Projects

The Economic Impacts of the Obama Library

January 17, 2017

If Chicago is chosen for the location of Barack Obama’s presidential library, Illinois taxpayers could be on the hook for $100 million. Are the benefits that come with presidential libraries…

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The Energy of the Future for the Economy of the Present: Business Opportunities in the Green Economy

January 12, 2017

This presentation (also available in Italian upon request) for a regional business conference in Rovereto, Italy describes the growing market for “green” products, identifies business opportunities and sustainability strategies and…

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Market-Based Community Economic Development

October 12, 2016

This presentation outlines the theoretical framework for market-based community economic development, including a discussion of how market-based strategies work and when they are most effective. The presentation also provides examples…

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Greater Chatham Initiative

June 12, 2016

This document is the culmination of an innovative, two-year effort to develop an integrated and mutually reinforcing set of strategies and initiatives to drive growth in four contiguous Chicago neighborhoods:…

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Positioning Your Neighborhood for Economic Development

March 17, 2016

Delivered by RW Ventures, Chicago TREND and the Columbus Metropolitan Housing Authority, this pair of training sessions were designed to help communities pursuing retail, industrial land use, small business or…

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NeighborWorks NBP Training

February 12, 2016

Originally developed as a two-day training for HUD Choice Neighborhood program grantees, this presentation was delivered to grantees from NeighborWorks America’s Catalytic Grant Program. The training presents the rationale and…

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Chicago TREND

June 15, 2015

Chicago TREND (Transforming Retail Economics of Neighborhood Development) combines innovative predictive analytics, deal brokering and financial products to support “retail on the leading edge” of emerging neighborhood markets. The new…

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Market-Based Development to Win the War on Poverty

June 12, 2015

Prepared for the Chicago Federal Executive Board, this presentation assesses the nation’s progress over the last 50 years and suggests a new framework for winning the “War on Poverty.” Finding…

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Chicagoland FOOD – Seizing the Opportunity to Grow Chicagoland’s Food Industry

May 25, 2015

This report, written in partnership with the Illinois Manufacturing Excellence Center (IMEC), highlights the opportunities for driving inclusive regional growth through the collaborative development of the Chicagoland region’s food manufacturing…

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Chicago TREND Background Presentation

May 12, 2015

Chicago TREND (Transforming Retail Economics of Neighborhood Development) combines innovative predictive analytics, deal brokering and financial products to support “retail on the leading edge” of emerging neighborhood markets. The new…

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Integrating the Practices of Urban Planning and Economic Development

March 15, 2015

This paper was prepared as background for a convening of national experts to explore how the fields of urban planning/design and economic development can better inform each other in practice…

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Inclusive Regional Economic Growth

November 12, 2014

This slide deck, presented at the 2014 CEOs for Cities National Meeting, highlights the economic imperative, and offers a framework, approach, analysis and examples for better achieving both prosperity and…

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Grads and Fads

September 5, 2014

Building on The Changing Dynamics of Urban America, this study examines the relative importance of economic and quality of life factors in attracting and retaining college-educated workers. The project, conducted…

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Linking Regional Economic Clusters with Targeted Urban Places in Indianapolis

August 12, 2014

This set of documents reflects recommendations for leveraging urban industrial corridors in Indianapolis, Indiana in ways that support high-growth-potential regional clusters. The project was undertaken by RW Ventures in partnership…

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Strategic Development Scenarios for the Annie E. Casey Foundation’s University Avenue Site

July 25, 2014

This presentation, delivered to the Annie E. Casey Foundation’s leadership team, provides a set of strategic redevelopment scenarios for a 31-acre site the foundation owns in the Pittsburgh neighborhood of…

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Inclusive Regional Economic Growth Framing Paper

June 11, 2014

Developed for the June 2014 Convening on Inclusive Regional Economic Growth at the Ford Foundation, this framing paper captures findings from interviews of attendees and other leading practitioners to provide…

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Economic Place-making: How to Develop a “Neighborhood Business Plan”

May 15, 2014

Developed as part of a two-day training for planning and implementation grantees from HUD’s Choice Neighborhoods program, this presentation walks through the logic and structure of a new approach to…

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Partnering for Prosperity

April 17, 2014

Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle, accepting the recommendations of her Council of Economic Advisors, adopted Partnering for Prosperity: An Economic Growth Action Agenda for Cook County, a report developed…

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Economic growth must be more inclusive

January 5, 2014

As part of a Chicago Tribune series on the region’s biggest challenges in 2014, Bob Weissbourd argued for the importance of achieving inclusive economic growth, and identified strategies for better…

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Partnering for Prosperity: An Economic Growth Action Agenda for Cook County

April 1, 2013

Prepared for Cook County by its Council of Economic Advisors, Metropolis Strategies and RW Ventures, this Action Agenda begins by addressing Cook County’s role in the regional economy, in light…

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Chicago: Governance for the 21st Century Economy

August 1, 2012

The Chicago Tribune published this op-ed, authored by Bob Weissbourd, which argues that greater public-private collaboration and a more flexible, dynamic and open institutional infrastructure are necessary to be competitive…

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Regions Charting New Directions: Metropolitan Business Planning

June 21, 2012

These three presentations outline the key drivers of economic growth in the next economy, articulate the concept of “metro-economics” and describe the approach of Metropolitan Business Planning. The first two…

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Milwaukee Framework for Economic Growth

June 12, 2012

The Milwaukee 7 (M7) released a draft of its Framework for Economic Growth at the November meeting of its Regional Economic Development Advisory Council.  M7 engaged public, private and civic stakeholders from…

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A Plan for Economic Growth and Jobs

March 17, 2012

The plan was developed at the request of Mayor Rahm Emanuel by World Business Chicago and a team of consultants, including RW Ventures. It begins with an overview of the…

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The Chicago Region’s Green Economic Opportunities

January 30, 2012

This report, written jointly by RW Ventures and Innovation Network for Communities, explores opportunities for Chicago-area firms arising from the increasing market demand for energy- and resource-efficient products and services….

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Connecting to Markets Series: Neighborhoods and Housing Markets

January 1, 2012

Bob Weissbourd delivered these remarks as part of the “Connecting to Markets” series sponsored by the Institute for Comprehensive Community Development, the Urban Institute, and the Federal Reserve Banks of…

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MyHomeEQ Launches

November 11, 2011

MyHomeEQ, a joint venture of RW Ventures and CNT Energy, officially debuted in the Chicagoland market as part of Energy Impact Illinois (EI2), a CMAP-led initiative for more energy-efficient buildings.  As the online…

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Implementing Regionalism: Connecting Emerging Theory and Practice to Inform Economic Development

November 1, 2011

The “Implementing Regionalism” project, supported by the Surdna Foundation, begins to bridge the gap between the theory and practice of regional economic development through a comprehensive review of existing research…

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City Vitals: How Do We Measure the Success of Cities?

October 11, 2011

This short slide deck was created in response to a presentation by Joe Cortright at CEOs for Cities Fall 2011 Meeting concerning metrics of city vitality. Highlighting the importance of…

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Metro Chicago Exports launches

September 29, 2011

Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle, Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel, DuPage County Chairman Dan Cronin and the Chief Executives of Kane, Kendall, Lake, McHenry and Will Counties convened on September…

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Driving Regional Economic Growth: Opportunities for Cook County

August 31, 2011

This presentation, delivered by Bob Weissbourd to the Economic Development Foundations Working Group of Cook County, provides an overview of how the different pieces of the economy fit together and…

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Municipal Financing: Current Challenges and Opportunities

March 22, 2011

Bob Weissbourd delivered this presentation at the London School of Economics’ City Reformers Group Workshop, in a session on public financing. The presentation outlines the troubles facing city governments —…

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Metropolitan Business Planning

March 11, 2011

The Metropolitan Business Planning initiative, co-developed by The Brookings Institution and RW Ventures, continues to generate great interest at the local, state and federal levels. Bob Weissbourd has been presenting…

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Metropolitan Business Plans: A New Approach to Economic Growth

March 4, 2011

Prepared in partnership with the Brookings Institution’s Metropolitan Policy Program for “Global Metro Summit 2010: Delivering the Next Economy,” this policy brief formally introduces the concept of metropolitan business planning,…

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“Metro-Economics”: Towards a “Unified Field Theory”

January 12, 2011

This speech and accompanying PowerPoint were delivered by Bob Weissbourd as part of the Portland Plan — Inspiring Community Series. The speech begins to tie together the various pieces of…

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GO TO 2040: Strengthening the Regional Economy

January 11, 2011

This report explores how the Chicago Metropolitan Agency for Planning’s GO TO 2040 plan will influence the performance of the regional economy. The report offers a framework for understanding regional…

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Lessons from the Field: How 21st Century Community Development Can Inform Federal Policy

December 17, 2010

The Institute for Comprehensive Community Development (ICCD) released the inaugural issue of its journal, including a paper entitled “Lessons from the Field: How 21st Century Community Development Can Inform Federal…

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Foreclosure Effects on Neighborhood Property Assessments

September 12, 2009

RW Ventures’ analysis of the impact of foreclosures on neighborhood property values has garnered attention from civic sector stakeholders. Bob Weissbourd and Michael He presented the findings of the firm’s…

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Dynamic Neighborhoods: Tools for Community and Economic Development

September 1, 2009

The Dynamic Neighborhood Taxonomy (DNT) project provides new analysis on how urban neighborhoods operate, how they change over time, what factors determine their success and how these dynamics vary across…

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Market Development for Building Energy Efficiency Retrofits 

December 23, 2008

This concept paper, reporting on a project collaboratively developed by RW Ventures and O-H Community Partners, offers recommendations for catalyzing the emergence of a large-scale market in building energy efficiency…

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Dynamic Neighborhoods: New Tools for Community and Economic Development

June 2, 2008

The Dynamic Neighborhood Taxonomy (DNT) project provides new analysis on how urban neighborhoods operate, how they change over time, what factors determine their success and how these dynamics vary across…

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Analyzing Local Economies

January 15, 2008

This presentation, prepared for the Aspen Institute Roundtable and Funders’ Exchange on Community Change, Poverty Reduction and Prosperity Promotion, presents a new framework for thinking about neighborhood change, as well…

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Regional Effects and Convergence in Dallas Neighborhood Housing Markets

October 17, 2007

This paper, published in the Williams Review, presents selected results from the first phase of the Dynamic Neighborhood Taxonomy Project. In particular, the paper investigates two key questions relating to…

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Dynamic Neighborhood Taxonomy: New Tools for the Field

October 2, 2007

The Dynamic Neighborhood Taxonomy (DNT) project provides new analysis on how urban neighborhoods operate, how they change over time, what factors determine their success and how these dynamics vary across…

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Innovation Remarks, Urban Markets Initiative

October 1, 2007

This speech was delivered by Robert Weissbourd as part of a plenary session on Innovation at the 2007 UMI Forum.  The speech addresses the barriers and opportunities for innovation in…

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The City that NetWorks: Transforming Society and Economy through Digital Excellence

May 27, 2007

This report, prepared for the Mayor’s Advisory Council on Bridging the Digital Divide, outlines a comprehensive plan for achieving universal digital excellence, as vital to the future of a global…

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Into the Economic Mainstream

August 6, 2006

This paper and related presentation, prepared for Opportunity Finance Network and CFED, introduce a new framework for bipartisan economic development policies, centered on the idea of “inclusionary growth”.

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Strengthening Communities for Regional Prosperity

July 17, 2006

The increasing attention paid to the region as a key unit of economic activity has given rise to powerful new economic development strategies. By focusing on economic rather than political…

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Seeing the Forest and the Trees

May 6, 2005

This presentation, prepared for CEOs for Cities’ annual meeting, explores some of the key findings that have emerged from the literature on the role of cities in the national economy…

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UMI Discussion Papers: Market-Based Development & Information Resources

April 16, 2005

These two complementary papers written for the Brookings Institution’s Urban Markets Initiative examine the role of information resources in spurring markets and creating investment strategies to boost urban neighborhoods. The…

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The Kansas City Region: Economic Opportunity in the Heartland

April 6, 2005

The Brookings Institution’s Metropolitan Policy Program hired RW Ventures and Alen Amirkhanien to complete a preliminary assessment of Kansas City’s economy in the context of the Heartland region. This study…

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Neighborhood Scan: San Antonio

January 1, 2004

These reports exemplify a line of work conducted with MetroEdge for the Annie E. Casey Foundation and other community development institutions across the country. RW Ventures conducts specialized market analysis…

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The Changing Dynamics of Urban America

September 21, 2003

This major study, conducted with Christopher Berry for CEOs for Cities, examines the changing drivers of economic success in American cities and metropolitan areas, and how these affect decision-making for…

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Valuing Neighborhoods, Driving Change 

December 13, 2002

In planning its activities for the next decade, Living Cities commissioned RW Ventures and the Brookings Institution’s Metropolitan Policy Program to undertake the design phase for a ten-year project that…

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Banking on Technology: Expanding Financial Markets and Economic Opportunity

June 11, 2002

This paper, co-sponsored by the Brookings Institution and the Financial Services Roundtable, led to the business planning and creation of the Center for Financial Services Innovation (CFSI). Originally housed at…

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Cities and Economic Prosperity

April 9, 2001

This study, completed for CEOs for Cities, features a data scan of economic indicators and activity in cities. The study finds that the assets of cities are enormous, varied, and…

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The Market Potential of Inner-City Neighborhoods: Filling the Information Gap

March 5, 1999

This paper examines how current information, primarily dependent on federal data sources, fails to accurately convey the opportunity in inner-city economies. It then suggests how building business-based data and models…

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Rebuilding Community: The Entrepreneurship Project

February 1, 1994

Prepared by Kansas City Neighborhood Alliance and Bob Weissbourd (when at Shorebank Advisory Services, Inc.), this Start-Up Business and Implementation Plan describes a project to open a loan production office…

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