Key Points

This article summarizes the findings from a yearlong inquiry into the state of place-based initiatives, underscores the lessons learned, and develops implications for foundation practice.

Place-based approaches have matured in response to five decades of historical change. In more recent years, a new framework for such initiatives has emerged that views place as an open system where neighborhoods are aligned with larger areas and influenced by market forces and public policy. Consequently, place-based initiatives targeted to a specific neighborhood are only part of any solution.

Seven key lessons emerged from this inquiry that animate a renewed sense of the possible as the next generation of place-based initiatives unfolds.