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

Promoting Metropolitan Land-Use Innovation

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The goal of this work is to stabilize U.S. neighborhoods through innovative land use and community planning strategies.

The Challenge

Since 2000, the portion of U.S. households burdened by unsustainable housing costs has risen 30 percent; the number of low-income people living in concentrated poverty has jumped 40 percent; and the unemployment rate has doubled. Meanwhile, poverty that used to afflict central cities has now become suburbanized in most metropolitan regions.

Coordinating national housing, transportation, environmental protection, and community development policies with local metropolitan planning strategies, policies and tools, can spur sustainable and equitable metropolitan regions, and alleviate concentrated poverty.

What We're Doing

To revitalize struggling metropolitan areas and to strengthen more stable regions across the United States, we support efforts that advocate for effective "cross-silo" national policies that connect the efforts of multiple cabinet-level agencies. At the same time, we work in a manageable number of metropolitan regions to develop concurrent innovative land use, community planning, and infrastructure development strategies that drive regional development efforts.

In thriving metropolitan regions, we focus on securing well-located properties for affordable housing development through inclusionary housing ordinances, density bonuses for affordable housing, and targeted land-acquisition measures.

In declining areas, we focus on eliminating blight by acquiring abandoned properties for community-driven redevelopment and helping cities to make better use of available land.

Learn more about how our strategies and approaches shape our grant making.




  • Don Chen
  • Lisa  Davis
  • Amy Kenyon
  • Jerry Maldonado

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