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An Examination of the Long-term Impacts of Three Comprehensive Community Initiatives Open Access

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The use of community revitalization efforts has grown considerably in recent years, from federal programs to “comprehensive community” initiatives backed by philanthropic and anchor institutions. While the prevalence of these efforts has grown considerably, our knowledge of their effects has not grown commensurately. Like the communities they seek to change, comprehensive community initiatives are complex and have proven difficult to evaluate well. This dissertation explores the definition, and theory behind initiatives, their rationale for existence, and their models for operation. It assesses the impacts of three large and long-standing comprehensive community initiatives: Atlanta’s East Lake Initiative, Baltimore’s East Baltimore Development Initiative, and San Diego’s City Heights Initiative. Findings for the three interventions varied, reinforcing that local context and strategy matter when forming a place-based redevelopment effort.

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