Fall 2019

The front cover of the Fall 2017 edition of Shelterforce magazine.

It should be no surprise that transportation access is the No. 1 factor in lifting adults out of poverty, an often overlooked finding from the last several years’ wave of big data research into economic mobility, or the lack thereof, in this country. In this way, the question of transportation is directly bound up with the work of community developers, who are trying to further healthy communities and opportunities for people who have been marginalized.

Scroll down to read more, plus other features and columns from this issue, or purchase a copy to hold in your hands.

Q: Did Extending More Credit to Subprime Borrowers Cause the Foreclosure Crisis?

There are people who believe that the foreclosure crisis occurred because too many unqualified borrowers became homeowners. What actually happened was ...

Beyond a New Rail Stop

Expanding rail lines shouldn't dominate transportation talk. Making improvements to existing transit can make a big difference for low-income households.

Don’t Wait to Call in the Artists

If artists are going to bring their creative problem-solving selves to projects, they need to get involved when the problem is being identified.
A woman, wearing a sign, stands and points a finger inside a bus.

Integrating Arts and Culture Strategies into Transit Plans

Three transit projects show how artists, transit agencies, and community groups helped communities envision more equitable outcomes.
A young man prepares to kick a soccer ball during a youth soccer game.

Youth Soccer on Transit Land

For the last 30 years, Atlanta nonprofit Soccer in the Streets has been removing the cost barrier to soccer by offering free programs and uniforms. Two years ago, it increased access to the sport by constructing soccer fields on unused land owned by the city’s transit authority.

Using Ride-Hailing Services to Get Patients to Their Doctors

Health care providers and insurers are trying out new transportation models that could vastly benefit their patients—and their bottom lines.

The Ticket to Opportunity

An Indianapolis-based organization successfully campaigned to bring more funding to the mass transit system in Marion County. How did the organization balance the tension between expanding rail line service and improving bus service, and ensure race was at the forefront of the conversation?
A passenger is dropped off by a dial-a-ride service in 1973.

The Problem with On-Demand “Transit”

While having door-to-door service might seem like an answer for areas poorly served by transit, it’s the wrong answer for both equity and ridership.
A woman wearing sitting in a motorized wheelchair smiles as she navigates her way up a temporary path in Baltimore.

Bike Lanes Aren’t Just a White Thing

Neighborhoods of color are often more dangerous for pedestrians and cyclists, but they are also often left behind when local officials redesign streets to make them safer. How can we change this?
A walkable street in Tennessee.

Blame Zoning, Not Public Transportation, for Displacement

As long as there’s a shortage of transit-rich, walkable neighborhoods, piecemeal solutions to address affordability issues won’t be enough.

Connected Neighborhoods

Transportation is the second largest direct expenditure for American households, after housing. Of course transportation costs vary widely based on where you live, how...

The Inside World of ‘Change Makers’

Reading Utopia for Realists by Rutger Bregman alongside Winners Take All: The Elite Charade of Changing the World by Anand Giridharadas is a fascinating thought experiment.
A doctor and her patient walk outside.

Rural Hospital Struggles are Also an Economic Development Issue

Aside from the health implications, the closure of a hospital in a rural community deeply impacts the area’s economic wellbeing. But in some cases, it can be avoided.
A 200 unit building was built on transit land in California. In front of the building is the San Leandro Bart Station.

Affordable Housing on Transit Land

Transit providers are often major landowners in their communities. These sites are also opportunities to provide desperately needed affordable housing.
A young man repairs a bike as part of a program in Hawaii that offers young men and boys healing spaces.

Informal Gathering Spaces for Healing Community Trauma

All communities—especially those carrying heavy burdens of trauma and inequity—deserve the transformation and resilience that healing spaces can provide.

Racial Diversity in Community Development Leadership: A Roundtable Discussion on the Field’s Past, and...

Several national organizations in the community development field have experienced transitions from white leadership to people of color.
The F Market line is one of several light rail lines in San Francisco that uses historic equipment.

Who Most Needs Access to Core Neighborhoods?

We have a limited number of dense core neighborhoods where getting around without a car and without a lengthy daily commute are possible.