Greater Ohio Policy Center Co-Hosts Roundtable on Civic Capacity in Dayton


Last week, Greater Ohio Policy center hosted a roundtable in conjunction with the Lincoln Institute of Land Policy in Dayton, Ohio. GOPC and LILP gathered practitioners, government officials, and researchers together to discuss the challenges of building civic capacity in America’s smaller legacy cities.

The roundtable discussion was based off of the recent report authored by GOPC’s Torey Hollingsworth and Alison Goebel and published by the Lincoln Institute – “Rebuilding America’s Smaller Legacy Cities”. In this report, Hollingsworth and Goebel offer eight recommendations for cities to find their competitive edge and jump-start revitalization. The roundtable dove deeper into the report’s first two recommendations: 1) Building Civic Capacity and 2) Encouraging a Shared Public-Private Vision.

According to GOPC’s research, cities that have sufficient civic capacity for urban revitalization have the following characteristics:

  1. Key community leadership roles are held by people with the appropriate skills and necessary drive to succeed
  2. The many organizations involved in revitalization activities, including government, nonprofit, philanthropic, and private sector entities, are coordinated and are working toward the same goals.

Participants at the roundtable shared examples of successful strategies, practices, and programs to achieve this level of capacity. Participants also discussed strategies on how to sustain capacity for the long-term in order to ensure lasting change.

Roundtable attendees also participated in a bus tour of Dayton’s west side – led by individuals from Citywide Development. The bus tour highlighted some of Dayton’s historically disadvantaged neighborhoods as well as residents who are leading the charge for revitalization.

Greater Ohio Policy Center continues to advocate for smaller legacy cities in Ohio and beyond and continues to provide research and policy recommendations that support these places. For more information visit