Reuters

The billionaire recently joined an effort to redevelop inner-city areas "holistically"

One of the richest people in America wants to rebuild its inner cities.

Billionaire investor Warren Buffett has joined an effort to support a fleet of urban redevelopment projects in inner-cities across the country. Led by an Atlanta-based non profit called Purpose Built Communities, the aim is to fund “holistic community revitalization” projects that focuses on providing housing, neighborhood amenities, educational opportunities, jobs, and commercial investments.

As USA Today recently reported, Buffett was recruited to the effort by Atlanta housing developer Tom Cousins, who also recruited former hedge fund manager Julian Robertson.

“What sets these apart from other urban redevelopment schemes — and what prompted Buffett and Robertson to join forces with Cousins — is the scope of work involved. New apartments replacing crime-riddled public housing projects are just the beginning. It's the charter schools, parks, community service centers, health care facilities, recreation programs and places to work and shop that the big-money guys are betting on to usher in meaningful, long-term change.”

The first phase of a Purpose Built Community has just finished in Indianapolis, and is one of 13 projects already underway in cities that include Birmingham, Galveston, Omaha, and Charlotte. The approach is a counter to the unfortunate history of government-built housing projects that often alienated communities and segregated lower-income residents from jobs and other urban amenities.

Buffett’s big name and track record of savvy investments could spur others to back the idea, or at least convince some of his cohorts among the super-rich to contribute to efforts that address the complexities behind the nation’s poverty.

About the Author

Most Popular

  1. a rendering of the moon village with a view of Earth
    Design

    Designing the First Full-Time Human Habitat on the Moon

    SOM, in partnership with the ESA and MIT, wants to accommodate research and maybe even tourism on the moon.

  2. Design

    The Many Lives of Notre-Dame

    Far from being a single author’s definitive text, the beloved cathedral’s history is a palimpsest.

  3. a photo of San Francisco tourists posing before the city's iconic skyline.
    Life

    Cities Don’t Have Souls. Why Do We Battle For Them?

    What do we mean when we say that the “soul of the city” is under threat? Often, it’s really about politics, nostalgia, and the fear of community change.

  4. A man checks a route on his phone while in a car.
    Equity

    Conversations With D.C. Uber Drivers Reveal Stress and Debt

    A new report from Georgetown University reveals wage and other challenges faced by Uber drivers in Washington, D.C., yet many say they plan to keep driving.

  5. A photo of the Notre-Dame Cathedral fire in Paris.
    Design

    Amid Notre-Dame’s Destruction, There’s Hope for Restoration

    Flames consumed the roof and spire of the 13th-century cathedral in Paris. The good news: Gothic architecture is built to handle this kind of disaster.