Pratt Center Project

Growing a More Equitable Economy

Equitable Innovation Economies

The Equitable Innovation Economies (EIE), launched by Pratt Center and the Urban Manufacturing Alliance (UMA) will help cities design strategies to increase access and economic opportunity within their innovation economy and manufacturing sectors.

Cities across the U.S. are increasingly focusing their economic development efforts on innovation to spur economic growth. Investments in these assets – from advanced manufacturing technologies to tech firms to makerspaces – may grow businesses and create new jobs, but can also exacerbate inequities in cities already facing widening economic and racial disparities.

The Equitable Innovation Economies Initiative (EIE) is a multi-year project launched by the Pratt Center for Community Development in collaboration with PolicyLink and the Urban Manufacturing Alliance (UMA) to help cities pursue more inclusive growth strategies in innovation and manufacturing. In the pilot phase of this initiative, four cities – Indianapolis, New York City, Portland, OR and San Jose, CA – have been working together to identify and address barriers in their economic development strategies. Together, these cities are identifying equity objectives, refining programmatic approaches, and tracking the impacts of their efforts to advance more equitable outcomes. Pratt Center and PolicyLink are facilitating the EIE initiative, providing technical assistance and project coordination, while drawing on the UMA membership and resources for additional support.

City Snapshots, the first in a series of EIE resources, were released in August 2016, and capture the process and early insights from this collaboration. They explore how each city prioritized equity objectives across select strategies - from industrial redevelopment to entrepreneur support to youth-focused workforce development  - and how they refined their programs to meet these goals. 

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Participants in this initiative include: