Chapter 6: Partnerships in US cities
The appetite for cross sector collaboration in major cities in the United States has grown in recent years. Insecure government budgets and continuous shifting of local economies and their industries have influenced new thinking about how to grapple with housing crises, the condition of schools, the need to continually improve infrastructure, carbon emissions, and any range of challenges typically confronting US cities. In recent decades, US cities have experienced varied transitions. Some have encountered population booms, while others have witnessed dramatic declines. Most have witnessed significant demographic changes. Change has become the norm in many environments. Building an economic future in the face of volatility suggests the needs for creative strategic planning and action. Many cities have begun to look to their sources of stability. For example, in numerous metropolitan regions in the US, the most significant local employers are universities and medical centers. These “anchor” institutions are rooted in their localities. They do not (and often cannot) pack up and leave as so many private corporations have over the last several decades. Strategic thinking about stabilizing the future of US cities has begun to look toward anchor institutions like universities and hospitals to generate employment, improve schools, and address a wide range of health concerns. Anchor institutions have created a compelling feature within the framework of cross sector partnerships. Initiatives such as the Greater University Circle Initiative in Cleveland, Ohio, have begun to reshape the local economic future. Cities like Cleveland, long characterized by a thriving manufacturing base, have declined
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