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?

sign defining "gentrification"

It Doesn’t Matter if Your Neighborhood Is Going to Eventually Gentrify

“We could use some gentrification here.” Let's never say this—we must refrain from debating the long-term likelihood of gentrification in distressed places.

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.

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 displacement has always been knowing when to start. Our report...

Gentrification: Is Pop Culture Getting It Right?

Gentefied. In the Heights. Vida. How do storylines and portrayals of gentrification in cinema stack up to how it plays out in real life?

Gentrification Is More Widespread Than We Think

In Miriam Axel-Lute’s recent post here, “Place Matters But Place Changes,” she references “a study done by Governing magazine that found a 20 percent gentrification rate for census tracts in the past decade in...

Cory Booker’s #Neighborhood

If there was some radio silence on Newark, NJ Mayor Cory Booker's Twitter feed on Tuesday, it was only because he was delivering the Democratic Party platform as the DNC...
speech conversation balloons

Starting Conversations with Public Art

An arts collaboration comes up with a creative spark to facilitate discussions about neighborhood change.
Residents of four historically African-American neighborhoods hold up a sign that reads "This Land is Our Land! #TentCityATL"

A Community Benefits Proposal Is Ignored. Is Displacement Far Behind?

Residents of four historically African-American neighborhoods in Atlanta are in the midst of an occupation of Turner Field—the former home of the Atlanta Braves.

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 effects of gentrification. For whatever reason, I just noticed one...
Kennetha Patterson of Homes for All in Nashville speaks on a megaphone during Renter’s Week of Action.

Tenant Power: Organizing for Rent Strikes and Landlord Negotiations

In the face of high rent increases and substandard housing, many tenants are realizing they are not alone in their landlord troubles and are joining together to push for building-level wins, and policy change.
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 large affordable housing development with a large mural that includes Black musicians on the front wall.

Two Paths to Density: Profit vs People

As communities across the country begin promoting density to address the affordable housing crisis, they must grapple with how that housing will be built, and for whom.

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 history. The district comprises three city blocks filled with roughly 40...

Still Learning, After All These Years

How do we build the next generation of leaders? There are many local initiatives on which communities and colleges could better partner in our collective striving to improve lives and the economic health of families.
Front porch with three chairs.

Taking Back the Front Porch: Using Art to Reclaim Community Identity

The front porch is a space in-between our private family space and our more public spaces where we create our own definition of “community.” In many parts of Chicago, this space is often a battleground.

Defensible Space

In the Five Oaks community of Dayton, Ohio, during 1991, violent crimes increased by 77 percent, robberies by 77 percent, vandalism by 38 percent, and overall crime by 16 percent. Drug dealers, pimps, and...

Place Matters, But Place Changes

“Place matters, but place changes,” University of Southern California professor Manuel Pastor observed at the opening plenary at PolicyLink’s 5th Equity Summit, held this week in Los Angeles. This can be seen as both...
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
vacant home with lit windows

6 Ways to Prevent Post-COVID Vacancy

Local governments must explore ways to minimize commercial and residential property deterioration and subsequent vacancy.

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 terms, at least) Beverly Hills. I never saw the movie...

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