The experience of the National Resource Network (NRN) working in economically-challenged cities around the country underscored how critical state governments are to supporting economic turnaround and transformation in those cities.
States can provide more than direct financial resources to struggling cities – they can encourage cities to be better fiscal planners, boost municipalities’ operational capacity, and create the conditions for new economic development. Particularly given ever diverging economic trends between high-growth and economically-challenged cities, state assistance may be more important than ever.
This white paper uses New Jersey and Virginia, two states with recent gubernatorial transitions, as case studies for how different states support economically-challenged cities. Broadly, the paper suggests that states take a partnership approach toward working with cities – recognizing that locally-led efforts will be most successful.