Launched by Citi Ventures’ Venture Innovation Studio in 2019, City Builder® by Citi is a free, data-driven platform designed to facilitate place-based investment in underserved communities around the U.S. and beyond. City Builder gives investors, developers, municipalities, and residents access to socio-demographic data on thousands of cities, census tracts, and community development projects—enabling them to make better-informed decisions about investments intended to bolster community resilience through job creation, improved mobility, affordable housing, and access to healthcare.
As the effects of climate change begin to take hold around the world, climate resilience is fast becoming one of the most important ways to strengthen local communities. A recent Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) study found that the greatest harms from climate change fall “disproportionately upon underserved communities who are least able to prepare for, and recover from, heat waves, poor air quality, flooding, and other impacts.”
To help addresses this inequity and promote place-based impact investing, the City Builder team has added powerful climate and environmental data to the platform. Developed in partnership with leading climate data providers and government agencies, the new features present information that enables users to:
This data is intended to help investors identify the most impactful climate- and nature-based opportunity spaces—for example, the city of Abilene, Texas faces high heat risk, so it would likely benefit from investment in more cooling stations or shade trees.
City Builder has also begun to incorporate development projects from C40 Reinventing Cities, an international competition among many of the world’s biggest cities to advance carbon-neutral development and transform underutilized sites into “new beacons of sustainability and resiliency.” By centering equity and collaboration alongside sustainability, C40 projects such as Assemble Chicago can bolster community resilience in myriad ways at once—and City Builder is working to help draw much-needed attention and investment to them.
Overall, community investing in the U.S. has more than quadrupled in the past decade, increasing from about $60 billion in 2012 to $266 billion in 2020. City Builder has continued to find innovative ways to grow its impact along with that—in the past year, the platform has:
Our goals for the rest of 2022 include adding more C40 projects and continuously updating City Builder’s list of sustainable development projects. We look forward to further supporting Citi’s ongoing commitment to foster resilient communities and build toward a sustainable future.
For more on City Builder® by Citi, click here.