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CitySCOPE Podcast

Welcome to CitySCOPE, a podcast about cities and inclusive economic development from Kate Cooney and her students at the Inclusive Economic Development Lab at the Yale School of Management.

CitySCOPE show art

Kate Cooney

Senior Lecturer in Social Enterprise and Management
Kate Cooney

Kate Cooney's research uses institutional theory to study the intersection of business and social sectors. Current work focuses on the cross-country comparisons of new social business legal forms, corporate supply chain transparency, social return on investment methods and inclusive economic development strategies in the American city. To understand how hybrid organizations are shaped by commercial and institutional isomorphic pressures, she has studied commercialization in the nonprofit sector, social enterprise, workforce development programs, and the emergence of new social business legal forms. She has also written broadly about market based approaches to poverty alleviation the negotiation of competing institutional logics in social enterprise organizations. Projects underway include CitySCOPE podcast, a series examining inclusive economic development in American Cities (Listen to Season 1 Charting the Opportunity in Opportunity Zones) and a MacMillan Center funded grant titled Consumer Activism and Supply Chain Transparency: Anti-Slavery Movements in the United Kingdom and the United States.

Prior to joining the faculty at Yale SOM, Dr. Cooney was on the faculty at Boston University teaching courses on nonprofit management, urban poverty and economic development, and community and organizational analysis. Kate Cooney currently serves on the Board of Directors of Dwight Hall at Yale, Center for Public Service and Justice.


  • Podcast
    Season 1
    Episode 7
    Duration 01:14:00

    Creative Financing for Community Inclusion

    Creative Financing for Community Inclusion, podcast hosts Nina Crook, graduate of Yale SOM with a Masters in Global Business and Society and Camilo Monge, MBA guide listeners through a series of conversations exploring different models of creative financing to build inclusive models for economic development and make possible investments in innovation that maximize community benefit. Guest interviews with: Joe Evans from The Kresge Foundation, Aliana Pineiro from Boston Impact Initiative, Greg Reaves from Mosaic Development Partners and Eric Letsinger from Quantified Ventures. Topics covered include: use of impact covenants for Opportunity Funds to differentiate funds with community benefit commitments, crowdfunding and other strategies to share the wealth potential of OZ projects with community members, and environmental impact bonds as another arrow in the quiver for municipalities layering OZ projects alongside other investments as part of a broader OZ development planning process.

  • Podcast
    Season 1
    Episode 6
    Duration 01:09:42

    Fab Labs and Maker Spaces in the New Economy

    Fab Labs and Maker Spaces in the New Economy, Liam Grace Flood, MBA candidate at the Yale School of Management speaks with two guests on the origins and potential of the Fab Lab and Maker Space movement: Joel Cutcher-Gershenfeld, Professor from the Heller School for Social Policy and Management at Brandeis University and Jerry Davis, Associate Dean for Business and Impact at the Ross School of Business at the University of Michigan. Topics covered include: the third digital revolution, the potential for Fab Labs and Maker Spaces to create opportunities for self-sufficient production, the future of fabrication technologies and local versus corporate control of them, fabrication and implications for the future of work, and emerging practices for local governance and stakeholder control of Fab Lab networks. Before coming to Yale, Liam Grace-Flood, the podcast host for episode 6, spent a year exploring makerspaces and their broader context across Europe, South Asia, and South and East Africa as a Watson Fellow. Many of his learnings were published in an often-weekly column for Make: Magazine called Open World.

  • Podcast
    Season 1
    Episode 5
    Duration 51:59

    The Food Hall Trend and Inclusive Growth

    The Food Hall Trend and Inclusive Growth, podcast hosts Sara Harari, recent graduate of the Yale SOM and the Yale School of Forestry and Environmental Studies and Dan Bitner, MBA from Yale SOM help listeners understand just what is the difference between a food hall and a food court, the evolution of food halls over the last 10-15 years, and the economics of how they work both from the developer and the food entrepreneur’s perspectives. With Guests James Johnson-Piett from Urbane Development in Brooklyn, NYC and Nancy Halpern Ibrahim from the Mercado de Paloma in South Central Los Angeles, Sara and Dan explore the ways that Food Halls can be anchors for cultural exchange and celebration, for cross class interaction, and, in the case of the Flatbush Caton Market redevelopment underway at Urbane, even cater to a global diaspora while remaining firmly rooted in a local community. The episode also features a short cutaway to hearing about the role of the Food Hall at the Pythian Market in New Orleans and the work of Julius Kimbrough at the Crescent City Community Land Trust.

  • Podcast
    Season 1
    Episode 4
    Duration 01:18:03

    Investing in Businesses in Opportunity Zones

    Investing in Businesses in Opportunity Zones, Professor Kate Cooney explains the current status of OZ regulation related to business investment and highlights the key questions about these regulations that have slowed down investor action in this area and also the tensions in play around community benefit. Dr. Cooney leads listeners through a series of models for supporting local entrepreneurs in OZs, including mixed use housing developments with ground floor commercial that might be both amenable to OZ investments and supportive of the growth of local entrepreneurs, a corner store Bodega economic development program yielding real results, impact investment funds focused on helping small and medium size businesses grow along with the regional economy in gentrifying neighborhoods, and an arts based economic development project with business and neighborhood development in its sights.

    Guests include: Greg Reaves from Mosaic Development Partners in Philadelphia, Joe Evans from The Kresge Foundation, James Johnson-Piett from Urbane Development, Aliana Pineiro from the Boston Impact Initiative, Lucas Turner-Owens from the Boston Ujima Project and Jason Price from NXTHVN in New Haven, CT.

  • Podcast
    Season 1
    Episode 3
    Duration 01:09:24

    Community Land Trusts, Gentrification and the OZ

    Community Land Trusts, Gentrification and the OZ, Dan Bitner, MBA speaks with Julius Kimbrough from the Crescent City Community Land Trust in New Orleans, Louisiana, and Val Orseli from Cooper Square Mutual Housing Association in NYC’s Lower East Side. In this episode, we explore gentrification pressures and how CLTs can act as a bulwark for affordability in rapidly changing neighborhoods. Dan Bitner leads listeners through the basics of how CLTs operate and learns about innovations on the CLT model from our guests. These innovations include: the scattered site CLT in the Lower East Side which now encompasses over 20 buildings, and the use of predial servitude and deed restrictions in mixed income, mixed use buildings such as the newly restored Pythian building in New Orleans. We end by asking our guests for their insights into the current opportunities and challenges for the CLT model.

  • Podcast
    Season 1
    Episode 2
    Duration 01:11:55

    Affordable Housing and the OZ Policy

    Affordable Housing and the OZ policy, Lauren Harper ’20, and Christian Rodriguez ’19 examine the roots of the affordable housing crisis in the United States and explore the challenges and opportunities for addressing it with CitySCOPE podcast guests: Karen Dubois Walton, President of Elm City Communities in New Haven and Brandon Weiss, Visiting Professor at Yale Law School. We ask our guests their perspectives on the potential of the OZ policy for addressing the need for affordable housing. Topics covered include: the history of public housing and redlining, current regional dynamics inherited from redlining era, key issues of how to boost supply of affordable housing and where to build it, current trends in providing affordable housing such as mixed-income, mixed-use models, inclusionary zoning, community land trusts, and rent control.

  • Podcast
    Season 1
    Episode 1
    Duration 20:47

    What are Opportunity Zones? What is at Stake?

    What are Opportunity Zones? What is at stake? Allie Yee, MBA (SOM) and Professor Kate Cooney introduce the opportunity zone policy passed as part of the Jobs and Tax Cuts Act of 2017, the problems it is trying to solve and the incentives it creates to solve them. Dramatic explication of the mechanisms of the OZ incentives performed by guest hosts Sarah Harrari, graduate of Yale School of Forestry and Environmental Studies and SOM and Dan Bitner, MBA (SOM). To explore what is at stake for the OZ program, podcast hosts Allie Yee and Professor Kate Cooney present audio snippets from a selection of the guests interviewed for the eight episodes of CitySCOPE podcast, Season 1.