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?

The Soul of the Neighborhood

Why do we call community-based development an "industry" rather than a "movement" these days? "Industry" is such a satisfyingly hard-nosed word. It says, 'we...
store closing

The Displacement Crisis of Immigrant-Owned Small Businesses

Growth of new business is a sign of a robust economy, but New York City’s true success hinges on ensuring that all residents have access to opportunity and community resources.

Seattle Neighborhood Planning

At first glance, the Neighborhood Planning Program in Seattle, Washington, sounds like a remarkably progressive idea. Begun in 1995, the program is one of...

An Urban School Reduces Violence . . . With Nonviolence

When students feel like they are in jail when at school and the adults around them consider them all potential...

Stop Talking About Displacement

A well informed community organizing effort with a targeted purpose should be the first line of defense in protecting opportunities for wealth building and access to opportunities for upward mobility in working class communities as they experience inevitable changes.

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...

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.

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...
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.

Still Learning, After All These Years

I had a great education and was fortunate enough to have scholarships to become the first in my family to obtain a Master’s degree. But I made a career choice in 1974 to forego a PhD for experiential learning. I didn’t know that at the time. For me it was a job then not just […]

Millennials, Revisited

As both Joe Cortright of the City Observatory and I have written, Millennials—people who have reached adulthood since the beginning of the millennium—and...

How We Connect: Bridging the Gap Between Neighborhoods Through Public Land

When I worked as a local newspaper reporter, it was frustrating to see community members with ideas of how to transform or beautify their...

Core and Periphery: “Trading Places”?

In a cover story for the latest issue of The New Republic, Governing Magazine editor Alan Ehrenhalt proclaims that the American city has reinvented...

Where’s the Alt-City?

On a trip yesterday into Richmond, Va., I made sure to pick up some of the free media that clutter the doorways of bookshops...
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?

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...

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.
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.
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.
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...