The grant will enable Brookings to expand its senior management team and leverage an additional $20 million in matching funds that it hopes to raise by 2012. Those investments are needed to keep pace with the program's rapid growth from a twenty-person, $5 million operation in 2004 to nearly double that size today.
The program, which recently celebrated its tenth anniversary, works to help metropolitan areas achieve three goals: productive growth that embraces an innovative economy and builds on the distinct strengths of individual places; inclusive growth that fosters a strong middle class and reduces racial and ethnic disparities in education, income, and wealth; and sustainable growth that strengthens cities and older communities while promoting energy-efficient and environmentally sensitive patterns of development. MacArthur has awarded a series of grants for the program during the past decade, funding such projects as multiyear research and policy development around metropolitan economic performance, transportation issues, and improving the quality of data available on urban communities in order to connect their residents to the economic mainstream.
"The MacArthur Foundation's generous award enables us to take every component of our enterprise to a higher level — from research and policy development to communication and outreach — leading to greater impact across the board," said Bruce Katz, director of the program. "The foundation's investment comes at a critical juncture in the intellectual and organizational life of our program, as we add up the first ten years of our work to promote a national economic agenda that builds on the assets — and centrality — of America's metropolitan areas."