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Power Station

Aug 26, 2019


Do you envision think tanks to be old-school institutions far-removed from real life community experiences? If so, check out Solomon Greene, Senior Fellow at The Urban Institute, on this episode of Power Station and reconsider those assumptions. The Urban Institute was founded in 1968 by President Johnson to generate evidence-based strategies for ending urban poverty. It has evolved into an organization that is sought after by a diverse set of stakeholders, from local, state and federal government leaders to nonprofit advocates and philanthropy, who are tackling some of our nation’s most intractable problems. As Solomon explains, growing local economies that work for all residents, requires us to take stock of the policies of racial segregation that brought us to this moment. And because of federal retrenchment in funding for disinvested communities, including public and subsidized housing programs, local activism is producing new and forward-looking policies for creating equity and inclusion.

Urban Institute’s Research to Action Lab is democratizing data and engaging stakeholders in finding and implementing solutions for building these inclusive economies. In this conversation, Solomon talks about the potential of popularizing zoning strategies to create more racially and economically inclusive communities. Minneapolis is leading in this movement and the story of how it banned single-family housing development is both completely unexpected and awe inspiring. Solomon discusses the Trump Administration’s new Interagency Council on Removing Regulatory Barriers to Housing Development, which we all need to stay tuned for. And he is excited about the emergence of affordable housing, land use and zoning proposals by our presidential candidates. We both await the moment when moderators finally get around to asking questions about those positions at the next presidential debates.