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Community Tourism as an Economic Development Strategy: Analysis and Recommendations for Puerto Rico's Route 123 Region
By Xavier de Souza Briggs, Alyssa Bryson, Paul DeManche, and Sara Hess. December 2013.

Development Study for the Bronx Cooperative Development Initiative: A Model for Economic Transformation
By Phil Thompson, Ofer Lerner, Nick Iuviene, Dayna Cunningham, Jody Lee Cornish, Jeffrey Hollender and the Fall 2013 Bronx Planning Studio Students. October 2013.

Leveraging the Opportunity of The Affordable Care Act: A Hospital-Funded Community Organizing and Planning Process
By Dayna Cunningham, Executive Director, MIT Community Innovators Lab; and Penda Hair, Co-Director, Advancement Project. August 2012.

Paper Radio Issue #2: The Trash Issue
August 2012

The Trash Edition is the second issue of Paper Radio, a periodic paper version of CoLab Radio posts that fit together around a theme. Libby MacDonald, the Director of Global Sustainability Partnerships curated this collection of articles, which demonstrates how garbage can be a means for reducing greenhouse gas emissions, for recovering natural resources, and for creating businesses in partnership with people living in extreme poverty.

If you’d like a free subscription, email your name and address to If you’d like to assemble and publish an issue of Paper Radio on a specific topic, email the same address with your idea.

The Role of Local Actors as Energy Efficiency Implementation Partners: Case Studies and a Review of Trends
By Eric Mackres, American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy; Elena Alschuler, MIT Dept. Urban Studies & Planning; Amy Stitely, MIT Community Innovators Lab; Erin Brandt, Metropolitan Area Planning Council, March 2012

Paper Radio Issue #1: Says who?
March 2012

Who gets to speak for whom, and how does the speaker impact the story we hear?

In so many arenas – city planning and journalism among them – the powerful speak for the powerless. CoLab Radio strives to be a place where all people, powerful and powerless, can speak for themselves – for the sweeping policies and systems that mark their lives. But often those whose stories say most about the state of humanity are least likely to speak on a far-reaching platform.

This collection of articles comprise the first issue of Paper Radio, a periodic paper version of CoLab Radio posts that fit together around a theme. Says who? is the first theme. Future issues may examine a single neighborhood or a concrete issue.

If you’d like a free subscription, email your name and address to If you’d like to assemble and publish an issue of Paper Radio on a specific topic, email the same address with your idea.

The Future of the Piedras River: Development, Environment, Community / El Futuro del río Piedras: Desarrollo, Ambiente, Comunidad
by MIT and UPR Puerto Rico Practicum Participants, February 2012

Report created for the Conservation Trust of Puerto Rico that presents a new model of conservation for Puerto Rico. Includes concrete goals and strategies to move from a traditional model of protection by exclusion to an inclusive model of co-management with communities in the Piedras River watershed in San Juan, Puerto Rico.

Just Green Investment: The Scholarship of Engagement in a Moment of Crisis
by Lorlene Hoyt, Kate Levitt, Lily Song, and the Colaborative Thesis Group, Forthcoming 2012-13

Book in which each Colaborative Thesis is presented as a chapter on green development.

D-Lab Waste Student Paper on Biodigester Global Case Studies
December 2011

Integrating Social Equity in Carbon Reduction Initiatives: A Snapshot of Issues for Community Organisations and Local Authorities
By Rebecca Buell and Ruth Mayne, September 2011

This briefing note presents five arguments for why social equity should matter in strategies to accelerate and manage low-carbon development. It then explores three strategies --- ownership, governance and distributed benefit --- for ensuring that low-carbon initiatives in general and community energy projects specifically, achieve social equity outcomes. The full paper which the briefing is based on is also available for download here.

Designing Process: Exemplar Community Pilot Project Zoranje/Port au Prince, Haiti
Compiled by Christian Werthmann, Phil Thompson, Dan Weissman, and Anya Brickman-Raredon, July 2011


Following the devastating earthquake of January 12, 2010, sustainable long-term urbanization of the Port au Prince region cannot be created merely through the construction of houses alone. This document proposes a more integral process for resettling earthquake refugees exemplified through the expansion of a small suburb called Zoranje. Through analysis and strategies at four scales from the Port au Prince Region down to individual neighborhoods in Zoranje, this proposal hopes to foster long-term land-use and building construction practices through the integral creation of jobs, infrastructures and social services, designing an elastic and opportunistic process that may be employed across the Port au Prince region, and all of Haiti.

This report is the authors' first attempt of structuring their thoughts on the extremely complex topic of rebuilding livelihoods around Port-au-Prince. As it is a work in progress, they welcome any feedback. Please write to:

Prospects and Practice in Green Economic Development
By Karl F. Seidman, MIT Department of Urban Studies and Planning, March 11, 2011

Banking as if Society Mattered: The Case of Triodos Bank
by Katrin Kaufer, January 2011

As intermediaries between borrowers and lenders, banks hold a unique position in an economic system, and in society in general. Socially responsible and green banks operate on the assumption that this unique position provides them with a leverage for addressing social and/or environmental challenges.

While the current public discussion focuses on how to regulate financial institutions so that the negative externalities of their operation can be reduced, this case study presents the example of Triodos Bank, based in the Netherlands, and explores the potential role of banks in addressing societal challenges.

Sustainable Economic Democracy: Worker Cooperatives for the 21st Century
by Nicholas Iuviene, Amy Stitely, and Lorlene Hoyt, October 2010

This guide explores how worker cooperatives, when configured in a network, can promote progressive, place-based, endogenous economic growth. Here, we present two successful cooperative network models, Mondragon and Evergreen, and then offer a general framework for how to grow a cooperative network in any city.

Strengthening Local Economies and Civic Life: The Untapped Power of Small Businesses
by Gayle Christiansen, Amy Stitley and Lorlene Hoyt, September 2010

This guide shows how including small businesses as part of a local economic and civic development strategy can lead to a more productive and vibrant city. The authors draw upon small business development literature and interviews with sixteen small business owners in Camden, New Jersey. The guide offers broad recommendations for how to think about small business promotion, growth, and sustainability.

City-Scale Retrofits: Learning from Portland and Oakland
by Benjamin Brandin, Amy Stitely, and Lorlene Hoyt, September 2010

This guide explores how municipal agencies and neighborhood institutions can work together to build a robust, sustainable retrofit market that delivers on the promises of lower carbon emissions, energy cost savings, and job creation. The authors present two city-scale retrofits programs, one in Portland, Oregon, the other in Oakland, California, outlining the basic components of each program and how it deals with the issues of financial sustainability, scalability, and equity.

Taking Back Lawrence: Cleaning and Transforming the Canals and Alleyways
by Lawrence Practicum Participants, May 2010

Report created for Mayor William Lantigua's office that provides a strategic plan to inform efforts to transform the City's blighted alleyways and canals from liabilities into assets. It includes a comprehensive catalogue and typology of alleyways and canals, recommendations to reduce illegal dumping, stakeholder analysis, coalition-building strategies, background research, and potential resources to support the effort.

On-Bill Repayment: Understanding and Advocating for an On-Bill Repayment System
by Uyen Le, January 2010

Report that describes on-bill repayment systems, and argues that they are one of the best ways to ensure that the costs of energy efficiency retrofits and associated administrative costs will be re-paid in an efficient, equitable, and simple manner.

Energy Efficiency and Utility Decoupling
by Jacquelyn Dadakis, May 2009

This paper presents the challenges associated with decoupling, a regulatory measure that breaks the link between utility profits and energy sold. Decoupling is one way to get utilities to invest in energy efficiency rather than energy consumption.

Assessing Post-Katrina Recovery in New Orleans: Recommendations for Equitable Rebuilding
by Anna Livia Brand and Karl Seidman, 2008

This paper highlights DUSP's work in New Orleans since Katrina and offers policy recommendations to address serious shortfalls in the government's response to date.

Innovation and Equity Can Transform America
by Various Leading Scholars and Policy Makers, 2008

This policy series provided eighteen briefs to the Obama Presidential Transition Team that focused on the role of equity in today's critical policy challenges. The goal of these papers was to open up policy conversations in new directions that we believe go to the heart of our problems and aspirations and that move beyond business as usual. The papers are grouped into four basic categories: 1) growing an equitable economy; 2) transforming the urban environment; 3) sustaining people and families; and 4) re-imagining community.

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