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 Community Planning Process–Even A Good One–Is Not Enough

Just the inherent language of community “transformation” signals that what has come before is not worth holding on to, and renders the history of these public housing sites insignificant.

Can Banksy Make New York City Affordable Again?

Earlier this month Shelterforce posted a conversation about gentrification that posed many different questions about the term and its role in community...
segregation of Atlantic City

In Atlantic City, the Legacy of Segregation and Redlining Endures

The legacy of racist housing policy shapes—and disempowers—Black, largely urban, neighborhoods to this day, and can be seen in places like the Northside neighborhood of Atlantic City, New Jersey.

Fighting Displacement Fights Crime

There's an utterly fascinating recent post by John Roman on the Metrotrends Blog of the Urban Institute called “Gentrification Will...

Can You Have Revitalization Without Displacement?

Derek Avery is providing middle- and low-income housing in struggling neighborhoods. And his company doesn’t stop at housing. It's building education resources and investing in community.

What Is Gentrification, Anyway?

Say the word “gentrification” in a room of community development practicioners and you're likely to get a cacophony of responses. Alan Mallach sparked a debate...
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.

Interview with Mayor Ivy Taylor, San Antonio, Texas

The first African-American mayor of the largely Latino and Anglo city, and strongly identified as an urban planner, Taylor casts herself as someone interested more in getting work done than leaving a political legacy. However, she has not shied away from controversial positions, and her initial position that she would not be running for re-election fell by the wayside as she announced her candidacy on February 16, less than two weeks after this interview.

Myths and Realities About Cycles: Avoiding the Inevitability Trap

About a year ago I wrote a post about Paul Krugman and whether building luxury housing could mitigate the...

How to Fund Land Banks

The number of land banks grew dramatically in the wake of the foreclosure crisis. So has our understanding of how to successfully fund them.

“Detroitism”: What’s the Role for Community Developers?

Guernica, a self-described “magazine of art and politics,” has a fascinating essay by Wayne State University professor John Patrick Leary about the “ruin porn”...

Conflict and Placemaking in Humboldt Park: La Crucifixion

It took 10 years, but a local Chicago activist managed to save a mural that portrays Pedro Albizu Campos, the leader of the movement for Puerto Rican independence.

Help Restore Post-Katrina NOLA Neighborhoods by Tearing Down the Freeway

As we reflect on the five years that have passed since Hurricane Katrina devastated New Orleans, we can observe both progress and much, much...
One-pager showing differences between municipal land banks and community land trusts. Image links to pdf version.

Q: Is a Land Bank the Same As a Land Trust?

A: Nope. They are totally different, though complementary tools. This chart will walk you through the differences.

Cincinnati’s Over-the-Rhine, On the Verge

Cincinnati’s historic and very centrally located Over-the-Rhine neighborhood is poised to become one of America’s greatest revitalization stories, in the process creating a national...

Seattle Eyes Zoning’s Third Rail–Single Family Neighborhoods

My city of Albany, N.Y., is currently going through a rezoning process. Mostly this entails cleaning up a fragmented,...

Move to the Front of the Line

Community preference policies, which give current residents preference for new affordable housing in their neighborhood, have become increasingly controversial. Supporters say these types of policies are a crucial way to fight displacement, but fair housing advocates argue that the policies are exclusionary. Different cities are balancing these two concerns in different ways.
Residents of four historically African-American neighborhoods hold up a sign that reads "This Land is Our Land! #TentCityATL"

The Right to Stay Put

There is much work to be done around housing and equitable development, but the solution is not simply to move people around. A key challenge is creating real choice.
An image that says "Stop Gentrification in Pilsen."

NPR: “Gentrification May Be a Boon To Longtime Residents”

Studies say that gentrification could be a good thing for low-income residents, but people suffer when they can't afford to stay in their neighborhood. So what's up with these studies?

Small Numbers, Great Expectations: A Case for Rural Investment

“Drop dead” wasn’t an acceptable answer to urban decay in the 1970s. And it isn’t the right answer for struggling rural areas today.