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?

Some of the Seattle's historic and longstanding neighborhoods, like Chinatown/International District with high proportions of color are seeing displacement of residents.

Seattle Takes Ownership of Its Displacement Challenge

Seattle is tackling displacement by aiming to reduce the systemic and structural barriers in connecting marginalized populations to opportunity.
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.

The Value of a Visit: Community Schools Learn from Each Other

Oakland Unified School District is one of the few full-service community school districts in the country.  What does that mean?  Let’s start with a...

Revitalization With Palm Trees

The trendiest neighborhood in West Palm Beach is Northwood, a collection of historic districts, fading industrial areas, and blocks of small bungalows and grand...

Portland Gets Proactive on Gentrification

We've been talking about gentrification and displacement a bunch here on Rooflines recently. One of the perennial problems in dealing with...
farm stand in lot.

(The Urgent Case for) Middle Neighborhoods, One of the Most Overlooked Assets in America

Middle neighborhoods are places where home prices are generally affordable to the average household. But, these neighborhoods are often on the edge between growth and decline.
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.

Gentrification and the “Slums of Beverly Hills”

In 1998, when Slums of Beverly Hills was released, I lived in West Los Angeles, relatively near (in LA...
Chicago resident Tom Gordon speaks to a crowd. He, as well as other organizers, are fighting for a citywide community benefits campaign.

Chicago Activist Convention Shifts Focus to Community Benefits Campaign

Standing on a truck in front of a group of several hundred protesters, Tom Gordon expressed a feeling shared often at the ONE Northside...
row of dark brick houses

What Is the Future of the Black Urban Middle Neighborhood?

What does the future hold for urban Black middle and working class neighborhoods in cities, and is there any way to shape it?

Transforming Vacant Land Into Community Assets

Vacant land activities can be low cost and high impact; the price of failure is not steep, but the return on investment can be high.

The Dangers of Being an “Armchair” Anything

The East Side Commercial Historic District is an enclave of historic structures representing a fascinating cross-section of Milwaukee’s eastern commercial development...

Why Can’t Harlem Stop Gentrification?

In his May New York Times editorial, “The End of Black Harlem,” Michael Henry Adams portrays the historic African-American...

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.
homeless camp under bridge

Shelter Shorts—The Week in Community Development, May 4

A Trauma-Centered Approach to Youth Violence in Cleveland | We May Know Who Benefits From Port Covington | What Housing Crisis? | Clearing Homeless Encampments in Philadelphia | Restaurant Tax for Affordable Housing
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.

Forget NSP, Tax Credits Will Save Neighborhoods

If we want to revitalize neighborhoods, we must recognize that it’s a multiyear project. It should be an income tax credit program for three reasons:

The Two Vacancy Crises in America’s Cities

Vacant properties are a serious problem in two kinds of neighborhoods. To address them, we need to know which kind we’re looking at.
speech conversation balloons

Starting Conversations with Public Art

An arts collaboration comes up with a creative spark to facilitate discussions about neighborhood change.
A man and a woman stand in front of a chalkboard sign that reads "This House Could Be ..."The man is writing on the board, as many others have done. Some of the suggestions for what the house could be include a community gathering space and a senior center.

Rebellion Spurs Opportunity and a New Housing Movement

How a Baltimore collaborative plans to make shared-equity housing a significant sector in the local housing market.