Reducing Poverty through Sustainable Communities

The Urban Opportunity Agenda maximizes economic opportunity by helping cities effectively reduce poverty and provide benefits to all residents and businesses.

A growing income gap and the presence of persistent poverty in our communities constrains economic opportunity for everyone. The economic gains of the past several years have not reduced poverty. Even as unemployment and the Gross Domestic Product recover from the economic downturn, the poverty rate is on the rise, and the cost of living is growing faster than incomes.

Poverty Reduction Strategies

The Urban Opportunity Agenda provides tools for civic leaders, advocates, and community members to see the potential for sustainability strategies to reduce poverty in their communities by creating jobs, lowering the cost of living, and helping low-income families achieve financial stability while creating more efficient cities for everyone.


More Poverty Reduction Strategies

Job access +
Attract +
create jobs
Energy +
water efficiency jobs
Household Expense
Leveraging Infrastructure
Investment Jobs
Entrepreneurship Jobs

Poverty reduction itself has the potential to be an economic engine. Targeted investments in sustainable poverty reduction strategies can boost economic growth by reducing inequality and rising household costs which challenge local economies. View all strategies »


City Profiles


The Urban Opportunity Agenda maps and calculator identify where poverty exists and what investments civic leaders can make across a portfolio of poverty reduction strategies that will create economic opportunities and strengthen communities. Choose a City »



Interactive maps show where the highest concentrations of poverty are in cities throughout the United States.

Strategy Calculator

Customize a portfolio of strategies to reduce poverty, create economic opportunity, and build stronger communities.

Summary Reports

View and print a summary report detailing poverty indicators and the strategies to reduce poverty.

Choose a City to Begin

Case Studies

Living Cully

A diverse neighborhood in northeast Portland fighting displacement has been employing sustainability as an anti-poverty technique. A coalition of four local community groups offers job training, affordable housing, training workshops and advocacy in the neighborhood.

View Case Study

Los Angeles' Green New Deal

Los Angeles’ Green New Deal plan sets ambitious goals to create net-zero carbon buildings, a completely electrified transportation system, 100% waste diversion and waste water recycling, along with creation of 400,000 green jobs.

View Case Study

California's AHSC Program

California's Affordable Housing and Sustainable Communities Program (AHSC) funds projects to support infill and compact development that reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Eligible activities include creating and preserving affordable housing...

View Case Study