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 sign outside a storefront in Buffalo, New York.
    Environment

    Will Buffalo Become a Climate Change Haven?

    The Western New York city possesses a distinct mix of weather, geography, and infrastructure that could make it a potential climate haven. But for whom?

  2. photo: A vacant home in Oakland that is about to demolished for an apartment complex.
    Equity

    Fix California’s Housing Crisis, Activists Say. But Which One?

    As a controversy over vacancy in the Bay Area and Los Angeles reveals, advocates disagree about what kind of housing should be built, and where.

  3. photo: a high-speed train in Switzerland
    Transportation

    The Case for Portland-to-Vancouver High-Speed Rail

    At the Cascadia Rail Summit outside Seattle, a fledgling scheme to bring high-speed rail from Portland to Vancouver found an enthusiastic reception.

  4. A syringe sits on top of a car. Houses are behind it.
    Life

    The Changing Geography of the Opioid Crisis

    A new study shows that the country faces different opioid challenges in urban and rural areas.

  5. A photo of a police officer in El Paso, Texas.
    Equity

    What New Research Says About Race and Police Shootings

    Two new studies have revived the long-running debate over how police respond to white criminal suspects versus African Americans.

×