Citi Foundation And Living Cities Announce Findings From City Accelerator Infrastructure Finance Initiative In Four Major American Cities


Press Release – November 29, 2017 – Today, Living Cities and the Citi Foundation released “Resilience, Equity and Innovation,” a new guide for cities looking to deliver on critical infrastructure projects. Built on the experiences of four major Ampuerican cities, the guide shares best practices to build comprehensive and resilient financial strategies that rely on diverse revenue sources, make use of flexible and innovative financing and transfer key long-term risks to the private sector.

“Officials at all levels of government face very real obstacles to taking on the challenges that have the greatest impact on residents’ health, social and economic futures,” said President and CEO of Living Cities Ben Hecht. “This report highlights real-world solutions and new ways of thinking about capital that can be employed by cities across the country. These four cities are leading the way to create stronger, more equitable communities.”

Over the course of the 18-month initiative, cross-disciplinary teams from the four cities applied learnings about innovative revenue sources, creative financial tools and supportable funding models to advance a set of innovative projects.

  • Washington, D.C. formalized its Public-Private-Partnership (P3) project selection process
  • Pittsburgh fundamentally shifted how it prioritizes its efforts to rehab its more than 800 pedestrian staircases
  • Saint Paul determined funding mechanisms for green infrastructure at its Ford Field redevelopment site
  • San Francisco developed a plan for maintaining its seawall- a large-scale, critical infrastructure project that is invisible to most San Franciscans

“These cities are raising the bar by dedicating the time and teams to work towards closing gaps in infrastructure finance in order to better serve residents and create economic opportunities,” said Brandee McHale, President of the Citi Foundation. “Their leadership and learnings from the City Accelerator will inform new approaches to meet the growing demands of infrastructure improvements in the U.S.”

The City Accelerator teams came together four times to learn from each other’s experiences, hear from leading infrastructure finance and government innovation experts and visit major ongoing infrastructure projects across the United States. Many common themes have surfaced, such as the use of delivery strategies like pay-for-success bonding, P3s and Energy Savings Agreements (ESAs) to help ensure projects deliver long-term performance and services, not just bricks and mortar.

This is the third group of cities to take part in the City Accelerator program, an initiative led by Living Cities and supported by the Citi Foundation to accelerate the adoption of innovations within and across local government. Previous areas of focus included embedding innovation in government and engaging harder to reach residents. The City Accelerator also recently launched a new effort on equitable procurement.

The guide includes detailed explanation of modern financing options, as well as a framework for evaluating the tools, models and revenue sources that can be used by different types of infrastructure needs – from public staircases to city streetlights. It was written by Jennifer Mayer, an infrastructure finance expert who led the cities through the effort, and can be found at

About Living Cities

Living Cities harnesses the collective power of 18 of the world’s largest foundations and financial institutions to develop and scale new approaches for creating opportunities for low-income people and improving the cities where they live. Its investments, research, networks, and convenings catalyze fresh thinking and combine support for innovative, local approaches with real-time sharing of learning to accelerate adoption in more places. Additional information can be found at

About the Citi Foundation

The Citi Foundation works to promote economic progress and improve the lives of people in low-income communities around the world. We invest in efforts that increase financial inclusion, catalyze job opportunities for youth, and reimagine approaches to building economically vibrant cities. The Citi Foundation’s “More than Philanthropy” approach leverages the enormous expertise of Citi and its people to fulfill our mission and drive thought leadership and innovation. For more information, visit
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