New $40M National Community Initiative to Launch in Detroit


The Troy-based Kresge Foundation, The JPB Foundation, the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation, The Rockefeller Foundation, and local sources have invested $40 million in total to launch a new national initiative called Reimagining the Civic Commons. The initiative will support projects that revitalize and connect community spaces in Detroit, Chicago, Memphis, and Akron, Ohio.

Reimagining the Civic Commons will work to revitalize parks, libraries, community centers, and more, to show how investments in programming, design, and technology that create connected and environmentally sustainable spaces can reverse economic and social fragmentation.

“By creating more places where people share experiences with people who are different from themselves, we can begin to bridge longstanding economic divisions and create new opportunities,” says Rip Rapson, president and CEO of The Kresge Foundation.

The initiative will also support a national Civic Commons Learning Network to coordinate a learning agenda, impact assessment, and storytelling across the demonstration cities, and will host cross-city learning opportunities and generate a series of toolkits to act as how-to resources for civic asset and city leaders.

In 2015, Philadelphia’s Fairmount Park Conservancy and local partners began a three-year, $11 million pilot project of Reimagining the Civic Commons. So far, the project has resulted in a $300 million investment in the city’s parks, recreation centers, and libraries.

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