NYU Wagner Partners in Obama Administration '311 for Cities' Pilot Program

The Obama Administration announced today (May 22) the launch of the National Resource Network, a pilot program that will serve as a “311 for Cities,” with NYU Wagner selected to be part of a five-member consortium that helps provide technical assistance to economically struggling urban areas.

Funded by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), the three-year, $10 million initiative will offer immediate assistance to more than 50 cities. The cities will be able to submit questions asking for the best available resources to address their needs, such as improving their bond ratings, reducing crime, strengthening fiscal and operational plans, reforming zoning codes, or creating jobs from infrastructure investments. A member of the Network consortium will receive questions and, within three business days, send an initial response including an online package of annotated resources, referrals, and tools. In addition to  NYU Wagner, the consortium includes the Enterprise Community Partners; Public Financial Management; HR&A Advisors; and the International City/County Management Association. The institutions will also offer follow-up coaching and support by phone to further assist the city.

"We applaud the Obama administration for dedicating resources to America’s cities and to its efforts focused on the crucial intersection where theory and practice meet," said Sherry Glied, Dean of NYU Wagner. "The great value of the National Resource Network is to work at this intersection—identifying how good and proven ideas can be put to use by practitioners and policymakers to strengthen economically-challenged urban areas."

The Network grew out of the White House Strong Cities, Strong Communities (SC2) initiative. It will additionally provide assistance to communities partnering with the Obama Administration’s Promise Zones Initiative as well as cities that will be selected through competition to participate in the Obama Administration’s Investing in Manufacturing Communities Partnership.