Learn More About Our Work
Get news and resources to help you make a difference.

Peer-to-Peer Learning

Peer-to-peer learning opportunities convene small delegations from a select cohort of cities to help inform and shape the field of practice on a particular topic or theme. They provide an opportunity to help leaders break out of knowledge and institutional silos to identify innovative ways of tackling tough challenges, while also building stronger ongoing relationships with peers in similar cities.


Often, these learning opportunities involve bringing a delegation from one community to another to learn about a particular topic or project firsthand. In other instances, leaders from several communities may gather together in one place for more of a roundtable discussion format on a common theme. 


We have a longstanding, successful track record of organizing small, focused peer-to-peer learning exchanges that are unique to the field. Our events are known for:


  1. Careful selection and invitation of participants to allow for intensive tailoring of content;
  2. Thoughtfully developed delegations from each city to foster new and stronger relationships within that city;
  3. The powerful combination of expert content, facilitated discussion, and participant-led action planning, and
  4. The sense of intimacy and openness enabled by the small size of the events.


As a result, our events are successful not only at building knowledge, but also at building relationships within and across cities that will sustain community efforts over the long term and can give rise to powerful new coalitions.


Past learning exchanges have included:


Bridging Policy and Placemaking to Activate Vacant Properties: Learning from “Breathing Lights” (November 2016)

A Center for Community Progress blog post

Read the blog

Small cross sector delegations from Detroit, Flint, Minneapolis, and St. Paul convened in Albany, New York to explore how to use creative Placemaking and public art can be used to support the equitable revitalization of vacant properties. The exchange sought to provide an opportunity to delve into the nuts and bolts of the Breathing Lights project and to better understand how to carry the lessons learned to other communities.


Gaining Traction: A Roundtable on Leveraging Local Assets in Small- and Medium-Sized Cities (October 2015)

In October 2015, community development leaders from Syracuse, New York; Flint, Michigan; Dayton and Youngstown, Ohio were convened in Flint to share experiences about the unique challenges faced in revitalizing small- and mid-sized cities. Participants heard about research being conducted on the issue and each presented methods through which they were overcoming the unique struggle of revitalizing at a smaller scale. 


Boosting Productivity: Lessons from the Green Reuse and Vacant Land Maintenance Learning Exchange (January 2015)

A Center for Community Progress brief

Download the report (PDF)

In January 2015, practitioners from Detroit and New Orleans convened for a peer learning exchange in New Orleans to learn about how each has developed strategies for vacant land maintenance which reduce maintenance needs and meet community needs. Participants presented a series of projects related to small- and large-scale land reuse and maintenance, and discussed successes, strategies, and challenges from their communities.


To learn more about Community Progress’ peer-to-peer learning opportunities contact Courtney Knox at 877-543-4842 ext. 20 or by email at cknox@communityprogress.net.