Fewer job opportunities, rising violence, and failing schools have all shaped the structure of opportunities for both youth and adults in urban communities. However, researchers understand very little about how these factors influence the capacity for adults in urban communities to form meaningful partnerships with youth. First, this article explores how urban environments shape youth–adult partnerships within African-American communities. Second, the article promotes the idea that adult development is a necessary component of effective intergenerational partnerships in urban communities. Third, the article highlights innovative practices that focus on how to support the development of adults to more effectively partner with young people. © 2005 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. J Comm Psychol 33: 101–110, 2005.