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: Chatham, Auburn Gresham, Avalon Park and Greater Grand Crossing. The plan reflects a new, replicable approach to neighborhood growth planning, embedded in the context of regional economic opportunities. Chapter I lays out the economic foundations of the plan, and is followed by a rigorous market analysis, articulation of the plan’s 16 strategies and an outline of the lead implementation initiatives and institutional infrastructure.

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 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.

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 with Mass Economics, Bookman Associates, Capraro Consulting and Jones Lang LaSalle on behalf of Indianapolis LISC. The presentation describes the urban opportunities among targeted economic clusters, ultimately recommending a focus on (a) Food Manufacturing and Distribution and (b) Local Business-to-Business (B2B) Services. The report then provides a more in-depth description of those clusters and articulates a location profile for each that captures the location preferences, site characteristics and building requirements of firms in those clusters. Finally, the report offers recommendations for promoting growth of the Food Manufacturing and Distribution and Local B2B clusters in existing industrial areas in Indianapolis and proposed methodologies for the next round of cluster development and industrial land analysis.

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 Atlanta, GA. In the context of growing opportunities in the next economy for “economic place making” which aligns neighborhood and regional development, a cross-disciplinary team — including partners Mass Economics, Stoss Landscape Urbanism, TSW and Noell Consulting Group — undertook extensive regional and local market analysis and stakeholder engagement to identify a range of market-feasible development alternatives for the site that would maximize opportunities for community residents and businesses. The team explored development opportunities ranging from a food innovation park to a “blue-collar innovation district.” This presentation summarizes the team’s approach to the project, its market and site findings, recommended strategic development scenarios and a proposed strategy for taking the site to market for development. The team’s work is described in more detail in a set of non-public deliverables prepared for the foundation.

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.

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 comprehensive neighborhood economic development: “neighborhood business planning.” It begins by describing the changes taking place in the knowledge economy, which present opportunities for metropolitan areas and especially urban neighborhoods, and suggest a new approach: neighborhood business planning. The presentation then offers a framework for understanding neighborhoods as dynamic systems whose economic function is to develop and deploy their assets into larger markets.

An overview of neighborhood types and their functions within regional systems follows, including a description of how different types of neighborhoods change over time. Sections on each of five market levers (human capital, clusters, innovation and entrepreneurship, urban growth form and governance) walk through illustrative neighborhood goals, market analysis, strategies and initiatives to drive neighborhood prosperity in connection with its region. Another module focuses on how local-facing issues like housing, retail and other amenities reflect the neighborhood’s position in the region, but also can shape a neighborhood’s type and trajectory. The presentation concludes with an illustrative, high-level sample business plan that brings together all prior components.

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 with assistance from RW Ventures and Metropolis Strategies.  The Action Agenda provides a blueprint for more strategic, targeted and deeper County engagement in regional economic development, recommending nine key strategies based on Cook’s role and capacities in the regional economy.  RW Ventures and Metropolis Strategies will continue to work with Cook County, as it now adapts its programs and engages partners to create transformative initiatives to implement the strategies.

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 deploying the people and places often left out of the economy.