The United States is characterised by a persistent geography of racial and economic injustice, in which people of colour and low-income people are concentrated in underinvested neighbourhoods and systematically isolated from the resources, amenities, and opportunities needed to thrive. COVID-19 has magnified the harms of this enduring intersection between race, poverty, and place—literally killing people in real time for living in racially and economically segregated neighbourhoods—but it only shined new light on systems that have long been broken.

Facing an inflection point of inequity, there has never been a greater urgency for community, city, and regional leaders to advance bold solutions that foster long-overdue investment and opportunity within disinvested communities—and to do so in a way that benefits existing residents and small businesses within these communities.

This playbook provides local leaders with an actionable set of tools to create more just landscapes of neighbourhood opportunity through community-rooted economic inclusion—a new, multidisciplinary and systems-level approach to building community wealth within underinvested places, while driving city and regional economic growth and development that centres equity at its core.

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