The University of Illinois at Chicago has received a three-year,
$950,000 grant from the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation
to lead a joint study of city governments' responses to the Great

The study will examine how city governments can adjust to the current
global economy, relieve constraints, and plan for more adaptive,
sustainable growth.

Michael Pagano, dean of the UIC College of Urban Planning and Public
Affairs, in collaboration with the National League of Cities Center for
Research & Innovation, will lead an analysis of U.S. cities' public
investment and fiscal health and will be advised by a working group of
the Federal Reserve Bank.

The Federal Reserve Bank?s understanding of the need for strong
regional economies makes for a dynamic collaboration with UIC and the
National League of Cities, Pagano said.

"The Great Recession has endangered city services and cities' ability
to invest in any future economic growth. This level of analysis will
enhance dialogue on issues like pensions, workforce development, cuts
to social and human services, jobs, public safety and the tax base," he

Annual surveys by UIC and the National League of Cities have shown a
persistent trend of city service cuts and retrenchment over the last
decade. From 2009 to 2011, budgets were cut most often in
infrastructure and personnel, including wages, pensions and benefits.

"Ironically, these cuts create a drag on the national economic
recovery," Pagano said. "Municipalities need to invest in the local
economy, supply the infrastructure for economic development, and ensure
their residents' health, safety and welfare. Cities and metropolitan
regions are the drivers of wealth, production, competitiveness and

The decline in city fiscal conditions over the last several years
leaves many public leaders looking for pathways to growth, said Chris
Hoene, director of the Center for Research and Innovation at the
National League of Cities.

"The fiscal outlook for U.S. cities has revealed a dire need for
understanding and information about the underlying fiscal and economic
capacities of cities and the factors that drive those capacities,"
Hoene said.

The researchers will release continuous reports throughout the
three-year period.

UIC ranks among the nation's leading research universities and is
Chicago's largest university with 27,000 students, 12,000 faculty and
staff, 15 colleges and the state's major public medical center. A
hallmark of the campus is the Great Cities Commitment, through which
UIC faculty, students and staff engage with community, corporate,
foundation and government partners in hundreds of programs to improve
the quality of life in metropolitan areas around the world. For more
information about UIC, please visit www.uic.edu.

The National League of Cities is dedicated to helping city leaders
build better communities. Working in partnership with the 49 state
municipal leagues, NLC serves as a resource to and an advocate for the
more than 19,000 cities, villages and towns it represents.

The Chicago Federal Reserve serves the Seventh Federal Reserve
District, an economically diverse region that includes all of Iowa and
most of Illinois, Indiana, Michigan and Wisconsin. The Seventh District
has a large national share of many important economic sectors.

The MacArthur Foundation supports creative people and effective
institutions committed to building a more just, verdant, and peaceful
world. In addition to selecting the MacArthur Fellows, the Foundation
works to defend human rights, advance global conservation and security,
make cities better places, and understand how technology is affecting
children and society. More information is at www.macfound.org.

- UIC -

NOTE: Please refer to the institution as the University of Illinois at
Chicago on first reference and UIC on second reference.
"University of Illinois" and "U. of I." are often assumed to refer to
our sister campus in Urbana-Champaign.

UIC News Release
May 21, 2012

CONTACT: Anne Brooks Ranallo, (312) 355-2523, aranallo@uic.edu