Assessment reports post COVID-19 in Minneapolis, MN and Hackensack, NJ

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By: Jeb Brugmann — Founding Principal, Resilient Cities Catalyst

In the first lockdown months of the COVID-19 pandemic, I shared a macro-level perspective on the economic resilience challenges that would be highlighted in the United States, and in other countries with chronic and growing geographic income disparities. The assessment focused in particular on conditions in thousands of chronically distressed U.S. low-income neighborhoods, which the ensuing pandemic would further lay bare.

Within that context, in May 2020 I began preparing a framework for assessing economic recovery challenges and resilience-building opportunities at the individual neighborhood scale. …


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The Questions We Should be Asking is a new series by RCC founding principal Andrew Salkin that examines the most pressing issues facing cities today by taking a closer look at how city priorities are reflected in budgets. This first edition looks at return on investment and transparency in police budgets and asks what could be achieved if some of those resources were diverted elsewhere. In part two of the series we’ll look at public transportation, why it loses so much money and whether or not it should be free.

Part I: Police Budgets

Show me the money — What’s your ROI?

Return on Investment — a topic not often associated with the ongoing conversations that have swept the nation around defunding local police departments. Like many others I have wondered if sinking more money into current police programs is truly returning the service we seek — safer communities. …


Embedding Systems Change to Build Back Equitably

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By: Corinne LeTourneau — Founding Principal, Resilient Cities Catalyst

The COVID-19 crisis in the US reveals what many already knew; our systems are failing vulnerable populations and people of color. The statistics are staggering. Hospitalization rates were highest among Native American, Black, and Hispanic and LatinX populations. Race and income have largely determined who lives and dies at the hands of COVID-19.

In the country’s largest cities, the virus disproportionately struck nearly all minority groups.

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Compounding the stress and angst of losing loved ones, communities of color are seeing a disproportionate share of permanent business closings and job losses. Between February and April, 40% of Black-owned businesses shuttered, while 17% of white-owned businesses closed, according to a study by the National Bureau of Economic Research. And Bureau of Labor Statistics data through April showed joblessness for the Black community at 17% versus 12% among whites over the same time. …

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Resilient Cities Catalyst

Catalytic change to help cities solve their most pressing challenges.

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