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Creating Sustainable Cities by 'Reimagining the Civic Commons'

Akron, Memphis, Chicago, and Detroit will split $40 million in funding for small, local projects “at the bottom of every mayor’s budget list.”
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Memphis Civic Commons

Four foundations will join forces to fund civic projects in four cities for a full $40 million. But instead of big anchor projects, this initiative is focusing on the little guys—on a bet that the investment will pay off in equitable revitalization, to be enjoyed by many, not just neighborhood elites.

On Thursday, the JPB Foundation, the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation, the Kresge Foundation, and the Rockefeller Foundation are launching a new initiative, “Reimagining the Civic Commons.” Matching an overall investment of $20 million with another $20 million from local sources, this initiative will improve civic assets in Akron, Memphis, Chicago, and Detroit.