Neighborhood Change

As community demographics shift and there’s neighborhood change, what are the issues affecting longstanding and new residents alike? When is change desirable, and when is it undesirable, and how can it be turned to the benefit of those who need it most?

A once-vacant lot in Philadelphia that has been cleaned.

Greening Vacant Lots: Low Cost, Big Effect in Philly

A Philadelphia program is cleaning up abandoned lots, helping formerly incarcerated residents get jobs, and improving the overall health and well-being of neighborhoods.

Greening Vacant Land

Urban agriculture projects bring hope -- and food -- to communities that have long suffered from a glut of empty lots.

Revitalizing Cincinnati’s Over-the-Rhine (Part 3 – the Progress)

This was going to be the final installment of my miniseries about Cincinnati’s remarkable Over-the-Rhine neighborhood, but I’m on too much of a roll...
drawing of homes in a tree

A Community-Centered Perspective on Displacement

In some communities, diverse economic networks have been and remain critical to the ability of community members to survive and thrive.
two couples dance in traditional Mexican ballet folklorico style

Redevelopment That Preserves Cultural Heritage

Preserving and fortifying longstanding culture is key to social cohesion in a community. How can we make sure it's given equal priority when planning for and funding redevelopment?

Author Roundtable

Shelterforce authors discuss the roles of place, mobility, and displacement on health and neighborhoods.

From Eyesores to Assets: CDC Abandoned Property Strategies

To save a neighborhood that’s in danger of going down, you can’t simply add new homes. You have to put the process of decline in reverse

Places of the Heart

Everyone has a story about third places—those gathering places that are not home or work—in the communities they have lived and worked. I wrote...
A panel discussion about Opportunity Zones in Chicago.

Who Will Benefit From Opportunity Zones? It’s Still Unclear

Who will benefit most from these investments remains the biggest question.

Safe Havens

Housing first, yes, but then services, recreation, education: These are all pillars to building strong communities, and most importantly, strong people.
Cover image of Race, Class, and Politics in The Cappuccino City.

A D.C. Neighborhood’s Transformation From “Chocolate” to “Cappuccino”

To longtime residents of D.C., the findings presented in Derek Hyra’s Race, Class, and Politics in the Cappuccino City—that gentrifying neighborhoods’ racial and economic diversity does not translate into integration—is likely not surprising.

Gentrification in Brooklyn the Result of Plans, Not Markets

Doug Henwood, editor/publisher of Left Business Observer, has an interesting piece in the Nation this week that argues that gentrification and displacement in New...

Claiming Space

Community-driven art projects are helping to define and reshape neighborhood spaces in Philadelphia.

In New Jersey’s Hub City, A Push to Change Government Gets Big Government Resistance

In the 1970s, New Brunswick, NJ was struggling. Like other New Jersey cities experiencing the hangover of race riots of the 1960s, the schools...

Building Communities From the Inside Out

In distressed communities across the United States, savvy organizers and leaders are rediscovering ancient wisdom about what builds strong communities, and then developing new...

Home Again

With the help of its local community development corporation, a Boston neighborhood comes to terms with its transformation as a beloved church, long a treasured part of the community is reborn as housing.

How to Fight Vacancy? Do It All

The fight against vacancy in Youngstown, Ohio, shows us that we shouldn’t rely on a single strategy—everything is needed at once.

Can D.C.’s Bridge Park Work for Everyone?

There is a decrepit old bridge extending from 11th Street in southeast Washington, D.C. and across the Anacostia River...

Blocking Crime: How Block Clubs are Saving Chicago’s Neighborhoods

Several agencies came together in 1996 to clear drug dealers from the corners and vacant lots in the 800 block of North Harding Avenue. The effort, dubbed the “Super Block Project,” involved the city of Chicago, police officers from the 11th District, the West Humboldt Park Family and Community Development Council and Neighborhood Housing Services of Chicago, a nonprofit agency that helps poor families with home ownership.

Heard and Not Forgotten

What started out as a "weird art project" in Toronto is providing aural illustrations into a northern New Jersey community's past, and, organizers hope, laying the groundwork for the future.