Local strategy map
Economically Disconnected and Disinvested Areas

To help advance ON TO 2050’s commitment to inclusive growth, CMAP identified geographies not currently well connected to regional economic progress: Economically Disconnected Areas and disinvested areas. For a stronger, more equitable future, our region needs to ensure every resident and community has the ability to fully contribute to and benefit from the economy.

Economically Disconnected Areas (EDAs)

EDAs are defined as Census tracts with a concentration of low incomes that have a greater than regional average concentration of minority or limited English proficiency populations. One-third of the region’s residents live in EDAs; this segment of the population lags the rest of the region in employment, median income, and education, while also facing longer-than-average commute times and other quality of life challenges.



For more information about the disparities faced by residents of the region’s EDAs, see CMAP’s policy update series on Economically Disconnected Area clusters in the CMAP region and ON TO 2050 Inclusive Growth Strategy Paper.



Disinvested areas

Disinvested areas are primarily nonresidential and exhibit characteristics of long-term market weakness, including employment loss, low rates of small business lending, and relatively low commercial real estate values. Market weakness can tip off related issues that affect communities like declines in property values, tax receipts, employment, and population.


Read more in the Reinvestment and Infill ON TO 2050 Strategy Paper


Economically Disconnected Areas and disinvested areas

To advance ON TO 2050’s inclusive growth principle, CMAP identified two interrelated geographies: Economically Disconnected Areas (EDAs) and disinvested areas. EDAs identify concentrations of low-income and minority or limited English proficiency households, whereas disinvested areas outline places with long-run decline in employment and other markers of commercial market weakness. 


Analysis of these areas helps advance the inclusive growth goals of ON TO 2050:

  • rebuilding communities, increasing local revenues, and enhancing local government capacity and expertise (Community)
  • broadening opportunities for innovation and promoting pathways for upward economic mobility (Prosperity)
  • growing the ability of vulnerable populations to respond to environmental challenges and improving environmental conditions and access to nature for those populations (Environment)
  • promoting tax policy reforms and technical assistance to communities (Governance)
  • improving mobility options that spur economic opportunity for low income communities, people of color, and people with disabilities (Mobility)

Areas that are both EDAs and disinvested areas

EDAs and disinvested areas overlap in some of the older areas in the region where homes were often built alongside and to serve industrial and commercial facilities, frequently no longer active. Today, these areas are home to both low-income minority and limited English proficiency communities as well as weak demand for nonresidential land uses.