New Finance for America's Cities

Regional Studies, 2012

Posted: 7 Feb 2014

See all articles by Tessa Hebb

Tessa Hebb

Carleton Centre for Community Innovation

Rajiv Sharma


Date Written: January 1, 2012


In the past investment in our cities' built environment was primarily carried out by government, with public good as the primary motivation. But governments are increasingly struggling to find the available capital required for public financing of our cities' investment needs. This article suggests that there are new sources of finance available for investment in America’s cities. Retirement savings are being used to invest in these cities’ future growth. While such investment generates positive ancillary benefits for our cities, it is not the primary purpose of this capital. The motivation for large institutional investors including pension funds and sovereign-wealth funds, is the risk-adjusted rate of return. This private profit-driven motivation leads to different investment decision-making than we found in the past when public good was the primary driver.

Keywords: urban investment, pension fund targeted investment, urban revitalization

JEL Classification: G2, R1

Suggested Citation

Hebb, Tessa M. and Sharma, Rajiv, New Finance for America's Cities (January 1, 2012). Regional Studies, 2012, Available at SSRN:

Tessa M. Hebb (Contact Author)

Carleton Centre for Community Innovation ( email )

1125 Colonel By Drive
DT 2125
Ottawa, Ontario K1S0R2

Rajiv Sharma

Independent ( email )

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