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Ford Foundation Working with Visionaries on the Frontlines of Social Change Worldwide

Metropolitan Opportunity

 
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Equitable access to safe, affordable housing, efficient transportation, and good jobs is fundamental to building prosperous metropolitan areas.

Why It Matters

For millions of Americans, opportunities to seek better futures are too often limited by the simple fact of where they live. Across entire regions of the country, cities are in decline, industries have collapsed, houses are in foreclosure, and—even before the economic downturn—jobs and services had moved to the suburbs and beyond.

Decades of inadequate public policy and planning have created concentrated pockets of poverty in urban centers devoid of opportunity and inner ring suburbs that are experiencing a more rapid growth of poverty. Today, the economic downturn and chronic problems associated with joblessness and urban blight make the effort to build strong communities and a promising future for families particularly urgent.

The Focus of Our Work

We are working across the United States to support efforts that reach beyond individual neighborhoods and cities to connect residents with opportunities in their broader metropolitan economies. We support organizations that pursue integrated approaches to housing, land use and environmental planning, public transportation and community infrastructure, and aligned workforce opportunities.

Our work promotes smarter public policy and planning, and links regional efforts to build economic growth and competitiveness over the long term with emerging national efforts to coordinate funding streams among cabinet agencies. We believe this approach advances a new vision of smart, regional development that integrates key elements of metropolitan life to build strong and sustainable communities.

Grants 2014
Initiative Approved* No. of Grants Avg. Grant*
Total $32,963,386 78 $422,608
Connecting People to Opportunity 13,638 29 470,289
Expanding Access to Quality Housing 8,365 23 363,696
Just Cities 2,755 7 393,571
Promoting Metropolitan Land-Use Innovation 8,205 19 431,842
*US $ In Thousands

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