Sep 19, 2022
When three urban planning students launched the news magazine Next City in 2003, they were pushing against the prevailing cultural tide. As their peers were building careers in emerging technologies, they were hyper focused on urban communities beset with deteriorated housing, broken transit systems and environmental hazards. Politicians and the media often characterized urban areas as places to escape and blamed community members for their circumstances. But founders Adam Gordon, Seth A. Brown, and Anika Singh knew that these conditions were legacies of disinvestment, redlining and other policies based in racial exclusion. And they believed that residents with first-hand experience were best suited to generate solutions to their problems. Structured as a nonprofit news organization, Next City approaches its coverage of cities with intentionality and rigor. Senior Economics Correspondent Oscar Perry Abello reports on resident led initiatives: commercial corridors developed from vacant properties and cooperative models for developing new businesses. He points out that all sectors, including nonprofit CDFIs, need to invest in organizations led by people of color. By amplifying stories of neighborhood transformation, Oscar and Next City informs, challenges, and inspires.