SAFER, HEALTHIER, WEALTHIER COMMUNITY FUTURES.
RISING PLACES Tools
Educate, Activate & Monitor.
They tap the power of nature, youth and entrepreneurs to grow local revitalization and resilience.
RISING PLACES is a new initiative of the non-profit RECONOMICS Institute, based in Washington, DC.
Building on the success of our RISING PLACES Planner (RPP) certification and our REVITALIZATION journal, RECONOMICS Institute is creating the logical next step: tools that help local residents and leaders (emphasis on entrepreneurs and youth) contribute more effectively to their community’s revitalization and resilience. These are the world’s first online tools based on a proven process for generating inclusive economic revitalization and disaster resilience. The tools apply this process by educating people, activating projects and monitoring progress.
This is a temporary page, providing details about RISING PLACES Tools prior to the launch of the initiative at RisingPlaces.org.
WHAT IS “RESILIENT PROSPERITY”?
Both revitalization and resilience are best produced in the same way: by repurposing, renewing
and reconnecting your existing natural, built & socioeconomic assets. That what out tools help you do.
Places with superior renewal capacity don’t just enjoy a brief burst of renewal, or revitalization for just a few.
Their revitalization lasts…it benefits all…and it sets the stage for continuous renewal for resilient prosperity.
Your community will be a more attractive recipient of public &
private investment, and a better place to grow a business.
Over 90% of community and regional revitalization efforts
fail to make a
significant, lasting difference.
The Four Needs That Usually Undermine Success:
- Education: Local leaders, voters and future voters (youth) don’t understand how to create recovery, revitalization and resilience. As a result, voters choose leaders who jump on the latest redevelopment fad, or who are passive and opportunistic, grasping blindly and desperately at developers’ proposals.
- Action: Leaders and residents lack proven, reliable tools to create effective, on-the-ground change. As a result, they only create campaign promises and feel-good “stakeholder engagement”, along with shelves of ignored visions, reports and plans.
- Feedback: Communities that are recovering often don’t know it. As a result, they lose heart and give up. Likewise, communities that are not recovering often don’t know it. As a result, they continue wasting time and money on ineffectual activities.
- Resources: Nationwide, employers, funders (public & private) and career-seekers seek opportunities, but can’t find communities on the upswing. As a result, they depend on reports that reveal the past and present, but not the communities’ all-important future.
How RISING PLACES Tools Solve Those Four Needs:
- RISING PLACES Tools educate local leaders and residents on the principles underlying successful, inclusive revitalization and resilience initiatives, with a special focus on youth.
- RISING PLACES Tools activate by gathering input about needs and available resources from residents and leaders of all ages— and anywhere on the political spectrum—to respond effectively to local challenges and opportunities.
- RISING PLACES Tools monitor local progress via real-time charts and graphs available to all.
- RISING PLACES Community Accreditation and Annual Reports attract resources by revealing places with the most renewal capacity. This enables private investors, state and federal agencies, employers and career-seekers to share in—and contribute to—that economic growth.
Community revitalization efforts have long been hamstrung by reliance on traditional economic indicators like
poverty rate, median income and unemployment rate. These are important, of course, but they are just rear-view mirrors.
RISING PLACES Tools measure what’s needed to create a brighter, greener, more equitable economic future.
12 RISING PLACES Tools:
Six Discovery Tools
Six Roadmap Tools.
See below to learn more.
The tools are available to all, young or old. To educate and empower youth, teachers can easily integrate the tools into coursework on social studies, economics, environment, etc.
6 DISCOVERY TOOLS
By “Discovery”, We Mean Learning.
But this is 2-way learning: at the same time that these six tools are teaching your leaders and residents the principles and dynamics that contribute to achieving resilient prosperity, they are also gathering feedback from your people about your community’s wants and needs.
This feedback enables us create the six customized Roadmap Tools, which help you turn your dreams of a better future into steady, measurable progress towards it.
- Discovery Tool 1 reveals the need for an ongoing regenerative program to achieve resilient prosperity, and describes the components and function of a good program. It also gathers feedback from local residents and leaders about your community that will help guide creation of an effective program.
- Discovery Tool 2 reveals the need for a shared, regenerative vision of the future, and describes the components and function of a good vision. It also gathers feedback from local residents and leaders about your community that will help guide creation of an inspiring, effective and appropriate vision.
- Discovery Tool 3 reveals the need for a regenerative strategy to achieve the vision, and describes the components and function of a good strategy. It also gathers feedback from local residents and leaders about your community that will help guide creation of an effective strategy.
- Discovery Tool 4 reveals the need for regenerative policies to support your vision and strategy, and describes the components and function of good policies. It also gathers feedback from local residents and leaders about your community that will help guide creation of a appropriate policies.
- Discovery Tool 5 reveals the need for regenerative partnerships to provide the resources needed to achieve your vision, and describes the components and functions of good public-public, public-private and private-private partnerships. It also gathers feedback from local residents and leaders about your community that will help guide creation of effective partnerships that involve entrepreneurs and/or youth when appropriate.
- Discovery Tool 6 reveals the need for regenerative projects and initiatives to produce tangible results, and describes the characteristics of good projects and initiatives. It also gathers feedback from local residents and leaders about your community that will help guide creation of effective projects and initiatives that involve entrepreneurs and/or youth when appropriate. This tool involves young people to a larger degree than the others. Using our phone app, youth (such as high school and college students) can help inventory the community’s “restorable assets”: natural, built and socioeconomic.
“There is no power for change greater than a
community discovering what it cares about.”
– Margaret J. Wheatley, author of Leadership and the New Science
6 ROADMAP TOOLS
As with the six Discovery Tools,
the six Roadmap Tools comprise two aspects.
As these Roadmap Tools are teaching your leaders and residents how to actually make the changes needed to improve your local future, they are also presenting the feedback provided by your local RISING PLACES users via the Discovery Tools.
These constantly-updated insights and data enable you to create nonpartisan solutions that are in keeping with the local
dreams, challenges, resources and constraints.
- Roadmap Tool 1 describes how best to create an ongoing regenerative program. It also reveals (via charts and graphs) the dynamic (constantly updated) feedback from local residents and leaders that will help guide creation of an effective program.
- Roadmap Tool 2 describes how best to create a shared, regenerative vision of the future. It also reveals (via charts and graphs) the dynamic (constantly updated) feedback from local residents and leaders that will help guide creation of an inspiring, effective and appropriate vision.
- Roadmap Tool 3 describes how best to create a regenerative strategy to achieve the vision. It also reveals (via charts and graphs) the dynamic (constantly updated) feedback from local residents and leaders that will help guide creation of an effective strategy.
- Roadmap Tool 4 describes how best to create regenerative policies to support your vision and strategy. It also reveals (via charts and graphs) the dynamic (constantly updated) feedback from local residents and leaders that will help guide creation of appropriate policies.
- Roadmap Tool 5 describes how best to create regenerative public-public, public-private and private-private partnerships to provide the resources needed to achieve your vision. It also reveals (via charts and graphs) the dynamic (constantly updated) feedback from local residents and leaders that will help guide creation of effective partnerships that involve entrepreneurs and/or youth when appropriate.
- Roadmap Tool 6 describes how best to create regenerative projects and initiatives to produce on-the-ground results. It reveals (via charts and graphs) the dynamic (constantly updated) feedback from local residents and leaders that will help guide creation of effective projects and initiatives that involve entrepreneurs and/or youth when appropriate. It also enables users to prioritize and provide feedback on the restorable natural, built and socioeconomic assets that have been inventoried (primarily by local youth).
4 Key Functions = 1 Leading-Edge Set Of 12 Tools
- Teach: Renewal capacity and disaster preparedness come in large part from understanding the factors that both inhibit and advance recovery, revitalization and resilience. Our tools educate in such a fun manner that folks hardly know it’s happening;
- Listen: Our tools help you address the specific aspirations and challenges of your community because our unique polls tap into the dreams and concerns of a broad swath of the population…not just the privileged few who have the time to attend visioning sessions and charrettes;
- Build Capacity: Curing the underlying problem—insufficient renewal capacity—creates an upward trajectory in the economy and quality of life. Only then can you effectively treat symptoms like crime, sprawl, brownfields, blight, homelessness, affordable housing & unemployment;
- Activate: Nothing is reliably produced without a process, so if you want your actions to actually produce revitalization and/or resilience, you need a blueprint for creating that process…one that’s attuned to your community’s specific needs and capabilities. One product of these tools is a customized, dynamic (constantly-updated by local feedback), 6-step roadmap to building your local renewal capacity.
The economic growth, resilience and disaster preparedness solution that engages & benefits all 3 key stakeholder groups.
Most communities have economic developers who try to attract employers via incentives like tax holidays. But all offer similar incentives. Many places also have a CDC (community development corporation). CDCs do essential work, but seldom address regional, natural resource or resilience issues. RISING PLACES Benefactors help by providing the comprehensive tools needed to make their community a healthy, unique place that employers, investors and people WANT to be: few incentives necessary.
ORGANIC GROWTH OR ARTIFICIAL STIMULATION?
There’s more to renewing a place than simply writing a check.
Many places try to woo investors and employers by artificially manufacturing confidence in their future.
They spend vast sums on marketing campaigns, glossy plans (quickly shelved) or downtown banners & planters.
Just like everyone else. Employers and investors are seldom fooled by such illusions of progress.
RISING PLACES Tools use a scientific approach called “Mixed Methods”, wedding quantitative data with community input.
The result? Increased confidence in your local future
via steady, measurable, authentic progress.
Despite the ubiquity of online polls, social media and Zoom meetings, it’s difficult for elected leaders to ascertain what local residents really want, which increases political risk. RISING PLACES Tools provide meaningful, accurate, ongoing feedback from local citizens in a useful form that focuses on the strategic success factors.
It’s hard to get voters to support changes leading to revitalization and resilience if they don’t understand why it’s necessary, and how they will benefit. And, it’s hard to affect necessary changes if leaders don’t understand how best to implement them. RISING PLACES Tools educate both leaders and residents in the most effective manner: small bits of knowledge at a time.
The old economic development model of paying employers (by giving away future tax revenues ) to relocate in a community no longer works, since every place offers similar incentives. RISING PLACES Tools use the new model, which has two components. First, it attracts state / federal funding & private real estate investment by creating confidence that the local future will be brighter. Second, it attracts new residents and employers not via expensive ads or incentives, but by making the community a place they want to be.
SUPERCHARGE LOCAL ENTRENEURIAL ACTIVITY
RISING PLACES Tools put local entrepreneurs in the flow of opportunities, partnerships, funding and public support.
Virtually every city offers tax breaks and other incentives to outside employers & investors: a zero-sum game with diminishing returns.
Smart places use asset-based—not needs-based—solutions. They revitalize using what’s available locally, and what works locally.
Entrepreneurs (including local real estate developers) turn creativity and opportunity into jobs, asset renewal and wealth via projects.
Some places have a revitalization initiative, but too few projects to make a difference. Other places have many projects, but lack a cohesive revitalization program to help them survive and make a difference. RISING PLACES Tools help solve both of those problems.