Strong, Prosperous, and Resilient Communities Challenge (SPARCC)

NRDC is a founding partner of SPARCC, an initiative for equitable, community-led investment and a model to spur systemic change in the way we approach community investment and development. 

Credit: Courtesy of SPARCC

Through flexible grant funding, technical assistance, and a network of partners, the Strong, Prosperous, and Resilient Communities Challenge (SPARCC) focuses on inclusive investment: ensuring that infrastructure and community development practices are equitable, sustainable, and contributive to community health and well-being. The initiative’s long-term goal is to advance innovative solutions in housing, transportation, cultural preservation, green space, and parks. We want to change the way metropolitan areas grow.

SPARCC amplifies locally grown efforts and model investments, led by NRDC alongside the Low Income Investment Fund and Enterprise Community Partners, with support from the Ford Foundation, the Kresge Foundation, the JPB Foundation, the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, and the Ballmer Group.

Inclusive investment is vital in communities that have suffered from underinvestment and neglect or are hard hit by market-driven forces that create rapid displacement. SPARCC currently focuses on six regions: Atlanta, Chicago, Denver, Los Angeles, Memphis, and the San Francisco Bay Area. While each site is unique, they all include racially and economically diverse populations that don’t always experience equal investment in the built environment.

The strongest and healthiest communities are those in which the greatest number of people thrive. SPARCC believes that sustainable and just planning for environmentally sound and affordable housing, transportation, parks, and businesses will mitigate climate change, reduce climate vulnerability, and build community resilience—for everyone, not just a privileged few.

For more on specific projects and the SPARCC model, visit

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