Inner City Insights

June - July 2015



Accelerating Cluster Growth: A Playbook for City Leaders

Although city leaders are increasingly being called on to take a cluster-based approach to local economic development, there are few resources to guide this development. Identifying best practices in six U.S. cities, ICIC and JPMorgan Chase have created a practical guide to fill this gap. The Executive Summary, distributed at this month’s U.S. Conference of Mayors in San Francisco, is available on our website. Read the Executive Summary.

A Call to Action for City Leaders: Create a Food System Resilient to Local Disruptions

If Boston were to be hit by a major storm, how would its food system fare? ICIC recently completed research on the resilience of Boston’s food system and found that, paradoxically, efforts to increase local food production can actually make the food system more vulnerable in the face of a severe disturbance. In a blog post that originally ran on the Meeting of the Minds’ CityMinded blog, ICIC’s Kim Zeuli and Austin Nijhuis discuss this research and its implications for Boston and for cities around the world. Read the post.

Back from the Dead, Pittsburgh Strives for Equitable Future Growth

Pittsburgh is often held up as a model for post-industrial cities’ economic recovery. At a recent CEOs for Cities Cluster Workshop in Pittsburgh, it became clear that the city is not only thriving economically, but also working hard to foster an equitable and sustainable system that will allow this economic growth to benefit citizens at all economic levels. Read the post.

Returning Former Mill Complexes to Engines of Economic Growth

In former industrial cities across the U.S., abandoned mill spaces present an opportunity for innovative economic growth. In one of Massachusetts’ poorest cities, Lawrence, entrepreneur Sal Lupoli has transformed one of the state’s largest mill complexes from a vacant space into an economic powerhouse. Read the case study and accompanying blog post.

ICIC on the Move

  • On June 4, members of ICIC’s team attended the Philadelphia training session of the Inner City Capital Connections program. The session drew 69 executives.
  • ICIC’s Hyacinth Vassell attended the Clinton Global Initiative America conference June 8-10 in Denver, Colo., where she presented a proposal to create a program that would support the growth of immigrant-owned businesses in U.S. inner cities.
  • ICIC team members attended CEOs for Cities’ Cluster Workshop, held in Pittsburgh June 10-12. The workshop, the Innovative and Inclusive City, brought together economic development professionals from around the nation to discuss strategies for inclusive economic growth.
  • ICIC CEO Steve Grossman was the speaker at a reception held by Boston’s Madison Park Development Corporation at Dudley Square’s new Bolling Building. In his address, he spoke of the work that organizations such as ICIC and Madison Park Development Corporation are doing to encourage entrepreneurship in neighborhoods such as Dudley Square.


  • Join us in Detroit September 15 and 16 for “Revisiting the Promise and Problems of Inner City Economic Development.” This summit will feature keynote addresses by ICIC’s founder, Professor Michael E. Porter, and Rock Ventures President and CEO Matthew Cullen. Against the backdrop of Detroit’s recent private sector-driven development, panelists and speakers will revisit Porter’s seminal work on the competitive advantages of inner cities. This event is free but registration is required. Register here.
  • Inner City Capital Connections, ICIC's national program designed to accelerate small business growth and access to capital, is now accepting applications for our Boston and Dallas training days. Learn more and apply.
  • Through the Goldman Sachs 10,000 Small Businesses program, entrepreneurs from all 50 states have the opportunity to step away from day-to-day operations and focus on growth. We are now accepting applications for our upcoming cohorts across the country. Visit the 10,000 Small Businesses website for more information at www.10KSBapply.com.
  • ICIC and Future Boston Alliance will be hosting a Greater Boston Small Business Block Party on July 29. We invite local small businesses and friends to join us for this free event in Dudley Square. Register here.
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