The Rockefeller Foundation and Smart Growth America (SGA) have launched the National Opportunity Zones Academy to help cities drive sustainable growth in Opportunity Zones by attracting socially responsible investment.
Five cities have been selected to participate, including Chicago, Greater Miami and the Beaches, Pittsburgh, Seattle, and Norfolk, VA.
The Foundation will award a $400,000 grant to Smart Growth America (SGA) to fund the Academy to work with each participating city to create place-based, community-led approaches to developing sustainable growth and development strategies that help transform selected Opportunity Zones into economically-thriving and socially-inclusive, walkable neighborhoods.
The announcement of the Academy follows the Foundation’s launch of its Community Capacity Building Initiative which will benefit vulnerable communities through Opportunity Zones created in the 2017 Tax Cuts and Jobs Act.
“Communities have the potential to be completely transformed by the billions of dollars in capital created by the Opportunity Zone tax credit – but only if we make a deliberate effort to ensure investments benefit those the policy is intended to serve,” said Dr. Rajiv J. Shah, President of The Rockefeller Foundation.
“The Opportunity Zones Academy will prioritize mobilizing capital and helping cities meet the needs of those who live and work in Opportunity Zones.”