Programs & Events

Virtual Learning Opportunity: Measuring Beyond ROI: Opportunity Zone Lessons from Cleveland

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Opportunity CLE is a collaboration of local leaders in Cleveland and Cuyahoga County that came together to attract Opportunity Zone investments to Greater Cleveland, and to encourage deals that will benefit neighborhoods and residents. Opportunity CLE and its partners are working to align incentives to support projects and investments that address community needs and advance racial equity in the region. They are also helping to identify and support shared goals and priorities for investors, economic development organizations and community-based organizations and to make sure that Opportunity Zones deliver not just financial return, but also positive social impact for communities. 
One of the tools that Opportunity CLE is using to evaluate projects is the Urban Institute’s new Community Impact Assessment Tool. This tool assesses the potential social impact of a local development project using evidence-based indicators, and it scores projects based on how well they align with community priorities. The tool was piloted and tested in Cleveland and is now available for any stakeholder interested in the social impact of an eligible investment in an Opportunity Zone, whether an operating business; a residential, commercial, or industrial development; or some combination of these types.
This Virtual Learning Opportunity will discuss how Opportunity CLE formed and what it has learned from early efforts. We will also demonstrate the Urban Institute’s community impact assessment tool, describe how it drew upon lessons from Cleveland, and suggest how it could be used in other communities to evaluate proposed projects and guide governmental and philanthropic development incentives.
  • Solomon Greene, Senior Fellow, The Urban Institute
  • Bradford Davy, Director of Regional Engagement, Fund for Our Economic Future
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