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?

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.

Heard and Not Forgotten

What started out as a "weird art project" in Toronto is providing aural illustrations into a northern New Jersey community's past, and, organizers hope, laying the groundwork for the future.

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...

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.
An African-American man and woman stand happily outside on their front porch. The woman is wearing a red coat and a black and white hate, while the man is reader a read Oakland A's hat and a black jacket.

Getting Ahead of Gentrification in the South Side of Columbus

More than a decade after several groups came together to improve substandard housing in the South Side of Columbus, signs of gentrification and forced displacement are beginning to emerge. Can something be done so current residents can afford to stay in their neighborhoods for years to come? The short answer is yes.
drawing of homes in a tree

A Community-Centered Perspective on Displacement

In some communities, diverse economic networks have been and remain critical to the ability of community members to survive and thrive.

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.

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.

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...

Claiming Space

Community-driven art projects are helping to define and reshape neighborhood spaces in Philadelphia.

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...
Several groups gather at the Bayou Bienvenue to rid the area of water hyacinths. Joint efforts like this help build neighborhood resilience.

NOLA Brings a Holistic Focus to Resilience

Cities cannot weather the effects of climate change without going beyond infrastructure to address institutional racism, historical inequities, and access to physical and mental health services.

Police Train in Public Housing, Terrorizing Neighboring Residents

When Lauren Manning, a resident of the Ida Yarbrough Homes in Albany, N.Y., posted this public photo on her Facebook page, she probably didn't...

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...

Down and Out in the Big Easy

“Homeless outreach!” calls out Mike Miller as he ducks through a busted wall to climb the steps of an abandoned house in New Orleans’...
Black Panther newsletter from 1969

What Black Panther-inspired Gift to Oakland Should Have Looked Like

Disney's Black Panther-inspired gift to Oakland children is great, but there is a way it could be better.

Blocking Crime: How Block Clubs are Saving Chicago’s Neighborhoods

Several agencies came together in 1996 to clear drug dealers from the corners and vacant lots in the 800 block of North Harding Avenue. The effort, dubbed the “Super Block Project,” involved the city of Chicago, police officers from the 11th District, the West Humboldt Park Family and Community Development Council and Neighborhood Housing Services of Chicago, a nonprofit agency that helps poor families with home ownership.

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...
Boston residents participants marched to a nearby national gathering of YIMBYs with a sign that reads "Displacement is the Crisis ... We Are The Answer."

What We Don’t Know About Development and Displacement

The data on the relationship between new development, affordability, and displacement is not nearly as clear-cut as advocates (of all persuasions) often imply.

7 Policies That Could Prevent Gentrification

The following are seven policy initiatives that could be part of a community stabilization agenda using smart growth and equitable investments to prevent or mitigate gentrification in Roxbury and other at-risk neighborhoods in Boston.