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Mission-Driven Localities

In addition to exposing and exacerbating longstanding inequalities, the COVID-19 pandemic has also given rise to a wealth of promising local-level initiatives. Though it is not unique, the London borough of Camden has emerged as an inspiration for other communities in the United Kingdom and around the world.

LONDON – “Cities have the capability of providing something for everybody,” the American urbanist Jane Jacobs once observed, “only because, and only when, they are created by everybody.”

Today, we need to apply that snippet of wisdom to post-COVID-19 policymaking. If recovery from the pandemic is not felt in the places where people live their lives, it will not be a success, and will not tackle the fundamental inequalities and injustices that sit at the heart of this crisis.

To achieve the true economic and social renewal that we so desperately need, central governments must do more to empower citizens, communities, and local governments.