Srategic Investment in Distressed Communities

Thu, 2010-03-04 12:06

Those of you with an interest in community development, please take a few minutes and click over to see what John Kromer is putting together this spring.

Mr. Kromer is a Fels Senior Consultant, former director of Philadephia's Office of Housing and Community Development, and author of two excellent books, Fixing Broken Cities, and Neighborhood Recovery.  Nobody knows more about restoring distressed cities to health.

This work is still as much art as science, however, and the efforts of cities and CDCs over the past decades have raised plenty of questions to which we have no satisfactory answers.  Mr. Kromer's latest project is an effort to draw lessons from the experience of Eastern North Philadephia, an area that has been on the receiving end of consistent, smart redevelopment efforts from Asociación de Puertorriqueños en Marcha -- a leading Philadelphia CDC.  What, Mr. Kromer is asking, is the return on this investment?  What has been the multiplier effect of providing human services, of repairing the housing stock, of clearing vacant land?  Which interventions work and -- crucially -- which do not

Data from this project will be posted to the project site over the next several months, along with a series of discussions with other leading authorities on community redevelopment. We will keep you posted as this develops.