A historic influx of federal investments has created a once-in-a-generation opportunity for cities and counties to make transformational investments that can secure long term, sustainable, and equitable growth.

Driven by nearly 50 interviews with powerful Erie stakeholders and the review of over a dozen strategic plans, the Playbook was created by urban policy experts Bruce Katz and Florian Schalliol of New Localism Associates of Arlington, Virginia.

Interviews Conducted

Plans Reviewed

  • Erie Refocused
  • East Bayfront Neighborhood Plan
  • Our West Bayfront Plan
  • Port Authority Master Plan
  • Activating Our Vision
  • Active Erie
  • Erie Downtown Partnership Master Plan
  • Erie Forward
  • Count Me In
  • Northwest Pennsylvania CEDS Report
  • NAE Brief – New Americans
  • Emerge 2040 • Chamber Target Industries Report
  • Erie Chamber Pipeline Report


1. Does this project contribute to equitable, sustainable economic growth?
Written through the lens of equity, as the legislative intent of the ARPA funding was to invest in the communities that were hit hardest by the pandemic — in Erie County that includes BIPOC communities — investments are focused on improving the long-term prospects of a neighborhood, city, or region in a way that positions Erie toward transformational investments that contribute to equitable and sustainable growth.

2. Does this project require considerable innovation, complex design, or cross-sector coordination?
Projects cannot easily be executed through routine procedures by individual organizations.

3. Is this project near investment ready?
Projects need to be practical and implementable on an accelerated timeline.

Erie’s investment playbook is an ever-evolving guide developed with an infinite eye on the horizon.