As major transitions in the global economy create new challenges and opportunities, new strategies for driving economic growth are emerging that are often broader in scope, larger-scale, more comprehensive and cross-sectoral. This emerging practice, in turn, calls for new institutional infrastructure and financial tools to support its effective management and implementation. This paper – informed by interviews with, and a convening of, the nation’s leading development authority practitioners and experts – begins to explore the implications of these realities for the design and practice of development authorities to support the next generation of transformative and sustainable economic development.

Economic development professionals are beginning to think differently about how they create stronger neighborhoods, cities, and regional economies. They are applying an asset- and market-based development framework, which entails “growing from the inside out.” By applying this framework to the dynamics of the 21st century economy, they are concentrating on the synergies between fostering complementary assets in metropolitan areas: human capital, business, innovation, and infrastructure. And they understand that a key new dynamic is the need to align economic growth and inclusion – that is, sustainable growth requires inclusion and vice versa. This paper offers a summary of the new thinking underway in the field and describes some of the emerging practices. For more on inclusive growth, see the New Growth Innovation Network (NGIN) website at

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 of how the framework can be applied to development practice in the areas of retail and financial services.

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 other economic development projects think more strategically about how those efforts can align with and leverage other local development activities. The morning session used a case study from Columbus to illustrate how the viability of a retail project can be informed and enhanced by interrelated strategies to revitalize the surrounding neighborhood. The afternoon session used an industrial land redevelopment case study from Atlanta to explore how to connect regional industrial opportunities to neighborhood assets and development – sometimes referred to as “economic place-making.”

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 structure of a new approach to comprehensive neighborhood economic development: “”neighborhood business planning.”” After walking through the effects and implications of the transition to the knowledge economy, the presentation provides a framework for seeing neighborhoods as dynamic systems whose role in the economy is to develop and deploy assets (e.g., workers, businesses) into larger markets.

An overview of neighborhood types and their unique roles within regions follows, along with data on the typical trajectories of different neighborhood types. Sections on each of five market levers (human capital, clusters, innovation and entrepreneurship, urban growth form and governance) show how the development of neighborhood goals, market analysis, strategies and initiatives can create neighborhoods of opportunity in connection with their region. Local-facing issues like housing, retail and other amenities are examined in relation to their effect on creating neighborhoods of choice that certain populations are attracted to, influencing a neighborhood’s type and trajectory. The presentation concludes with an overview of the most comprehensive application of neighborhood business planning to-date: the Greater Chatham Initiative.

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 that welfare programs have significantly reduced absolute poverty but are inadequate to combat rapidly growing relative poverty, the presentation proposes a new market-based approach that leverages, rather than supplants, next-economy markets to bring under-invested people and places back into the economic mainstream. The presentation concludes with principles for designing the federal government’s role in this new effort.

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 in the context of the changing global economy and its effects on urban growth form. Developed by RW Ventures, LLC, Urban Planning and Design for the American City and Metropolis Strategies, the paper compares the fields’ goals, frameworks, tools and activities including through applications to particular types of new 21st century urban challenges and opportunities, and raises a set of new issues and suggestions for greater and different collaborations between the fields.

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 equity by aligning growth and inclusion. The presentation builds from a convening and ongoing coordination, facilitated by RW Ventures and supported by the Ford Foundation, of leading practitioners building the practice of inclusive regional economic growth around the country. For more on inclusive growth, see the New Growth Innovation Network (NGIN) website at

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 for CEOs for Cities with partner Christopher Berry, revealed that the dichotomy of “amenities versus jobs” that seems to dominate the current debate on the issue is misleading: the importance of human capital in today’s economy means that both workers and firms are attracted to metropolitan areas with high concentrations of human capital, deployed in networks of knowledge-intensive industries, functions, and occupations.

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 a baseline assessment of the emerging practice of Inclusive Regional Economic Growth. The paper describes underlying changes in the next economy, including the inclusive growth paradox and imperative; provides an economic framework for identifying key challenges and opportunities for aligning growth and inclusion; highlights innovations and issues in the emerging practice; and offers observations about how to better coordinate and scale the practice. For more on inclusive growth, see the New Growth Innovation Network (NGIN) website at