Economic Inclusion Research

Maxine Goodman Levin College of Urban Affairs


Housing, jobs, health, transportation, education, neighborhood amenities; all are building blocks of strong communities. The systems that underpin them are connected and complex. When these systems function efficiently, people are connected to the engines that drive economic growth. When they break down, as they have for many residents of Greater Cleveland, the result can be entire neighborhoods cut off and isolated from the regional economy. This is the economic and community development landscape in which the Levin College’s Center for Economic Development and its Center for Community Planning and Development have worked for more than 25 years.

The public policy research expertise of the two Centers sits squarely at the intersection of these issues. In 2011, the Centers joined forces to serve as the research and assessment partner for the Cleveland Foundation’s Greater University Circle Economic Inclusion Initiative (EIMC), an innovative model of comprehensive community economic development underway in the Greater University Circle neighborhoods of Cleveland. We call it economic inclusion. It is the process of finding new ways to connect area residents to regional economic drivers through pathways to jobs and business opportunities as well as a renewed physical and social environment that enables to them to thrive.