una iniciativa global para pensar el siguiente salto en movilidad urbana. Con tu participación, arquitectura 911sc, IIMAS-UNAM y Laboratorio para la Ciudad, área experimental del GDF, buscan entender y mejorar como nos movemos.

El Sistema Operativo de la Ciudad es un nuevo contrato social por medio del cual un grupo de socios, plataformas tecnológicas y procesos generaran oportunidades para re-imaginar la movilidad de la Ciudad de Mexico.

Living Mobs es una encuesta interactiva que obtiene datos anónimos sobre movilidad de la ciudadanía. Donando datos, contribuirás a mejorar las políticas públicas, la movilidad y la calidad de vida de nuestra ciudad.

Mexico City (DF) needs your help in the Audi Urban Future Award 2014, a global initiative to take the next leap in urban mobility. With your participation, architecture 911sc, IIMAS-UNAM and laboratory for the city, experimental area of the GDF, seek to understand and improve as we grow.

The operating system of the city is a new social contract by means of which a group of partners, technology platforms and processes generate opportunities to re-imagine the mobility of Mexico City.

Living Mobs is an interactive survey that gets anonymous data on mobility of citizens. Donating data, contribute to improve policies, mobility and quality of life in our city.

Cape Town Partnership

Location: Cape Town, South Africa

Website: capetownpartnership.co.za

We’re a non-profit organisation that brings people together around common goals for Cape Town’s transformation. We’re connectors, facilitators and translators, working to help people find a common language and a shared set of priorities specific to projects that can make a positive impact in people’s lives. We do this kind of work across an incredible diversity of projects. Most of it is in the Table Bay district – our mandated area, that stretches from Camps Bay to the Foreshore, the east city to Observatory, Salt River to Langa – and we try, as far as possible, to do work that can have a much wider impact across the metropole. The work of the Cape Town Partnership, since its beginning as a non-profit organisation in 1999 (founded, at the time, by the City of Cape Town, the South African Property Owners Association and the Cape Town Regional Chamber of Commerce and Industry) has been about helping make the city work. And yet this work – what we do, where we do it and who we do it with – has transformed over the years. In 14 years of existence, we’ve had to make our own path, not only through the city, but also in our understanding of what a city is and what makes it work. Here’s the short version of this journey of transformation.

When we were founded in 1999, it was in response to the state of Cape Town’s central business district. The area was in crisis: businesses were moving out (or threatening to) and the streets weren’t safe. At the time, the way we thought about cities was very much as economic engines, places driven by investment. Together with our core partners, the Central City Improvement District, we were single-minded in ensuring the city centre was clean and safe so that it was attractive to business. We spent a lot of time acting as a translator between the public and private sector (specifically property developers and owners), working to ensure business stayed in the central business district. Within a decade, Cape Town’s downtown area had undergone a total turnaround, becoming one of the cleanest and safest in the country, and business was booming.

2008-2012: Cities are for people

Nearly ten years later, in 2008, we began collaborating with the City of Cape Town on a shared ten-year vision and workable plan for the turnaround of Cape Town’s broader central city – the area from Salt River to Green Point, the mountain to the sea. The process of defining the Central City Development Strategymforced us to look at more than just business and urban management, and think of the role that events, the knowledge and creative economy, and popular history and memory could play in the area’s development. Over this time, we came to see the city as an interconnected system – of transport, infrastructure, business, services – of which people were the users. The goal was to make the space more user-friendly. With the 2010 World Cup, we were able to fast-track a number of urban developments: Public spaces were upgraded, public transport rollout was fast-tracked, pedestrian corridors were created. The city became more user-friendly seemingly overnight, thanks to urban design. On the back of that experience, we started driving Cape Town’s successful World Design Capital bid.

2012-2018: People make places

At the Cape Town Partnership, we’re an excitable group of people with a future-forward, positive approach. But there have been unintended consequences to our exuberance and the rate of our success. We never saw ourselves as agents of gentrification, or thought of development as a tool for displacement. And yet that is how our work has been seen, and criticised, in some quarters. Looking back, part of our learning has been not to get so caught up in things – in urban upgrades, cycle lanes, cranes on the skyline, the idea of design, pursuit of titles like “world-class city” – that you forget about people. In trying to pave a road to our future, at times we lost sight of our past: parts of Cape Town might’ve transformed in the last few years. But others are still living out apartheid-era realities of a life divided and disconnected. Thinking of a city as an economic engine or an interconnected system had us thinking of people more as users or consumers of a city than creators of it. Today, we’ve come to think of cities as places of “concentrated humanity”, networks of human connections, places created and sustained by people. That’s why, for the next five years of the Cape Town Partnership and the remaining term of the Central City Development Strategy, our focus is on putting people first; on participation and people-based placemaking, not destination marketing. On dialogue and debate, not one-way conversation. At the heart of a city is people. And for it to work, its people, our people, have to work together.

The vision that keep us going is of a place and a people no longer defined by apartheid divides.

We believe that Cape Town is capable of becoming a truly liveable African city that’s true to its people and where they come from, but can also create new spaces, communities and patterns of behaviour that will serve future generations. We don’t know exactly what this city looks like – urbanisation is changing cities and human settlements all over the world at unprecedented rates, and no one knows for sure what the future holds.

What we do have to guide us is a ten-year strategy for the central city’s development and transformation – which is more like a very good compass than a map to the future – and the conviction that Cape Town’s people, working together for the common good, will find the solutions that can serve this generation, as well as the next. After all, the work of transforming a city, and ensuring it works for everyone, is never done. Like the horizon line, the closer you get to it, the further it moves away.

Tuesday, June 23, 2015

La Repuesta

Location: Nationwide

Website: larepuestamedia.com

For over a century, Puerto Ricans have lived and settled in the U.S. (the “Boricua Diaspora”), but now, for the first time, there are more acá allá. In response to our growing presence and ongoing impact,La Respuesta seeks to invoke a claim to our histories and announce our stories. We do this by highlighting our assets and distinct experiences, agitating discussion on the crucial issues, and addressing the obstacles that we face. This monthly magazine is guided by a collective of Boricua writers, artists, activists, and scholars across the Boricuascape.

La Respuesta honors and recognizes the distinctiveness of the Puerto Rican Diaspora through a provocative online media community, while cultivating points of connection among all Boricua people. In this respect, our magazine resurrects, documents, and reinterprets Diaspora histories; curates and maintains a critical dialogue on issues affecting our communities; highlights our struggles, advances, and dreams; and proposes new solutions and directions. La Respuesta is dedicated to the collective transformation and self-determination of all people.

La Respuesta strives to produce a mosaic of the cultural, artistic, intellectual, spiritual, and political realities within the diverse Puerto Rican Diaspora. It moves towards building inclusive identities and perspectives that recognize the Diaspora as central to understanding the Puerto Rican people. The magazine aspires to be a significant resource for Puerto Ricans in the United States, offering a multitude of creative and provocative media.

Monday, June 22, 2015


Location: Bronx, NY

Website: whedco.org

The Women’s Housing and Economic Development Corporation (WHEDco) is a community development organization founded on the radically simple idea that all people deserve healthy, vibrant communities.

We build award-winning, sustainable, affordable homes but our work is not over when our buildings are complete. WHEDco believes that to be successful, affordable housing must be anchored in strong communities that residents can be proud of. WHEDco’s mission is to give the South Bronx access to all the resources that create thriving neighborhoods from high-quality early education and after-school programs, to fresh, healthy food, cultural programming, and economic opportunity.

Design Trust for Public Space

Location: New York, NY

Website: designtrust.org

The Design Trust for Public Space (DTPS) has improved the quality of public space and the dialogue around it in New York City for 17 years, championing new ideas and nascent projects. It has broadened the definition of public space by embracing a range of sites, issues and arenas. When DTPS was founded, it stood relatively alone in its field –though not without models and precedent –to provide think-tank-like planning services focused exclusively on public space.

Much has changed since DTPS’ inception. New York City has experienced the proliferation of organizations concerned with the quality of public space and design, many which have taken on similar issues and even adopted planning methodologies that follow DTPS’ successful fellow model.

DTPS itself is a much different organization today than it was 17 years ago, with paid professional staff, a professional leadership of stature, a growing Board, and and a track record that has set a standard for the quality of product delivered by each project. Yet DTPS’ impact and reputation are largely unknown beyond the design community.

Neighborhoods Partnership Network

Location: New Orleans, LA

Website: npnnola.org

The Neighborhoods Partnership Network (NPN) is a nonprofit, 501(c)(3) organization representing a citywide network of neighborhoods and community stakeholders. Its mission is to improve quality of life by engaging New Orleanians, individually and collectively, in neighborhood vitality and civic processes.

Established after the Hurricane Katrina disaster, NPN envisions a New Orleans where all neighborhoods are great places to live. We work towards this vision by facilitating neighborhood collaboration, building organizational capacity, increasing access to government and information, and strengthening the voices of individuals and communities across the city. NPN is guided by a board of community leaders which reflects the diversity of New Orleans neighborhoods. Its work is supported by a staff well-versed in coalition building, government relations and community engagement.

The Neighborhoods Partnership Network's foundation lies in the spirit of interdependency revealed in the aftermath of the Hurricane Katrina disaster. It revealed significant weakness in many structures Americans took for granted – physical structures such levees and hospitals, but also governing and social structures from FEMA to state and local entities. Citizens had to become their own “first responders," from rescuing their neighbors to rescuing their neighborhoods. NPN was born from both the failures revealed and opportunities provided by the catastrophe.

NPN's leadership recognized the need for a citywide framework to assist communities in maximizing the use of limited resources and information while providing connections to those with similar obstacles, eliminating duplication of efforts and working toward shared goals. The organization's core infrastructure met the need for New Orleanians to be involved in the formal decision-making processes regarding addressing quality of life issues. That need continues to exist today and NPN continues to play a significant role in building the capacity of residents to stay involved and engaged.

Sunday, June 21, 2015

Son of a Saint

Location: New Orleans, LA

Website: sonofasaint.org

Boys -

Each year we select ten boys to join the existing kids in our program. The boys must be fatherless due to their father's incarceration or death. Boys enter our program between the ages of 10 and 13 years old and remain members of the group until they receive their college acceptance letter. As of February 15, 2014 - Son of a Saint has 30 enrollees. We are currently accepting applications for our 2016 enrollees. The new boys will be announced December 24, 2015.

Behavioral Health -

One of the biggest challenges some of our kids face relate to self-confidence, anger, and feeling of abandonment. We partner with Loving Hearts Social Services of New Orleans and various mental health agencies to provide evaluations and ongoing counseling for our boys.

Group Mentorship -

Daylong sessions are held once a month and are designed to aid in the academic, personal, and overall development of our kids. Sessions are held at local colleges in order to expose the kids to that environment and help them realize that higher education is an attainable goal and worthy of aspiration. Topics of mentorship sessions have included: etiquette, time management, decision-making skills, critical thinking, anger management, moral reasoning, life skils training, work ethic, leadership, civic responsibility, teamwork and integrity. A cadres of volunteers attends each mentoring session. The relationships the kids build with the volunteers are developed over a long period of time, and the mentors provide consistent support, guidance and encouragement. Additionally, kids and mentors attend various events around the city - either one on one or in various groups. Events include, sports, educational trips, movies, dining, parades and more.

We support our boys in their extracurricular activities as well as exposing them to unique experiences such as horse back riding at Cascade Stables in Audubon Park, fishing, yoga, music, chess and the arts. In small groups each weekend kids are participating in one of these activities.

Friday, June 19, 2015


Location: Los Angeles,CA

Website: cityhubla.github.io/LA_Building_Age/

Construction in Los Angeles may have exploded during the postwar era, but as a new interactive map shows, the wide age range of its buildings might surprise you. Using open data from local governments,built: LA visualizes the age of roughly 3 million buildings across L.A. County constructed between 1890 and 2008.

Drag your mouse to explore the vast web of communities and neighborhoods, hover over individual properties to discover birth years, and double click to zoom in further. Perhaps best of all, hit the rainbow stopwatch to view a decade-by-decade timelapse of development across the county. The city’s core, in particular, clusters together buildings of century-spanning generations, while suburbs and communities to the east and west tend to represent just one or two decades of development.

Wednesday, June 17, 2015

Change by Us

Location: New York, NY

Website: nyc.changeby.us

Change by Us NYC is a new website created by Local Projects and run by the City of New York. It's a place for New Yorkers to put their ideas into action by creating projects and building teams to make our city a better place to live. We're kicking things off by asking how we can make our city greener. Get started today!

Share Ideas:

New Yorkers have always been full of great ideas about what will improve their neighborhoods. Use Change by Us NYC to broadcast to others what you have in mind. No idea is too big. No idea is too small.

Join or Create Projects:

Look for projects in your neighborhood or around the city where you can help. Become a member and plug into a network of those who want what you want! You can also use Change by Us NYC to set up and lead your own project, and turn your idea into reality.

Build Teams:

Use Change by Us NYC to connect quickly with the people who will help your project from start to finish. Someone has the idea, someone has the plan, someone has the tools, and together you succeed.

Use Change by Us NYC to find and connect with public and non-profit programs that can help your project succeed. Whether you need to access a City service or find some local knowledge, there are resources ready to provide guidance. Help us spread the word about Change by Us NYC — and check back often to see the line-up of influential New Yorkers who have agreed to follow projects and connect with community members online.

If there are any features or resources that you think will make Change by Us NYC easier to use or more effective, please contact us.

Change by Us NYC is a new platform created by Local Projects — known for its innovative work on StoryCorps and the 9/11 Memorial Museum — and the urban think tank CEOs for Cities. It is funded with the generous support of the Rockefeller Foundation, the Knight Foundation, and the Case Foundation.

Change by Us NYC is run by New York City's Office of the Mayor. New York City is also proud to have the following partners working with us on the site: Citizens Committee for New York City, Pratt Center for Community Development, ioby and the United States Forest Service.

Bristol Rising

Location: Bristol, CT

Website: bristolrising.com

The mission of Bristol Rising, a crowdsourced placemaking community, is to help create a vibrant, walkable, and safe downtown Bristol, Connecticut based on the strength of our ideas, passion, volunteerism, and support for (and spearheading of) downtown events and businesses. Our goal is to create a vibrant destination place that provides us EVERY reason to live, work, shop, and play in our community, over all others. We will work to be a constant source for inspiration that will signal to entrepreneurs and investors that THIS is the community to be in. We are in favor of socially, economically, and environmentally beneficial growth, where we envision thousands of Bristol Rising members working together in thought and in action to make BRISTOL the best community and PLACE on Earth!

1. Collaborate with others to revitalize Bristol’s downtown:

2. Submit, vote, and campaign for the ideas you like.

3. Participate in monthly meetups.

4. Discuss important topics in our forums.

5. Learn about crowdsourced placemaking and how it will revitalize our downtown>

This is where interested community members contribute to the revitalization of downtown Bristol, according to an agreed upon Statement and Crowdsourcing Agreement that establishes whatever ideas are proposed must be socially, economically and environmentally sustainable. We should be proud, as this innovative and inclusive crowdsourced placemaking effort is the first of its kind in the nation. Big dreams need a bold approach, and our community will play an integral role in the creation of an environment where we can live, work, shop, play and learn – or all of the above!

The goal is for Bristol Rising to establish itself as a forward-thinking community that is large enough in size (short-term goal in the hundreds of members, long-term goal in the thousands) to be a valued partner in making major decisions regarding significant downtown investments. See answers to the most frequently asked questions on the project.


Location: International

Website: tedcity2.org

When the history books are written, the first half of the 21st century could very well be known, above all else, for its cataclysmic and catalytic urbanization. For the first time ever, the majority of the world’s population lives in cities. By the middle of the 21st century, the urban population will almost double. And, importantly, almost all population growth in the next 30 years will occur in cities within developing countries.

This is the story of our times and its unfolding alongside rich questions, such as: How does urbanization transform the ways in which people live, work, consume, heal, learn, move and love? What are cities’ most wicked problems made more intractable by our increasing density? How do we reconcile growing inequality? What are the surprising solutions emerging from the cracks in the sidewalks and the brushing of unlikely elbows?

With these questions and others, TEDCity2.0 invites the world to consider our collective story as it unfolds in real time. The power to remake cities lies in every citizen, regardless of origin or status.

Through events and the sharing of ideas, TEDCity2.0 carries forward the 2012 TED Prize and advances us toward The City 2.0. Moreover, it builds on multiple initiatives from the early years of the Prize, including a micro-grant awards program, TEDx gatherings around the world, and an array of other programming.

Through events and the sharing of ideas, TEDCity2.0 carries forward the 2012 TED Prize and advances us toward The City 2.0. Moreover, it builds on multiple initiatives from the early years of the Prize, including a micro-grant awards program, TEDx gatherings around the world, and an array of other programming.

The City 2.0 website was a platform created to surface the myriad stories and collective actions being taken by citizens around the world. The City 2.0 has evolved from a platform for the best of what is already being discovered by urban advocates and grassroots movers and shakers, to TEDCity2.0, content that celebrates a complex picture of the future city–a place more playful, more safe, more beautiful, and more healthy for everyone.

The TED Prize is awarded annually to a leader with a fresh, bold vision for sparking global change. The TED Prize winner receives $1,000,000 — and the TED community’s wide range of resources and expertise — to make their dream become a reality.

The Prize begins with a big wish—one that will inspire thinkers and doers across the globe to get involved. From Bono’s ONE Campaign (2005 winner) to Jamie Oliver’s Food Revolution (2010 winner) to Sugata Mitra’s School in the Cloud (2013 winner), the TED Prize has helped to combat poverty, open dialog on religious intolerance, improve global health, tackle child obesity, advance education, and inspire art around the world.

Tuesday, June 16, 2015

Know Your Place

Location: Bristol, England


Know Your Place provides access to a variety of historic maps that cover the administrative area of the City of Bristol. The majority of the maps have been scanned from original archives held at Bristol Record Office (BRO). Because these are scans taken from the original archives you will see damage to the maps in some places including tears and stains and even some areas where people have tried to repair the map. You will also notice variations in the colour of the maps because they have been digitally stitched together from individual sheets. We hope this adds to the historic character of the website and doesn’t detract from your enjoyment in browsing these maps.

The scanned images have been overlain on Modern Ordnance Survey Mastermap digital mapping. In many cases the historic maps do not overlay exactly because of the way in which the original surveys were undertaken It is a tribute to the nineteenth century surveyors that their maps can be fitted with modern mapping at all.

It is also interesting to note the variety in the maps particularly the tithe maps which were surveyed by different surveyors with slightly different mapping conventions, the most extreme of which is the Brislington Tithe Map whichnwas drawn with south towards the top of the map.

Monday, June 15, 2015

Interference Archive



Interference Archive explores the relationship between cultural production and social movements. This work manifests in public exhibitions, a study and social center, talks, screenings, publications, workshops, and an online presence.

The archive consists of many kinds of objects that are created as part of social movements by the participants themselves: posters, flyers, publications, photographs, books, T-shirts and buttons, moving images, audio recordings, and other materials.

Through our programming, we use this cultural ephemera to animate histories of people mobilizing for social transformation. We consider the use of our collection to be a way of preserving and honoring histories and material culture that is often marginalized in mainstream institutions.

As an archive from below, we are a collectively run space that is people powered, with open stacks and accessibility for all. We work in collaboration with like-minded projects, and encourage critical as well as creative engagement with our own histories and current struggles. The archive is all-volunteer and relies on the help of many people. We currently organize the labor of running the project into working groups: Administration, Cataloging, Born Digital, Education, Fundrraising, and an evolving series of ad-hoc curatoral groups for each exhibition.

We welcome you to get involved.

Neighborhood Story Project

Location: New Orleans, LA

Website: neighborhoodstoryproject.org

In 2004, the Neighborhood Story Project was founded as a book-making project based in the neighborhoods where we live and work. We work with writers in neighborhoods around New Orleans to create books about their communities.

We started at our neighborhood public school, John McDonogh Senior High, with the idea of our students investigating their worlds. For a year, the students wrote, photographed, interviewed and edited. In June of 2005, we brought out five books—collaborative ethnographies—about New Orleans.

In the years since, we have expanded our practice of collaborative ethnography outside of schools, producing books and posters that do the work of telling stories of the city. We work with authors and neighborhoods, then celebrate publication with block parties. The books have gone on to be citywide bestsellers, selling more than 35,000 books.

We continue the work as a center at the University of New Orleans, with Rachel in the Department of Anthropology, and Abram in the College of Education and Human Performance, and publish our books through UNO Press and our own 501c3 non-profit.


When I Was Your Age

In partnership, the Greater New Orleans Writing Project and the NSP led teachers at Andrew H. Wilson Charter School toward writing this book. The resulting document takes readers back in time, to when the teachers were the age of their current students. When I Was Your Age chronicles important events and lessons of youth: first crushes, school dances, bullying, getting lost, and finding truth. It talks back to the notion that teachers were born old and live at school–stories from when teachers were young>

Talk that Music Talk: Passing on Brass Band Music in New Orleans

In the early 1900s, jazz was created in New Orleans. Soon afterwards the fear began…it’s moving away, it’s going to die out, it needs to be preserved. Yet each generation has put time and energy into making sure the roots of the music stay strong in the city. This book is about the history of that kind of organizing work, and what happened when the New Orleans Jazz National Historical Park brought together a new group of young people to learn traditional brass band music from older musicians and the Black Men of Labor Social Aid & Pleasure Club.

Straight Outa Swampton: Life at the Intersection of Natural and Built Worlds in New Orleans

From Creative Writing Students at Lake Area NTEC High School, Straight Outta Swampton is about life in a city in which the line between nature and civilization is often unclear. It is the story of a city that rose from a swamp, and that for 300 years has been engaged in an epic struggle with nature for its right to exist. The young writers are themselves both actors and tellers of this story, and they pick the story up in a particular time and place.

Aunt Alice vs. Bob Marley: My Education In New Orleans

Kareem Kennedy documents his quest for an education in the schools and streets of New Orleans. With his father gone and his mother frequently out of the picture, Kareem looks towards teachers, friends and extended family for the skills to muster through public schools, Hurricane Katrina, and the “heavy hands and hard shoes” of his life. Tracing Kareem’s history through the Seventh Ward, exile in Houston, and a return to school in New Orleans, the book represents two years of highs and lows: losing friends, surviving violence, and the beginning of his college career.

Beyond The Bricks

Daron Crawford and Pernell Russell tell more than parallel stories, Beyond the Bricks is a conversation about life in New Orleans as the city’s major public housing projects are torn down. With childhoods spent in the Calliope and St. Bernard Projects, Daron and Pernell document what these communities meant, the new struggles of living outside the projects and their families’ new footholds in the city. Beyond the Bricks documemnts the many cultures of teenage New Orleans: rap and dance, skateboarding and fashion, showing the strengths and tensions of the different scenes they call home>

From My Mother’s House of Beauty

From her childhood in Englishtown on the Caribbean coast of Honduras to her life in the Seventh Ward, Susan Stephanie Henry writes of transitions and shifting identities. In From My Mother’s House of Beauty, Susan investigates her many worlds: family homes, beauty salons, public schools and fashion runways. Part memoir, part ethnography, House of Beauty explores what it means to be a black Honduran woman living in New Orleans.

Signed, the President

A portrait of family life during turbulent times as seen and felt through our narrator and interviewer-at-large, Kenneth Phillips, aka, the President. Kenneth tells his story through interviewing family members — questions that begin to tell the stories of the St. Bernard Public Housing Development, the beginnings of bounce, sweet shops and church services. Where the interviews leave off, Kenneth explains: his relationship with his father, losing the family dog Kobey, and his journey toward manhood.

The House of Dance Feathers

In a backyard on Tupelo Street, in the Lower Ninth Ward of New Orleans, Ronald W. Lewis has assembled a museum to the various worlds he inhabits. Built in 2003, and rebuilt after Katrina, the House of Dance & Feathers represents many New Orleans societies: Mardi Gras Indians, Social Aid and Pleasure Clubs, Bone Gangs, and Parade Krewes. More than just a catalogue of the artifacts in the museum, this book is a map of these worlds as experienced by Ronald W. Lewis. Through stories and conversation, we come to know the wide network of people who construct and nurture performance traditions in the city.


This is New Orleans history through place—less from the Andrew Jackson slept here style and more This is where my parents met style: barrooms as comfortable as living rooms, an empty lot that holds more life than many houses, a barbershop that doubles as an artist’s studio, and a museum that grew out of one man’s back shed. Through interviews, photographs, site maps, and architectural drawings, we document the intersections of places and people that make New Orleans great.

Nine Times Social and Pleasure Club

Beginning with their own childhoods in the Desire Housing Project, Nine Times take the reader on a journey through their world: Motown Sound at Carver games, DJ’s in the courts, and sandlot football. It continues as the Housing Authority of New Orleans begins to demolish the Desire, and Nine Times begins to parade in the Ninth Ward. Written by the members during the year after Katrina, Nine Times writes about their lives, their parades, the storm, and the rebuilding process. Through interviews, photographs, and writing, Nine Times brings readers into their world of second lines, brass bands, Magee’s Lounge, and the ties that bind.

Before and After N. Dorgenois

In her book Before and After North Dorgenois, Ebony Bolding examines life in the Sixth Ward. She talks to her neighbors on North Dorgenois, interviewing newly arrived doctors, members of the church on her block, and a neighbor who has returned to the block where her mother grew up. From her porch near John McDonogh Senior High, she looks at the ways the block is changing, and writes about her mother’s decision to move the family deeper into the Sixth Ward after a new landlord buys their house. Ms. Bolding interviews the new landlord and discusses life in the Sixth Ward with the Bayou Road Boys.

Between Piety and Desire

In their book Between Piety and Desire, brother and sister team Arlet and Sam Wylie talk about their regular and irregular life living above a neighborhood store. They remember a childhood of parents keeping them inside to avoid the struggles of the neighborhood around them. They interview the people who hang out on the block, weaving the history of the street through their own history living upstairs. Unusually candid and self-reflective, the Wylies detail their “inside life,” including Sam’s new fatherhood and Arlet’s new home.

The Combination

In The Combination, Ashley Nelson paints a nuanced and lyrical portrait of one of downtown New Orleans’ oldest public housing complexes, the Lafitte. She begins with her own family, weaving their history through the daily life of the community. Ms. Nelson’s interviews let the reader hear from voices rarely engaged, from the owner of the corner store, to the Residents’ Council, to the members of the community more often profiled than listened to. She writes about and photographs much of Lafitte — from second lines to ward signs, from the Wild Side to the Real Side, from Dooky Chase to Southern Scrap, it’s all here.

Palmyra Street

Jana Dennis examines one the most diverse blocks in New Orleans in her book, Palmyra Street. Located in the heart of Mid-City near the new Streetcar line, her block of Palmyra is rich with many typical and not-so-typical New Orleans stories. Through interviews, photographs, and vignettes, Ms. Dennis paints a thorough and intriguing portrait of a block in flux. The reader watches Jana’s family construct community not only on their block, but also through their participation in church life and the Golden Arrows Mardi Gras Indian Tribe.

What Would the World be Without Women: Stories from the 9th Ward

Waukesha Jackson’s book is an examination of loss and recovery. Starting with her relationship to her mother, Ms. Jackson writes about the struggles that have been a part of many of the lives of women in the Ninth Ward. In particular, she examines the frequent role of women as caretakers of the community– in their homes, social clubs, barrooms, and churches. Through interviews, photography and reflection, Ms. Jackson captures the tough times and victories of her family and neighbors.

World Urban Forum

Location: International

Website: wuf7.unhabitat.org

The World Urban Forum (WUF) is a non-legislative technical forum convened by the United Nations Human Settlements Programme (UN-Habitat), hosted in a different city every two years, to examine the most pressing issues facing the world today in the area of human settlements, including rapid urbanization and its impact on cities, communities, economies, climate change and policies. It is the World’s Premier Conference on Cities.

The Forum gathers a wide range of experts from every walk of life. Participants at the Forum include, but are not limited to, national, regional and local governments, non-governmental organizations, community-based organizations, professionals, research institutions and academies, professionals, private sector, development finance institutions, foundations, media and United Nations organizations and other international agencies.

The WUF promotes the strong participation of Habitat Agenda partners and relevant international programmes, funds and agencies, thus ensuring their inclusion in the identification of new issues, the sharing of lessons learned and the exchange of best practices and good policies.

Sunday, June 14, 2015

Hurricane Digital Memory Bank

Location: N/A

Website: hurricanearchive.org

Launched in 2005, the Hurricane Digital Memory Bank uses electronic media to collect, preserve, and present the stories and digital record of Hurricanes Katrina and Rita. George Mason University’s Roy Rosenzweig Center for History and New Media and the University of New Orleans, in partnership with the Smithsonian Institutions National Museum of American History and other partners, organized this project.

Generously funded by the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation (2005-2008), the Hurricane Digital Memory Bank contributes to the ongoing effort by historians and archivists to preserve the record of these storms by collecting first-hand accounts, on-scene images, blog postings, and podcasts. We hope to foster some positive legacies by allowing the people affected by these storms to tell their stories in their own words, which as part of the historical record will remain accessible to a wide audience for generations to come.

This project builds on prior work by George Mason University’s Roy Rosenzweig Center for History and New Media, and other partners such as the Library of Congress and the Red Cross, to collect and preserve history online, especially through the ECHO project and the September 11 Digital Archive. It is part of a growing practice of using the Internet to preserve the past through “digital memory banks.”

For those interested in reading more about designing this project, or those considering launching a digital collecting projects, see: "Why Collecting History Online in Web 1.5, by Sheila Brennan and T. Mills Kelly.

Idea Village

Location: New Orleans

Website: ideavillage.org

In 2000, The Idea Village was formed by a group of New Orleans citizens who believed entrepreneurship is a catalyst for positive change. The Idea Village formalized in 2002 as an independent 501c3 nonprofit organization with a mission to identify, support, and retain entrepreneurial talent in New Orleans by providing direct service to high-impact entrepreneurs, educating the broader community, and supporting initiatives that strengthen our entrepreneurial infrastructure.

From 2009-2014, The Idea Village provided direct support to over 3,411 New Orleans entrepreneurs by engaging over 2,600 professionals to allocate 68,543 consulting hours and $2.5 million in seed capital. In addition, The Idea Village hosts New Orleans Entrepreneur Week, a business festival that has become the platform for the New Orleans entrepreneurial ecosystem. We work hard in the company of entrepreneurs, mentors, investors, and professionals who are committed to helping local startups launch.

And just like The Idea Village, New Orleans comes with its own perks. Mardi Gras, Jazz Fest, Wednesdays at the Square (which happens to take place less than a block from The Village), French Quarter Fest, the list goes on and on. This is the only place in the world that has it's own food, music, and holiday. What's not to love?


Location: San Francisco, CA

Website: walksf.org

Since 1998, Walk San Francisco has been San Francisco’s only pedestrian advocacy organization. Through smart, targeted advocacy, Walk SF and its members, are improving city streets and neighborhoods and making San Francisco a more livable, walkable city by reclaiming streets as safe, shared public space for everyone to enjoy.

Walk SF is organized into two separate organizations: Walk San Francisco, a 501(c)4, and the Walk San Francisco Foundation, a 501(c)3. The board governs both organizations and ensures that charitable efforts of Walk SF are separate from restricted activities of the Walk SF Foundation.

Mission Statement:

Walk SF makes walking in San Francisco safer for everyone, so that our community is healthier and more livable.

Top Goals:

To make walking safer

To make walking more enjoyable by improving the pedestrian environment.

To make walking the preferred way to get around.

Current Campaigns

Everyone walks at some point in their day, but over the past century, pedestrian safety has become an afterthought in most street design. The result? A built environment in San Francisco which makes walking both unsafe and uninviting. Walk SF partners with city agencies, residents, and nonprofits to undo past decisions and prioritize the redesign of the city’s most dangerous streets - the six percent of streets where more than 60% of pedestrian crashes occur.

To improve San Francisco’s walking environment by eliminating preventable injuries, and addressing inequities for neighborhoods including the Tenderloin, Chinatown, and South of Market – where seniors, children, and underserved community members are at greatest risk -

Walk SF three core campaigns include:

Vision Zero/Pedestrian Safety Safe Routes to Schools Walkability

Past Campaign Wins

Launching the first citywide Walk to Work Day event in 2013.

Making San Francisco the first city in the state to establish safer 15-mph school zones around 181 schools citywide in 2012.

Helping design Green Connections: a new network of quiet, green streets to reach parks.

Securing funds to improve streets for walking, including a $50 million Streets Bond in 2011.

Watch-dogging the police and District Attorney to make sure they enforce laws that keep you safe when you walk.

Helping launch car-free Sunday Streets and advocating for parklets to reclaim streets as shared public space.

Improving safety on the city’s most dangerous streets, including 19th Ave, Masonic, and Cesar Chavez.

Making developers pay the real cost of car traffic and its impacts on pedestrians.

Raising fines on cars blocking sidewalks.

Winning media and decision-maker attention to all these and the perspective of people who walk!

Friday, June 12, 2015

Sidewalk Labs

Location: International

Website: sidewalkinc.com

Dan Doctoroff, the former CEO of Bloomberg LP and Deputy Mayor of Economic Development and Rebuilding for the City of New York, and Google today announced the formation of Sidewalk Labs, an urban innovation company that will develop technology at the intersection of the physical and digital worlds, with a focus on improving city life for residents, businesses and governments.

Dan will be the CEO of Sidewalk Labs, which will be based in New York City. The company will combine Dan’s experience in building and managing cities, with Google’s funding and support.

The announcement of Sidewalk Labs comes as the world is continuing a massive urban shift. At the same time, new technologies - including ubiquitous connectivity and sharing, the internet of things, dynamic resource management and flexible buildings and infrastructure - are emerging to allow cities and citizens to tackle problems in real time.

New technologies are already transforming commerce, media and access to information. However, while there are apps to tell people about traffic conditions, or the prices of available apartments, the biggest challenges that cities face -- such as making transportation more efficient and lowering the cost of living, reducing energy usage and helping government operate more efficiently have, so far, been more difficult to address. Sidewalk Labs will develop new products, platforms and partnerships to make progress in these areas.

Announcing the new company, Dan said: “We are at the beginning of a historic transformation in cities. At a time when the concerns about urban equity, costs, health and the environment are intensifying, unprecedented technological change is going to enable cities to be more efficient, responsive, flexible and resilient. We hope that Sidewalk will play a major role in developing technology products, platforms and advanced infrastructure that can be implemented at scale in cities around the world.”

Thursday, June 11, 2015

Walking Visionaries Award

Location: International

Website: walk21vienna.com/visionaries/

Walking Visionaries Awards highlight new ideas, big and small, for fulfilling the potentials of walking for liveable communities. The programme supports individuals and organisations from across the globe, from different professional backgrounds and cultural contexts alike.

The submission phase of the Walking Visionaries Awards has now been successfully concluded. A total of 208 submissions from 47 countries on all continents have entered the collaborative competition. The awards programm has created a permanent online reference collection showing a diverse range of projects dealing with current and future potentials that walking has to foster sustainable cities and liveable communities.

Until 16 of June a public online voting is selecting the winners of the Walking Visionaries Awards that are allocated by the online vote. About 10.000 votes have been confirmed by now which shows great interest in the projects featured in the awards and a broad supported base of specific projects. We encourage you to browse the submitted projects to get inspired for your own work and pick one or multiple submission that you can support with your vote.

At this point we will not feature any specific submission as we do not want to influence the ongoing voting process. We will of course present outstanding submissions in future walking stories once the voting phase has concluded.

WalkVision submissions show potentials for future walkable and liveable cities.

The range of WalkVison submitters is very wide, representing the innovative work of, amongst others, individuals, citizen groups, NGOs, researchers, planners, designers, artists, city governments and administrative bodies as well as international institutions. The main idea of the Walking Visionaries Awards is to present those ideas on eye-level so that many diverse stakeholders are able to learn from and inspire each other. Thematically the submissions encompass: education initiatives, DIY infrastructure, smartphone applications, citizen initiatives, media and publishing projects, initiatives for reclaiming public space, participatory planning tools and strategies, governmental policies and plans, innovative ideas for human infrastructure and community building, amongst others. All of these submissions are geared towards improving the conditions for walking in cities across the globe.

The submissions represent the work done for or by, amongst others: The Buenos Aires City Government (Argentina), The City of Melbourne (Australia), The City of North Vancouver, The City of Wellington (New Zealand), EMBARQ India, ITDP Mexico, North Carolina Department of Transportation (NCDOT), The State Government of Western Australia, UN-Habitat, University of Venice (Italy), VCD Verkehrsclub Deutschland e.V.

Wednesday, June 10, 2015

National Low Income Housing Coalition

Location: Nationwide

Website: nlihc.org

In 1974, Cushing N. Dolbeare founded the Ad Hoc Low Income Housing Coalition in response to the Nixon administration’s moratorium on federal housing programs. While this group focused on federal advocacy, other members established the Low Income Housing Information Service (LIHIS) in 1975 to provide information on housing problems and federal housing programs, as well as technical assistance and support to state and local housing advocacy efforts.

In 1978, the ad hoc coalition was incorporated as the National Low Income Housing Coalition (NLIHC). The two organizations operated jointly, with LIHIS focusing on information, public education, and technical assistance, and NLIHC focusing on advocacy. LIHIS launched a major initiative in 1992 to strengthen partner housing coalitions at the state level in response to devolution of many federal programs. The maturation of NLIHC and LIHIS led to a decision in 1996 to formally merge the two organizations into one 501(c)(3) membership organization, governed by one board of directors. NLIHC today continues the public education, research and policy analysis, organizing, and advocacy work of its predecessor organizations.

Since its inception, NLIHC has been a leader in the effort to address the housing needs of those with the lowest incomes. Ms. Dolbeare recognized that there was no shortage of constituents concerned about low income housing, but rather that constituents needed to be informed about when and how to make their voices heard. To better educate constituents, Ms. Dolbeare authored or co-authored dozens of articles, books and reports. Her writings focused on a wide range of issues, such as the economic underpinnings of the housing crisis; the impact of the crisis on various segments of the population such as women, Hispanics and farm workers; and the unique challenges faced in addressing the housing crisis in urban areas versus rural areas.

"Out of Reach", NLIHC’s widely-cited annual report on the gap between housing costs and the wages of low income people.

While numerous organizations concentrate on federal housing policy, NLIHC is unique because of our sole focus on the needs of extremely low income people, the only population experiencing an absolute shortage of affordable housing. Today NLIHC has hundreds of members across the county. Combined with incisive research and policy analysis, NLIHC is a respected voice in Washington, D.C. that has helped produce policies impacting the lives of millions.