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Evidence Matters: Growing Toward the Future

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Winter 2012   


        Growing Toward the Future: Building Capacity for Local Economic Development
        Conceptualizing and Measuring Resilience
        Meeting the Challenges of Suburban Poverty

Growing Toward the Future: Building Capacity for Local Economic Development


      • Resilience is the capacity of a region to respond effectively to a shock, such as the effects of realigning or declining industries, a national economic recession, or a natural disaster.
      • Strong local government leadership, cross-sector partnerships, and inclusive community participation are critical to increasing regional capacity.
      • The federal Strong Cities, Strong Communities initiative promotes resilience by helping localities build capacity and maximize the effectiveness of federal funds.

Improved local-federal relationships are helping Memphis, one of the Strong Cities, Strong Communities pilot cities, realize its development goals and work toward greater regional resilience.
Improved local-federal relationships are helping Memphis, one of the Strong Cities, Strong Communities pilot cities, realize its development goals and work toward greater regional resilience.
In May 2011, record rainfall and snowmelt caused the Mississippi River to reach its highest flood stage since 1937 in Memphis, Tennessee. In the aftermath of the devastating flood, when the city of Memphis was in the process of redeveloping blighted neighborhoods, city officials encountered what many local governments would say is an all-too-familiar experience. The city’s mayor, A.C. Wharton, Jr., describes the difficulties involved in securing federal assistance after the disaster: First I would have to get with FEMA [the Federal Emergency Management Agency]. If I wanted to use Section 8 vouchers, I’d have to go to HUD. If I wanted to get unemployed people back to work, I’d have to go to [the Department of] Labor. If I wanted to make the homes energy efficient, I’d have to go to DOE [the Department of Energy]. If I wanted to use individuals with criminal records, I’d have to go to [the Department of] Justice.

But today, Wharton describes close and productive working relationships between federal and local officials who are getting things done much more quickly, from sharing information about the city’s post-flood infrastructure to the e-approval process for certifying women- and minority-owned small businesses. Mayor Wharton says that the federal officials working in Memphis are “close enough to see what we’re doing, but they are not so close that they don’t give us some slack and become a part of the problem.”1

The improvements in local-federal relationships described by the mayor are possible in part because Memphis is one of seven pilot cities in the Obama administration’s Strong Cities, Strong Communities (SC2) initiative. The SC2 initiative is a pilot program designed to help localities realize their own development goals, build assets, strengthen regional economies, and work toward more resilient regions. By providing the pilot cities with the opportunity to take full advantage of connections with and among 14 federal agencies while building on existing local coalitions that have been working to solve local problems for years, SC2 aims to change the relationship between federal and local government.

Wharton says that the new federal support has already been critical in several key economic development initiatives, including the sale of a steamship from the U.S. Department of Transportation’s Maritime Administration to bring needed dollars and jobs to the Mississippi riverfront. With federal help, Mayor Wharton says, the city was able to “cut through a lot of red tape” and expedite the project. Wharton expects the SC2 initiative to help the city of Memphis make more flexible use of the federal dollars that are currently available, streamline connections through federal departments, and get things done more quickly.2

The improving nature of this local-federal relationship developing on the ground in Memphis is one objective of the SC2 program. With budgets strained and the economy struggling, metropolitan regions are confronting the challenges of poverty, job and population loss, and rising foreclosures with smaller budgets and fewer resources. Distressed cities and older suburbs are suffering from years of disinvestment in their neighborhoods and the depletion of their property tax bases, which have weakened their organizational and civic capacities.3 Responding effectively to these challenges, whether brought on by a sudden natural disaster or the long-term decline of an industry, is a question of resilience.

As applied to metropolitan regions, resilience is the capacity to respond effectively to a shock, such as the effects of realigning or declining industries, a national economic recession, or a natural disaster. The University at Buffalo’s Kathryn Foster says that resilience encompasses attributes that shape a locality’s ability to both withstand and respond to shock. In particular, Foster defines regional resilience as “the ability of a region to anticipate, prepare for, respond to, and recover from a disturbance.”4

What Makes a Region or Locale Resilient?

No magic bullet exists to insulate regions from major disturbances, changes, or shocks, or to help them quickly recover. Metropolitan regions vary in their ability to resist or handle a crisis depending on the nature and severity of the misfortune; they can be strong in one aspect of resilience but not in another. Having the capacity to be resilient varies even within regions. For example, Todd Swanstrom, a professor at the University of Missouri-St. Louis, found uneven responses to the foreclosure crisis within a particular metropolitan area, where some suburbs hit especially hard had no organizational infrastructure to immediately help mitigate the crisis.5

Regional stresses affect all who have a stake in a healthy, sustainable community.
Regional stresses affect all who have a stake in a healthy, sustainable community. Beyond Housing

The factors that make a region or locality able to withstand or survive a stressful phenomenon are complex and interrelated. Foster’s Resilience Capacity Index, developed to help metropolitan areas assess their own resilience, incorporates 12 indicators of capacity that focus on the qualities of a region’s economy, its social and demographic makeup, and its community connectivity.6 This index is detailed in this issue’s Research Spotlight.

Two qualities not reflected in this index, however, are leadership and governance. These factors are difficult to measure, and the data that do exist are not always applicable to all metropolitan areas, but they are critical nonetheless. If a region’s leadership is lacking or divided, or if the governance systems are disconnected or obstructionist, Foster finds that little progress can be made.7

When it comes to being able to weather shocks caused by change or misfortune, context is important. In studying economic resilience of communities, a group of researchers led by Edward Hill at Cleveland State University identified key factors in how a community bounces back from economic shock as well as how long it takes: economic structure, industrial concentration, human capital, flexibility of the labor market, and income disparity.8 According to George Washington University’s Hal Wolman, who worked with Hill’s group on the study, whether a metropolitan area avoided economic shock or emerged resiliently depended on “the industry structure of the region and decisions made by individual firms about their own operations, which affected whether those firms would be successful and continue employing people.”9 Some characteristics that make regions more resistant to economic downturns, for example, also make them less able to recover quickly.10

Regional stresses affect all who have a stake in a healthy, sustainable community and require a coordinated effort to resist and respond. Swanstrom emphasizes the importance of having all three sectors — public, private, and nonprofit — engaged and collaborating within and across sectors. Local, state, and federal governments provide infrastructure and policy; nonprofits facilitate collaboration and contribute creative solutions from a diverse set of stakeholders; and the private sector offers quick market responses, technologies, and consumer choices. By maintaining each sector’s own attributes and strengths while working together across sectors and within regions, these collaborations effectively secure needed resources and organizational changes.11 To illustrate the importance of maintaining working connections between the sectors, Swanstrom notes that a diverse, collaborative nonprofit sector can be the source of innovations that make win-win solutions to community problems possible. Competition and self-interest might crowd out this potential if nonprofits were to incorporate market features.12

The Role of Leadership and Governance

To attract and maintain a highly educated workforce in Charlotte, North Carolina, public and higher education programs were enhanced to sustain the new banking industry in the long term. (Photo shows the University of North Carolina’s Atkins Library.)
To attract and maintain a highly educated workforce in Charlotte, North Carolina, public and higher education programs were enhanced to sustain the new banking industry in the long term. (Photo shows the University of North Carolina’s Atkins Library.) UNC Charlotte, Wade Bruton, Photographer

For there to be a collaborative and regionwide response to a threat, the area’s leadership must mobilize individuals and groups to come together, plan and make decisions, and carry out agreed-on strategies.13 Regions whose leaders adopt more creative responses, promote the diversification of their economies, and respond quickly are more likely to adapt well to regional change.14

Hill et al.’s case study of Charlotte, North Carolina’s response to an economic threat precipitated by the collapse of a major industry shows how this regional adaptation can unfold. The Charlotte-Mecklenburg metropolitan area faced a classic economic shock in the 1980s, when the textile industry — a major job creator — was in decline. At about the same time, leaders in the region’s banking industry had begun exploring ways to expand banking practices by forming multiple branches throughout the state, merging banks and branches, and eventually expanding beyond state lines. The legislatures in four states, anticipating future economic opportunities, passed reciprocal branch banking bills and formed a southeastern market for the industry. This early banking experience of the region’s financial institutions left the Charlotte region well positioned when the U.S. Supreme Court declared interstate banking constitutional in 1985. The decision represented an opportunity for Charlotte’s financial sector to expand and seek depositors nationwide.

With this growth, the financial industry’s leaders saw a need for downtown revitalization that would help recruit financial talent. Along with regional energy company Duke Power, financial leaders worked out a public-private strategy in which the city agreed to provide improved crime protection and infrastructure such as parks and street lighting, while the private sector would help develop businesses, housing, services, and amenities in the downtown area. Civic groups and other public-private partnerships collaborated on economic development initiatives, helped establish university doctoral programs, implemented a welfare-to-work program, and jointly planned and worked to make Charlotte a desirable place to live. Although the banking industry was initially able to import a highly educated workforce, public and higher education programs were enhanced to sustain the new industry in the long term. Charlotte would go on to become a hub of banking and finance that employed 35,000 people in commercial banking-related firms in 2005, up from 9,000 in 1980. In the Charlotte region, says Hill, “the state plowed the field, and prepared it for an important entrepreneur [the banking and finance leadership] to come in to effectively change the economy. Being ready, being responsive, and having your fundamentals right is what government can do.”15

Hill saw little evidence that traditional strategies such as tax subsidies, promoting an area’s strengths, or even job training programs had any short-term impact on a region’s resilience. Government policy, too, played no significant role in the short term. What government could do, however, was support residents and constituents with services and programs.16 Government can also support regions as they develop important traits for resilience, such as the ability to cooperate to reach common goals and to recognize challenges when they occur.

Also critical are leaders’ ability to understand the nature of the problem, to promote experimentation, to be open to new ideas, and to be willing to cooperate and coordinate with other jurisdictions when appropriate — that is, a willingness to govern regionally. Leaders must also think in the long term, often a difficult undertaking for government leaders because long-term goals rarely align with the short-term nature of political office. The problems and needed changes may present obstacles so significant in scale that they are impervious to a short timeframe.17

Building on Community Ties

The New Orleans Citizen Participation Project provides the opportunity for neighborhoods to help shape city government decisions, priorities, and solutions to common problems.
The New Orleans Citizen Participation Project provides the opportunity for neighborhoods to help shape city government decisions, priorities, and solutions to common problems. Committee for a Better New Orleans and the New Orleans
Citizen Participation Project

Community participation and collaboration that is broad and inclusive, researchers report, is crucial for building regional capacity and results in governance suited to the preferences of a locale. Regions that have developed their economies in a collaborative way find that the deliberative process is effective in establishing and maintaining consensus and understanding of decisions. The process can thus result in greater transparency in governance as well as in innovation and growth in civic capacity and resilience.18

The importance of the configuration of this collaborative process is no more apparent than in the case of two Rust Belt cities struggling to recover from the long-term stress of manufacturing decline, as chronicled in Sean Safford’s Why the Garden Club Couldn’t Save Youngstown. Safford, a fellow at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, studied civic organizations in Allentown, Pennsylvania and Youngstown, Ohio that engaged in community problem solving in the 1970s and 1980s to address their communities’ economic decline. Safford found through rigorous comparative analysis that the effectiveness of these organizations’ efforts varied depending on the broader networks in which they were embedded.19 In Youngstown, which was less successful than Allentown at pulling out of economic decline, members of civic organizations such as the Red Cross or the Garden Club were unable to successfully work together for change because they were already well connected to one another in other social, civic, or economic roles (such as through clubs, churches, boards of directors, country clubs, or parent-teacher associations). Their close-knit, exclusive interactions tended to preserve the status quo and prevent the innovation that springs from exposure to new ideas and people with pertinent knowledge and competencies.

Safford found that insular, noninclusive connections, or ties, between actors in Youngstown “may have done more harm than good by strengthening the ability of a small group of actors to assert narrow interests over those of the community more broadly. Moreover, these ties ultimately proved extremely brittle, leaving the community without strong leadership when it was absolutely necessary to have it.” Such social connections left the actors inflexible and unable to adapt sufficiently when change was needed. In Allentown, by contrast, the “civic ties among elites connected actors who were not otherwise connected,” thus bridging the civic and economic communities more effectively and mobilizing needed external resources.20

The importance of looser, bridging ties is documented most famously by sociologist Mark Granovetter and in the literature on social capital and network analysis.21 Strong ties tend to bind people to smaller, less diverse, or closed groups, whether kin or interest groups, but weak ties allow for more bridging of boundaries and offer more networking opportunities, thereby expanding the information, ideas, and influence available for problem solving. As Christakis and Fowler put it, “There is a trade-off between building stable relationships with a certain group of partners and being willing to leave those relationships when changes in the market cause them to lose viability. It is important to have a mix of strong and weak ties, and hitting the sweet spot is key.”22

Margaret Weir et al. confirm the importance of the configuration and mix of connections in their study of transportation policy in Los Angeles and Chicago. In both regions, new actors and regional networks emerged that were dedicated to changing policymaking in transportation. In Los Angeles, however, the “network that emerged died out after a decade of activism.” In Chicago, by contrast, the network grew stronger and expanded, and community voices were supplemented with “power brokers,” including government officials and key stakeholders in the business community.23

These connections empowered Chicago’s regional network to effect the changes in state laws needed to support their regional goals. In Los Angeles, the network “linked a group of mostly weak actors. The activities and development of the Los Angeles network show that establishing only broad horizontal ties among groups that lack vertical power provides a weak foundation for building regional capacity.”24

The foreclosure crisis also offers a lesson in the importance of effective collaboration and communication of stakeholders horizontally and vertically — not just within, but also between local, regional, state, and federal sectors — to build the capacity to effectively respond to a shock. Based on a series of case studies in St. Louis, Cleveland, Chicago, Atlanta, Riverside-San Bernadino, and the East Bay, Swanstrom finds three forms of effective collaboration for metropolitan regions suffering from the foreclosure crisis. The first is cross-sector horizontal collaboration between real estate professionals, nonprofit organizations, and community development corporations. These groups can be the source of information on the ground. Cross-governmental collaboration is also necessary, especially to address the lack of capacity of small suburban governments. Finally, “cross-functional” collaboration is needed because healthy neighborhoods are about not just housing but also strong schools, transit, police, and parks.25

St. Louis, for example, has an initiative that combines these types of collaboration. Twenty-four inner-ring suburban communities located near the Normandy School District in St. Louis County are working together in a comprehensive effort to address the foreclosure crisis in their region.26 Some of these communities, Swanstrom says, “barely have a police force, let alone a housing planner.” Yet their collaborative work in “24:1,” as the partnership is called, allows them greater access to resources and comprehensive supports.27 “You have to address the needs of the communities themselves as they understand it,” Swanstrom says, “and reward collaboration. We need to empower organizations within communities and give them the tools they need to be able to do this work.”28 The partnership’s early work includes the construction of a new grocery store, college saving accounts for students, and support for prekindergarten programs.29

Crisis as Opportunity: Cities Rebound

An effective mix of public-private connections and a massive influx of external resources helped New Orleans and the Gulf Coast region rebound from a string of devastating natural and manmade disasters: the 2005 hurricanes, the 2007 recession, and the 2010 Gulf of Mexico oil spill. By 2009, a total of $142.6 billion in federal funds and tax relief had been authorized for the region, along with another $36 billion in discretionary dollars aimed at promoting long-term recovery. In Resilience and Opportunity: Lessons from the Gulf Coast After Katrina and Rita, editors Amy Liu et al. see a new model emerging with support from a diverse set of key players within and beyond the immediate region. They are forming innovative civic and cross-sector partnerships to solve problems as a community. These efforts “are critical signs of resilience and adaptation,” note Liu et al. “[C]itizens are highly engaged in civic issues and have become very knowledgeable of public issues, actively shaping public decisions.”30 Coalitions and “neighborhood organizations have formed and nonprofit developers have created new capacity to rebuild their own communities in ways that are more equitable and opportunity-rich.”31

Liu et al. assess the ability of New Orleans to build a stronger and more prosperous region after Hurricane Katrina, taking care not to return to the status quo even in the face of ongoing crises. In particular, the book discusses research that focuses on the area’s resilience as a “function of the extent to which leaders intentionally strengthen economic characteristics and civic capacities (including by retooling policies) that help a community rebound and become less vulnerable to future crises.”32 For example, New Orleans has adopted a citywide master plan that lays out a community participation process promoting livability, economic opportunity, and ways to “live with water.” The city government features a new Office of Inspector General to promote greater integrity and reduce waste.33 In addition, early successes include a revised evacuation plan; new charter schools; a regionwide system of community health clinics serving vulnerable populations (including low-income, minority, and uninsured patients); and criminal justice reforms that will improve fairness, accountability, and public safety outcomes.34

The Musicians’ Village in the Upper Ninth Ward of New Orleans is part of the post-Katrina rebuilding effort that provides homes for musicians and other low-income families who were displaced by the disaster, while preserving the local culture.
The Musicians’ Village in the Upper Ninth Ward of New Orleans is part of the post-Katrina rebuilding effort that provides homes for musicians and other low-income families who were displaced by the disaster, while preserving the local culture.

Timely and accessible demographics, economics, and housing data support these reform efforts and help leaders, citizens, and nonprofit organizations make effective decisions.35 The Greater New Orleans Community Data Center (GNOCDC), in partnership with the Brookings Institution, is now publishing a series of reports that measures the region’s progress on prosperity indicators. The indicators in GNOCDC’s reports are updated regularly to help shape policy decisions.36

National-local partnerships have helped make these reforms possible, with leadership from all levels of philanthropy, the private sector, and government. Although significant challenges remain, the economy is shifting to a better path despite significant shocks from Katrina, the recession, and the Gulf oil spill. The New Orleans metropolitan area has seen improvement in the average wage, increasing 14 percent from 2004 to 2006. Although growth stalled after the recession, average wages in the city ($45,492 in 2009) are now close to the national average ($45,831 in 2009). There are signs that the regional economy is diversifying, with new growth in knowledge-based sectors such as higher education, legal services, and insurance agencies; regional export jobs in these sectors grew by 59 percent between 1980 and 2010. Overall job loss in the New Orleans metropolitan area between 2008 and 2010 was 1.2 percent, less than the national rate of 5.1 percent. And new business startups are above the national average.37

Although the region’s recovery and rebuilding efforts have surpassed their predisaster status, there is still much left to do. In addition to the federal authorizations made to promote long-term recovery after the storm in the areas of improved infrastructure, nonemergency housing, and levee repairs, New Orleans and the Gulf region will continue to receive in-depth federal support. New Orleans was recently chosen as a pilot city in the SC2 initiative, in large part because of its ongoing efforts to develop and implement comprehensive, inclusive economic and community development plans. These plans acknowledge the interrelated nature of the city’s problems, ranging from violence and poor educational outcomes to the importance of access to mental and behavioral health care. “The city’s forward-thinking approach to how it uses its resources to improve the lives of residents really embodies the essence of what Strong Cities, Strong Communities is designed to do — that’s one of the main reasons why they have been such a good fit for the initiative,” observes New Orleans SC2 Team Lead R. Erich Caulfield.

National Support Can Help Strengthen Local Capacity

The devastation to the Grand Forks, North Dakota/East Grand Forks, Minnesota region after the Red River flooding in 1997 ultimately led to improved local-federal government relationships.
The devastation to the Grand Forks, North Dakota/East Grand Forks, Minnesota region after the Red River flooding in 1997 ultimately led to improved local-federal government relationships. FEMA/Michael Rieger

Although the federal government can have a positive role in strengthening local capacity, a federal presence has often posed problems for localities. The Grand Forks region, which spans two different states, illustrates the potential problems federal assistance can create. In 1997, a disastrous flood destroyed 83 percent of homes and 62 percent of commercial entities in Grand Forks, North Dakota, as well as all but eight residences in East Grand Forks, Minnesota. The two communities are divided by the Red River, which is also the state line. The 1997 flood followed a number of economic and industry shocks, mostly triggered by military and state government decisions. During the flood recovery, “the two cities were served by different FEMA and Economic Development Administration field offices, and Grand Forks was a CDBG [Community Development Block Grant] entitlement city while East Grand Forks received its CDBG funds through the state. This meant that as [the two cities rebuilt], they had different directions and restrictions from their federal partners. [According to one of Hill’s local interviewees,] ‘You could do things in Minnesota that you couldn’t do in North Dakota, and vice versa, which pulled us apart instead of putting us together.’”38

The SC2 initiative aims to change this siloed approach to federal assistance, with the goal of improving the way federal government does business: cutting through red tape and rationalizing the federal bureaucracy to help deal with the overlapping maze of agencies, regulations, and program requirements that are sometimes confusing and inhibit resilience to future shocks.

A second objective of SC2 is to provide assistance and support by working with local communities to find ground-up rather than top-down solutions while providing on-the-ground technical assistance and planning resources tailored to local governments’ needs. Given the challenges surrounding the federal budget, the initiative emphasizes helping localities use the federal funds they already receive more efficiently and effectively, as Mayor Wharton reports is happening in Memphis.

Finally, SC2 will foster collaboration by developing critical partnerships with key local and regional stakeholders that encompass not only municipal and state governments but also new cross-sector and cross-functional partnerships with the business community; nonprofits; anchor institutions; faith-based institutions; and other public, private, and philanthropic leaders. Going back to Grand Forks, Hill et al. document that, as a result of an iterative process of collaborations triggered by a long run of disasters, relationships improved between the two local governments and with the federal government, which was responsible for new investment in the region.39

The SC2 initiative’s rationale is based on the lessons learned from a growing body of research as well the successes and failures of local communities and regions as they strive to be healthy, sustainable places in which to live. Local options are often limited, and no single effort can solve the web of problems that confront America’s regions, but SC2 focuses on what localities can do to realize their own development goals and work toward greater regional resilience. By building on existing horizontal coalitions that have been tackling local problems for years and helping SC2 cities take advantage of vertical connections with federal agencies, as well as horizontal connections between federal agencies, stakeholders can focus their efforts on building local capacity and promoting resilience. Investing in local capacity is an investment in stronger cities and regions. Localities that can develop strong local leadership, cultivate social capital in the form of effective public-private partnerships, and spur governments to invest in the fundamentals of economic well-being, all with support from national actors, will be better able to meet the challenges that lie ahead.40


Local communities face numerous challenges to their welfare in the short term and to their resilience in the long term. Resilient localities must be able to mobilize applicable skills, competencies, and resources to mitigate the effect of — and successfully manage — crises when they occur. Each region has unique strengths and weaknesses, varying in its capacity to weather challenges. Yet, the research discussed above suggests that certain elements are key to strengthening a locality’s resilience regardless of the nature of the crisis and the attributes of the locale.

The problems communities experience today are generally not confined to political boundaries but instead are regional in nature and demand regional solutions. Stakeholders from all levels and sectors of a region have unique and valuable ideas, technologies, and resources with which to develop and implement plans and strategies for building and sustaining healthy, economically viable places to live. Effective collaboration and partnerships within and across all regional actors are therefore crucial. Strengthening local capacity and resilience is a matter of broad inclusion, insightful leadership and governance, strong civic capacities, and national support collaboratively tailored to meet local objectives.

Related Information:

Strong Cities, Strong Communities: A Capacity-Building Partnership

  1. Interview with A.C. Wharton, October 2011.
  2. Ibid.
  3. Interview with Todd Swanstrom, September 2011.
  4. “Resilience Capacity Index.” Building Resilient Regions ( Accessed 7 October 2011; Kathryn A. Foster and William R. Barnes. Forthcoming. “Reframing Regional Governance for Research and Practice,” Urban Affairs Review; Kathryn A. Foster. Forthcoming. “In Search of Regional Resilience,” in Nancy Pindus, Margaret Weir, Howard Wial, and Harold Wolman, eds., Building Regional Resilience: Urban and Regional Policy and Its Effects. Washington, DC: Brookings Institution Press
  5. Todd Swanstrom, Karen Chapple, and Dan Immergluck. 2009. “Regional Resilience in the Face of Foreclosures: Evidence from Six Metropolitan Areas,” MacArthur Foundation Research Network on Building Resilient Regions at the University of California, Berkeley.
  6. “Q&A with Kathryn Foster, creator of the Resiliency Capacity Index, a new tool.” Building Resilient Regions ( Accessed 14 November 2011.
  7. Interview with Kathryn A. Foster, September 2011.
  8. Edward Hill, Travis St. Clair, Howard Wial, Harold Wolman, Patricia Atkins, Pamela Blumenthal, Sarah
    Ficenec, and Alec Friedhoff. 2011. “Economic Shocks and Regional Economic Resilience,” MacArthur Foundation Research Network on Building Resilient Regions at the University of California, Berkeley.
  9. Interview with Hal Wolman, September 2011.
  10. Hill et al., 14–8, 60–7.
  11. Todd Swanstrom. 2008. “Regional Resilience: A Critical Examination of the Ecological Framework,” MacArthur Foundation Research Network on Building Resilient Regions at the University of California, Berkeley, 20–2.
  12. Ibid.
  13. Pete Carlson, Robert Holm, and Ray Uhalde. 2011. “Building Regional Partnerships for Economic Growth and Opportunity,” Jobs for the Future.
  14. Building Resilient Regions. University of California, Berkeley ( Accessed 14 November 2011.
  15. Hill et al.; Interview with Edward Hill, September 2011.
  16. Ibid.
  17. Interview with Foster; Foster and Barnes.
  18. John Accordino and Fabrizio Fasul. 2011. “from lone rangers to Collaborative Communities,” Economic Development Journal 10:1, 5–13; Judith Innes and Jane Rongerude. 2005. “Collaborative Regional Initiatives: Civic Entrepreneurs Work to Fill the Governance Gap,” James Irvine Foundation.
  19. Sean Safford. 2004. “Why the Garden Club Couldn’t Save Youngstown: Civic Infrastructure and Mobilization in Economic Crises,” Cambridge, MA: Massachusetts Institute of Technology, 4, 23, 27; Susan Christopherson and Jennifer Clark. 2007. “Power in Firm Networks,” Regional Studies, 41:9, 1223–36.
  20. Safford, 23–7.
  21. Mark Granovetter. 1973. “The Strength of Weak Ties,” American Journal of Sociology, 78:6, 1360–80. For more on social capital and network analysis, see Robert D. Putnam. 2000. Bowling Alone: The Collapse and Revival of American Community. New York: Simon & Schuster; Klaus Nielsen. Forthcoming. Social Capital, Trust and Institutions. Northampton, MA: Edward Elgar; Nan Lin, Karen Cook, and Ronald Burt, eds. 2001. Social Capital: Theory and Research. New York: Aldine de Gruyter.
  22. Nicholas Christakis and James Fowler. 2010. Connected: The Surprising Power of Our Social Networks and How They Shape Our Lives. New York: Little, Brown, 161–2.
  23. Margaret Weir, Jane Rongerude, and Christopher K. Ansell. 2009. “Collaboration Is Not Enough: Virtuous Cycles of Reform in Transportation Policy,” Urban Affairs Review, 44:4, 455–7; C. Ansell. 2000. “The Networked Polity: Regional Development in Western Europe,” Governance, 13:3, 303–33.
  24. Weir et al., 480, 485.
  25. Swanstrom. Forthcoming. “Resilience in the Face of Foreclosures: How National Actors Shape Local Responses,” 44–5, unpublished draft provided by author.
  26. “24:1 Initiative Frequently Asked Questions.” Beyond Housing ( Accessed 9 October 2011.
  27. Interview with Swanstrom.
  28. Ibid.
  29. The 24:1 Initiative Community Plan: Strong Communities, Strong Families, Successful Children.” Beyond Housing, 2–3, 6, 24–30. Accessed 9 October 2011; “24:1 Initiative Frequently Asked Questions.” Accessed 9 October 2011.
  30. Amy Liu, Roland V. Anglin, Richard M. Mizelle, Jr., and Allison Plyer, eds. 2011. Resilience and Opportunity: Lessons from the U.S. Gulf Coast after Katrina and Rita. Washington DC: Brookings Institution Press, 4, 9.
  31. Building Resilient Regions, Institute of Governmental Studies at the University of California, Berkeley. 2011. “New book on a resilient New Orleans six years after Katrina.” Interview with Amy Liu and Kathryn Foster (
  32. Liu et al., 2.
  33. In Liu et al., Robert A. Collins, “No More ‘Planning by Surprise’: Post-Katrina Land Use Planning in New Orleans,” ch. 11; David A. Marcello, “Systemic Ethics Reform in Katrina’s Aftermath,” ch. 6.
  34. In Liu et al., John L. Renne, “Evacuation Planning for Vulnerable Populations: Lessons from the New Orleans City Assisted Evacuation Plan,” ch. 8; Andre Perry and Michael Schwam-Baird, “School by School: The Transformation of New Orleans Public Education,” ch. 3; Karen DeSalvo, “Delivering High-Quality, Accessible Health Care: The Rise of Community Centers,” ch. 4; and Nadiene Van Dyke, Jon Wool, and Luceia LeDoux, “Criminal Justice Reforms,” ch. 5.
  35. In Liu et al., Frederick Weil, “Rise of Community Organizations, Citizen Engagement, and New Institutions,” ch. 14.
  36. Nonprofit Knowledge Works. Greater New Orleans Community Data Center ( Accessed 14 November 2011.
  37. Ibid., 2011. Alison Plyer and Elaine Ortiz. 2011. “New Orleans Index at Six Executive Summary,” 2.
  38. Hill et al., 43.
  39. Ibid.
  40. White House. “Obama Administration Launches Strong Cities, Strong Communities to Support Local Development,” press release, 11 July 2011.


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