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GreenCityForce has expanded to many of New York City's public housing projects with a two-pronged approach: helping to develop professional skills and job opportunities to young adult residents with high school diplomas, while simultaneously addressing the need to transition to a more environmentally-sustainable city. So far it has not only provided opportunities for youths but also help promote sustainable living, such as installing energy-efficient light bulbs.


Thomas Shomaker

June 28, 2017

Brooklyn, New York, United States

Dorchester, the Boston neighborhood with the highest poverty levels, struggles to keep kids in school from engaging with gangs and crime to make money for themselves and their families. But College Bound Dorchester (CBD) is fast rewriting the solution to high drop out and recidivism rates, paying ex-offenders a weekly stipend to enroll in and complete a diploma program and proceed to (and through) college. With "core influencers" -- ex-gang members who have "left behind their troubled pasts" -- as role models in the community, CBD emulates similar programs in Chicago and Baltimore, and studies show the initiative is working.


Andrew Zaleski

June 2, 2017

Boston, Massachusetts, United States

By 2050 the percentage of the world's population living in cities will increase to two-thirds. The environmental impact, particularly in regards to pollution and strain on resources, is already extensive. But people around the world are implementing creative solutions to meet growing demand, while also making cities more sustainable. In Colombia, a company called Conceptos Plasticos collects recyclable plastic material, melts it down and moulds it into bricks used to build houses for the local community. Singapore too, is on the cutting edge of environmentally sustainable urban solutions including vertical farms and living buildings.

Al Jazeera

Russell Beard, Juliana Schatz

March 5, 2017

Cali, Valle del Cauca, Colombia

As the global population flocks to urban centers, challenges to ensuring sufficient food production and access to nutrition increase, especially with concern to poor communities. To help ensure availability of food in these neighborhoods, researchers, entrepreneurs, activists, and even corporations are looking at cities as fertile ground to grow hyperlocal produce. The BLK ProjeK’s Libertad Urban Farm in the Bronx is one example of successful urban agriculture projects that are as much about community building and economic empowerment as they are about nutrition.

GOOD Magazine

Heather Corcoran

February 10, 2017

Bronx, New York, United States

Though the big players in the sharing economy like Uber and Airbnb are eyeing growing middle class markets like that of Kenya, the concept of shared access to goods and services is nothing new for Kenyan communities. Whereas in the West, the shared economy structure arose largely from a desire for flexibility, in Kenya, much of it arose from need. Now platforms like Lynk and Little Cabs are helping connect Kenyan customers to a broad range of service providers.

African Business Magazine

Harriet Constable

January 5, 2017

Nairobi, Kenya

Building communities for young adults who can not afford Amsterdam's high rent is difficult. Startblok Riekerhaven, "an innovative housing experiment," is a way to tackle both affordable housing and housing for refugees.


Letty Reimerink

December 8, 2016

Amsterdam, Netherlands

Hospitals in the United States spend over $340 billion on health services, but with those funds they could also help neighborhoods struggling with socioeconomic issues. The Democracy Collaborative is research center that helps hospitals link up with local institutions to encourage job growth, buy regionally produced food, and reinvest back into their local economy.

Next City

Johnny Magdaleno

November 29, 2016

United States

Chicago is being looked at as a pioneer for using the 'Smart City Trend' but in a more useful way with their "urban sensing project". It involves the installment of sensors all over the city that will both serve the public in the immediate e.g traffic information, and will provide data about sensors themselves and the city to help guide future projects.


Todd Newcombe

November 15, 2016

Chicago, Illinois, United States

Communities United a grassroots organizations in Chicago is solving the city's housing crisis with a program called ROOTS (Renters Organizing Ourselves to Stay). The organization is bringing together financiers, development organizations and partners to make housing more affordable. ROOTS managed to significantly improve renters' rights law by making amendments to the city’s affordable housing ordinance.

Equal Voice News

Chloe Riley

September 21, 2016

Chicago, Illinois, United States

Windsor, Ontario has a similar economic industry as its neighbor Detroit Michigan; however, Detroit has substantial low-income Black communities compared with Windsor. The Movement for Black Lives has created a six-piece platform that addresses what the United States should do to face the disproportionate problems faced by Black communities. Some of those platforms, including pairing the unemployed with economic incentives, removing questions about criminal history on job applications, and tax revisions, have found success in other cities.

Next City

Johnny Magdaleno

August 5, 2016

Detroit, Michigan, United States

Obesity is at an all-time high in the United States, and is hard to combat. But urban obesity can be countered with inviting streets to stroll, dramatic staircases to climb, parks to exercise in - it’s called “active design.”

The New York Times

Meera Senthilingam

July 12, 2016

New York, New York, United States

Can we engineer buildings to prevent collapse in earthquakes? The answer is yes, and the Inquiry dives into how better building design can save more and more lives as urban density increases.


Neal Razzell

March 22, 2016


As Seattle and the region search for ways to produce and retain affordable housing, these four developments backed by private capital are examples of different strategies that have worked.

The Seattle Times

Sanjay Bhatt

March 12, 2016

Seattle, Washington, United States

A group of architects proposed a new design to help raise environmentally responsible kids by combining farms and preschools.


Eillie Anzilotti

March 7, 2016

London, United Kingdom

An ambitious plan for the 69-acre Regent Park neighborhood is disrupting entrenched notions of class, race and religion, at a time when concerns over income inequality and immigration are growing.

The New York Times

Dan Levin

February 28, 2016

Regent Park, Canada

Chronic toxic stress caused by violence in trauma in a child's life can be exceedingly harmful - but can be remedied through building personal relationships and trust.

St. Louis Post-Dispatch

Nancy Cambria

February 21, 2016

St. Louis, Missouri, United States

A new book chronicles each below-market subsidized housing project ever built in New York, highlighting in particular Co-op City, where residents have come to care for their city-subsidized homes.

Next City

Cassie Owens

December 29, 2015

New York, New York, United States

In a Pittsburgh food desert, the addition of a new supermarket did not change residents' shopping habits, but it did increase their levels of satisfaction with their neighborhood. Researching people's relationship with food and their community could improve federal efforts to fight food insecurity and poor eating habits.


Laura Bliss

November 3, 2015

Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, United States

International students and the city of Flint, Michigan, have an imperfect but beneficial relationship. The city is a cheap and accommodating place for students to get their foot in the U.S., and the students bring their business; thus, boosting the desperate economy.

The New York Times

Gordon Young

October 27, 2015

Flint, Michigan, United States

A starting point for addressing the problem of small-business extinction - a description of possible solutions being enacted in New York City.

The Lo-Down

Ed Litvak

October 8, 2015

New York, New York, United States

Artists need cheap living costs, but their presence improves a community and the property values. The State of Colorado and private developers are creating affordable housing and work spaces for artists in neighborhoods they want to thrive.

The Denver Post

Ray Mark Rinaldi

October 3, 2015

Denver, Colorado, United States

Neighborhood Centers, a Houston anti-poverty program has a simple philosophy: “The people are the asset, the source of potential solutions, not the problem.” The non-profit has scaled nationally, employing its bottom-up approach to disburse funds in poor communities.

The New York Times

David L. Kirp

August 8, 2015

Houston, Texas, United States

A growing number of people in the famously crowded Tokyo metropolis are becoming ‘city farmers’, planting crops atop tall buildings or deep underground. In an age of detrimental climate change, urban cultivation and green roof agriculture will soon be necessary as food, water and energy resources become scarcer.


Paolo Patrizi

June 18, 2015

Tokyo, Japan

After decades of economic and social despair that once saw it named the poorest big city in America, Cleveland has become a model of revitalization, thanks to a unique “anchor strategy” that harnesses the immense wealth and power of the city’s public institutions.

Toronto Star

Sara Mojtehedzadeh

April 18, 2015

Cleveland, Ohio, United States

Harsville, South Carolina is trying to better its educational program. But first it must change the standard of living in the town to provide greater examples of success for the children to follow.


Sam Chaltain

March 17, 2015

Hartsville, South Carolina, United States

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