The Atlantic – Cities

8 Urban Policy Ideas for Obama’s 2nd Term EMILY BADGER AND SOMMER MATHIS / NOV 07, 2012 If the next president wants to find a way to jump start innovation and entrepreneurship, consumer spending, the housing market, and yes, the creation of jobs, focusing on policy areas that strengthen America’s cities is a no-brainer, regardless of party affiliation. (Or at least, it should be.) … And so below you’ll find eight of our favorite federal urban policy ideas, gathered in advance of Tuesday’s election results, that we now hope someone on President Obama’s team will print out and tape to their forehead. Heck, why stop there: you can do it, too! …

#6. Deploy social impact bonds. While we’re at it looking for novel funding schemes, this one would help pay for social programs that serve, for instance, foster children, criminal offenders, the mentally ill or drug addicts. These are the types of initiatives that tend to get hit first with budget cuts. But social impact bonds, already tried in Britain, could connect private investment to public good to keep such programs alive. John Roman and Jeffrey Butts at the Urban Institute explain how it worked in Britain.

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