The Funders' Network for Smart Growth and Livable Communities has announced grants totaling $853,000 in support of efforts to strengthen the resilience of low-income neighborhoods in six U.S. cities.
Awarded through the Funders' Network's Partners for Places matching grant program, the funding will help Atlanta, Bridgeport, Boston, Detroit, New Haven, and Philadelphia implement community-based efforts focused on addressing climate impacts, strengthening local economies, and improving the well-being of all residents.
In Atlanta, the grant will support education and volunteer programs at the city's first public-owned "food forest" in an underserved community deemed a food desert, while in Boston the funding will support efforts to ensure that the homes of the most socially and economically underserved residents are ready to withstand future climate shocks. In Connecticut, Bridgeport will use its grant to support a community-based effort to plan, design, and build an equitable and sustainable waterfront that incorporates green infrastructure and resiliency features, while New Haven will turn an abandoned roadway into a community greenspace with green infrastructure. And in Detroit, the grant will fund hands-on workshops designed to help homeowners address lead hazards, energy and water inefficiency, and other basic home repair needs, while in Philadelphia the funding will support efforts to create a citywide urban agriculture plan that ensures that all residents have access to fresh, healthy, and affordable food.
Launched eight years ago with support from the Kendeda Fund, the New York Community Trust, and the JPB, Kresge, Pisces, Summit, and Surdna foundations, the Partners for Places program has awarded more than $7 million to date across the United States and Canada — with additional contributions from local matching funders totaling more than $8 million.
"Communities across the U.S. and Canada are coming together to tackle the impacts of climate change with innovative projects that are making a difference in people's lives, especially those in greatest need," said Diane Ives, fund advisor for the Kendeda Fund's People, Place, and Planet program. "These partnerships foster long-term relationships that in turn help communities become more sustainable, equitable, and prosperous places."