One City/One Future was the product of four years of collaboration between the Pratt Center, the National Employment Law Project, and New York Jobs with Justice, and dozens of other groups in New York City seeking to make economic development programs and policies work to strengthen New York City’s neighborhoods and provide better opportunities for New Yorkers. The partnership included community-based organizations, labor unions, policy groups, environmentalists, community development corporations, and other advocates seeking to make economic growth work for all New Yorkers.

One City/One Future began in 2005 with a series of conversations among dozens of organizations grappling with the effects of growth and development in their neighborhoods. These conversations quickly revealed a set of common challenges facing communities across the city.

Over the next three years, organizations came together for a series of issue education sessions, community forums on subsidy accountability and on Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s PlaNYC 2030, shared research of development practice in other cities, and conversations about what was working (and what wasn’t) for neighborhoods and organizations around the city. A shared vision began to emerge for how New York City’s economic development policies can build more widely shared prosperity.

Stakeholders in One City/One Future stressed the need for a policy blueprint that could make this vision a reality. Six policy working groups then began to map out how the city could more effectively address jobs, housing, social infrastructure, economic security, workforce development, and the environment. More than 160 staff, board members, and volunteers from 100 organizations participated, developing 250 separate policy proposals — and then testing, refining, and prioritizing the recommendations. Over 200 people took part in a half-day discussion to align the blueprint with the realities they see in their own communities.

On May 14, 2009, One City/One Future sponsored a daylong Forum on Economic Development and Recovery, which brought together hundreds working to reinvent economic development policy in New York City.


The One City/One Future Blueprint for Growth that Works for all New Yorkers offers 54 policy measures that New York City could take to ensure that the city’s future growth and development would result in affordable housing, good jobs, livable neighborhoods, and environmental sustainability. It looks at models from around the country, and examines how New York’s economic development policies, even during recent times of prosperity, have led to declining wages, unaffordable housing, and less livable neighborhoods.


The recommendations for policies followed three fundamental strategies: 

  • Raise the Standards: Government should set clear standards for economic activity in New York City, especially activity that benefits from public spending or actions. Meeting these standards -- whether they concern the quality of jobs created or the environmental sustainability of new buildings -- must be a prerequisite for anyone doing business with the city.
  • Invest for Shared Growth: The city and state currently spend billions keeping New York's economy humming. These investments in housing, transportation, and employment need to be designed and managed with the explicit objective of improving opportunity and strengthening neighborhoods.
  • Reform the Process: Planning and development must take place in an open and democratic environment, in which communities and the city work as partners, not adversaries, with the objective of building a prosperous city on the strength of livable neighborhoods.

The document was designed to build consensus around economic development policy priorities, serve as a resource for neighborhood and citywide advocacy campaigns, and put the urgent need for the reform of city and state economic policies on the agenda for New York City’s 2009 elections. It was intended for use by elected officials, civic leaders, advocacy groups, policy researchers, concerned citizens, and anyone else looking for a healthier approach to economic development — one that builds a more economically prosperous and environmentally sustainable city.

One City/One Future Endorsers


Bedford Stuyvesant Restoration Corporation

Bronx Initiative for Energy and the Environment

Bronx Overall Economic Development Corporation

Center for New York City Neighborhoods

Center for Working Families

Church of St Paul & St Andrew

Community-Based Planning Task Force

Community Service Society

Cypress Hills Local DevelopmentCorporation

Domestic Workers United

Downtown Art

Drum Major Institutue


Fifth Avenue Committee

Fiscal Policy Institute

Garment Industry Development Corporation

Good Jobs New York

Habitat Map

Hotel & Motel Trades Council

Housing Here & Now

Insight Center for Community EconomicDevelopment

Judson Memorial Church

LaLuna Consulting Services

Mason Tenders District Council PAC

Metro NY Healthcare for All

Morningside Heights/West Harlem Recycling Coalition

Myrtle Avenue Brooklyn Partnership

Neighborhood Economic Development Advocacy Project

Neighbors Together

New Immigrant CommunityEmpowerment

New York City District Council of Carpenters

New York Immigration Coalition

New York Industrial Retention Network

New York Lawyers for the Public Interest

NYC Employment & Training Coalition

NYC Environmental Justice Coalition

Pratt Area Community Council

Queens Community House

Right to the City

CAAAV: Organizing Asian Communities

Community Voices Heard

Center for Social Inclusion


Families United for Racial and Economic Equality

Good Old Lower East Side

Jews for Racial & EconomicJustice

Make the Road New York

Mothers on the Move

NYC AIDS Housing Network

VOCAL NY Users Union

Picture the Homeless

Tenants & Neighbors

UNO of St. Nicholas CDC

Urban Justice Center

WE ACT for Environmental Justice

Restaurant Opportunities Center-NY

Retail, Wholesale, and DepartmentStore Union

Service Employees International Union, Local 32BJ

South Bronx Overall Economic Development Corporation

St. Nicholas Neighborhood Preservation Corp.

United Food and Commercial Workers, Local 1500



Urban Agenda

Women’s Housing & EconomicDevelopment Corporation

Youth Ministries for Peace & Justice

Project Status

Completed 2009