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?

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.

Drexel to Follow in Penn’s Community-University Footsteps

The University of Pennsylvania is well-known as a leader in community-university partnerships, and especially the kind that actually try to build community wealth. Under...
mixed-income townhome development

The Geography of Mixed-Income Neighborhoods

Where are "naturally-occurring" mixed income neighborhoods, how do we support them, and how do we use them as examples to model?

Greening Vacant Land

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

Interview with George McCarthy, President of the Lincoln Institute of Land Policy

After 14 years at the Ford Foundation, George "Mac" McCarthy became the fifth president of the 41-year-old Lincoln Institute of Land Policy.

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...
mural artist

Arts Build Community

CDCs now recognize that art and cultural activities can be useful tools toward building a community's identity, meaning, and spirit. But bank regulators have not yet reached a sufficient level of comfort with this new strategy.

Flint: The Un-Sprawl

You’ve probably seen the most recent story in The New York Times about the troubles facing Flint, Michigan, and the latest in an ongoing...

The Case of NYCHA’s Disappearing Open Space

What looks to a public housing authority like "unused development rights" often looks to public housing residents like important gathering places.

Interpreting Segregation

The Poverty & Race Research Action Council has received a number of inquiries on the widely publicized report from the...

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.

Making Light Rail Stop for Us

A promising, billion-dollar Twin Cities light rail project almost bypassed lower-income neighborhoods on its route, but thanks to a coalition of community groups, it will now make all local stops.
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.

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...

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.

Who Is a Gentrifier, and What Should They Do?

As people with choices move back into (some) urban areas that were abandoned/systematically disinvested from decades ago, gentrification is...
A group of people stand behind a red ribbon before the opening of an art exhibit at a charter school. To the right, youngsters prepare to cut the ribbon with large scissors.

Charter Schools, Gentrification, and Weighted Lotteries

Charter schools in gentrifying neighborhoods have the power to exacerbate the inequity that exists between low-income residents and wealtheir newcomers. How can they use their power to instead ensure their student populations are as diverse as the neighborhoods they operate in?

3 Things for Nonprofits to Remember About Abandoned Properties

“'Do nothing' is not an option.” So says Jerry Flach, construction project director at Paterson Habitat for Humanity, of the need to take action on...

Above the Fray?

As the school reform debates rage on, community groups struggle to stay out of the politics and yet keep influencing the quality of education in their neighborhoods.

Do Developers Know They’ll Get Old, Too?

Mid-July marked the 20th anniversary of more than 700 Chicagoans dying in a heat wave. When the temperature peaked at 106 degrees on July...