Total Awarded: $50 Million
Total Grants: 1
Duration: 2002 -2012
Geographic Focus: Chicago, IL
The Local Initiatives Support Corporation (LISC) implemented the New Communities Program, a flagship investment in the MacArthur Foundation’s work to understand the dynamics of cities and neighborhoods as a mechanism for addressing major urban challenges. The program mobilized diverse stakeholders and assets in 14 Chicago neighborhoods to improve quality of life by addressing a comprehensive range of issues that included employment, health, housing, and violence reduction.
Commissioned by MacArthur and conducted by MDRC, this evaluation describes the successes, challenges, and implications of the Foundation’s funding of local community development in Chicago. Qualitative data was drawn from nearly 400 interviews and observations to develop case comparisons among neighborhoods and formal analysis of themes related to practitioner strategies, local context, and implementation outcomes. Project reports from practitioners were coded and analyzed, and geospatial analyses were conducted to determine where within neighborhoods investments were targeted. In addition, MDRC developed a comprehensive, longitudinal database of neighborhood conditions throughout the city of Chicago to document community trajectories over time and to understand the implications of events, such as the Great Recession, for local neighborhoods.
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