"Comeback Cities" - John Kromer Interviews Boston Foundation President Paul Grogan

March 15, 2010

Fels Senior Consultant John Kromer first read Paul Grogan's book,  Comeback Cities:  A Blueprint for Urban Revival, when he was finishing his tenure as Philadelphia's Director of Office of Housing and Community Development. Mr. Grogan had led LISC, the Local Initiatives Support Corporation, for thirteen years in the 1980s and 1990s and his book probed both the opportunities and difficulties associated with trying to revive America's aging industrial cities. He found reason for hope -- from the success of community development corporations to declining crime rates to the deregulation of public systems like housing, welfare and public education -- and his book was an influential blueprint for those practitioners, like John Kromer, tasked with continuing the work.

How has Paul Grogan's "blueprint for urban revival" held up, ten years on?

In this interview, John Kromer asks Mr. Grogan to discuss the changed role of CDCs in 2010, the consequences of welfare reform, the blend of public and private intevestment supporting America's cities today, and much more.

Download the interview here or open it through iTunes.

Paul Grogan is currently the President and CEO of The Boston Foundation, one of the nation's oldest and largest community foundations, with assets of $763 million.  His book Comeback Cities: A Blueprint for Urban Revival was hailed as as "arguably the most important book about cities in a generation" by the Los Angeles Times.

John Kromer is a Senior Consultant at the Fels Institute of Government and author of the recently published Fixing Broken Cities. This interview was conducted as part of his work for the William Penn Foundation-funded project, "Neighborhoods of Opportunity: Promoting Strategic Investment in Distressed Communities."

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