Investing in Sustainable Cities

Investing in Sustainable Cities

Frameworks for Private Investment in Marginalized Communities Across the Globe

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A Harvard University Frontline with Faculty Seminar

All Frontline with Faculty seminars are open to the public.

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ERIC BELSKY | Managing Director, Joint Center for Housing Studies; Lecturer in Urban Planning, HGSD
DAVID WOOD | Director, Initiative for Responsible Investment; Adjunct Lecturer in Public Policy, HKS

Monday, November 19
12:30 – 1:30 pm
Belfer, Weil Town Hall, Lobby Level
Harvard Kennedy School

In recent years, governments, development banks, private sector investors, and foundations have all paid increased attention to efforts made to increase private sector investment in sustainable cities – in particular, how to improve the social and environmental performance of the built environment for marginalized communities. This seminar will focus on the conditions necessary for usefully leveraging private sector capital to social benefit and actions that the public sector is taking to promote such investment. It will highlight the diverse circumstances in developed and emerging markets which must be taken into account when addressing private investment in sustainable cities.

Eric Belsky is Managing Director of the Joint Center for Housing Studies of Harvard University and a Lecturer in Urban Planning and Design at the Harvard Graduate School of Design. Prior to his Harvard appointments, Dr. Belsky led the Housing Finance and Credit Analysis Group at Price Waterhouse LLP. He has also held the positions of Director of Housing Finance Research at Fannie Mae, Senior Economist at the National Association of Home Builders, and Assistant Professor at the University of Massachusetts at Amherst. Dr. Belsky currently serves on the editorial boards of the Journal of Housing Research and Housing Policy Debate, the board of the Opportunity Finance Network, the Affordable Housing Advisory Council of Fannie Mae, and the National Advisory Council of CredAbility. In 2001 and 2002, Dr. Belsky also served as Research Director for the bipartisan Millennial Housing Commission established by the Congress of the United States. Dr. Belsky has extensive experience conducting research on housing markets, housing finance, and housing policy.  He has published numerous articles in trade publications and academic journals.  He has co-edited five books: Low-Income Homeownership: Examining the Unexamined Goal (2002), Building Assets, Building Credit: Creating Wealth in Low-Income Communities (2005), Revisiting Rental Housing (2008), Borrowing to Live: Consumer and Mortgage Credit Revisited (2008), and Moving Forward: The Future of Consumer Credit and Mortgage Finance (2011).

David Wood directs the Initiative for Responsible Investment’s (IRI) research and field-building work on responsible investment across asset classes, and currently manages projects on RI strategy with pension fund trustees, mission investing by foundations, the changing landscape of community investing in the US, and impact investing and public policy. Prior to joining the IRI he taught the History of Ethics, including the History of Economic Thought and Human Rights, at Boston University. He holds a Ph.D. in History from the Johns Hopkins University, and serves on the Board of Directors of US SIF: The Forum for Sustainable and Responsible Investment.

The Frontline with Faculty Series is a venue for Harvard faculty affiliated with the Hauser Center to share their work and research with faculty colleagues, as well as students in an informal setting that will allow for spirited discussion, debate and exchange. The seminars link faculty experts from Harvard Schools and beyond on a wide range of topics.  The Hauser Center for Nonprofit Organizations at Harvard University seeks to expand understanding and accelerate critical thinking about civil society among scholars, practitioners, policy makers and the general public, by encouraging scholarship, developing curriculum, fostering mutual learning between academics and practitioners, and shaping policies that enhance the sector and its role in society.

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