People and Place

A New Vision for Healthy Communities

Nancy O. Andrews, president and CEO of the Low Income Investment Fund, discusses how community development in the United States is at an inflection point, propelled by the magnitude of change in the world around us and the hard-won knowledge of the past five decades.

The paradigm is shifting. Communities are putting together strategies aimed at people and places, and creating a whole that is greater than the sum of its parts. This is captured most completely beneath the broad framework of “healthy communities.” The healthy communities concept signals a comprehensive vision of how families and communities move forward. Within this new framework, there are four attributes:

  • Integration of people and place-based strategies, or “silo-busting,” often driven by a lead organization (a “quarterback");
  • Investing in what works—evidence-based investment, focused on outcomes and clear measures of success;
  • Networks of entrepreneurial, learning, adaptive organizations across sectors of practice; and
  • Scale of investment and delivery, based on success.

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