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Cities Hold Keys to Economic Mobility for Residents, New Book Explains

How can cities foster more economic mobility for residents? A new book from the Urban Land Institute and written by Janis Bowdler, Henry Cisneros and Abt Global’s Jeffrey Lubell offers answers based on case studies of U.S. cities working to expand opportunity across a wide range of policy domains.

The ability of each resident to realize his or her economic potential is vital to ensuring a city’s economic competitiveness the authors argue, citing applicable research. “Building Equitable Cities is a practical resource guide for city planners, administrators, and community leaders who want to grow and expand the systems that help residents move up the economic ladder and provide the maximum contribution to their city’s economy and civic culture.

“Our book builds on successful examples of local efforts to foster inclusive, resource-rich neighborhoods and educational and other service networks to challenge cities to take the next step and elevate equity as a core value driving city decision-making,” said Lubell. “Ultimately, cities need to develop economic mobility plans to provide an overall framework for their efforts to promote economic mobility and track their progress.”

Bowdler is a managing director for Global Philanthropy at JPMorgan Chase & Co., and Cisneros, former U.S. Secretary of Housing and Urban Development and Mayor of San Antonio, is chairman and co-founder of CityView and chairman of the executive committee of Sibert Cisneros Shank, an investment banking firm. Lubell is director of housing and community initiatives and a principal associate at Abt.

The book – released at the Urban Land Institute’s Fall Meeting in Los Angeles – is available online or via pre-order from Amazon.

Learn more about Abt’s work in housing and community development.
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