The Partnership for New Communities: Collaboration, Leadership, and Political Will

Prudence Brown & Tom Dewar, The Partnership for New Communities (published on the MacArthur Foundation website)

The Partnership for New Communities, which operated from 2001 to May 2012 in Chicago, was a group of business, civic, and foundation leaders working together to support what was then the largest and most ambitious reconstruction of public housing in the country’s history. This report provides a brief history of the Partnership, describes some key design and operating questions that face all cross-sector collaborations, discusses the specific choices made by The Partnership and reflects on why they contributed to success.

With the support of its co-founders, the MacArthur Foundation & The Chicago Community Trust, The Partnership for New Communities is a rare example of a long-working effort which intentionally captured and shared key insights and analysis throughout its lifecycle. It is also relatively unique in that it was intentionally designed to sunset once it achieved its mission, and then did so. The lessons from the Partnership for New Communities remain relevant, and this resource provides an incredibly useful set of questions and insights for practitioners ranging from “Who should be engaged?” to “What organizational and leadership capacities are particularly important for a civic intermediary?” to “How does a civic intermediary work to create policy and system change?”


This report is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License. Read more at

Global Topics: Organizational Relationships
Focus Areas: Organizational Relationships
Resource Types: Publication