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Margery Austin Turner
Institute Fellow
Most of us take it for granted that where we live, and especially where our kids grow up, makes a big difference. But this proposition—that neighborhoods matter—is still the topic of spirited debate in the scholarly world. We still have a lot to learn about exactly how our neighborhoods affect our kids. The link between people and the places they live looks less like a one-way arrow than a tangle of feedback loops, where both people and places are changing all the time.

Margery Turner is an Institute fellow at the Urban Institute, focusing on new research and policy programs. She previously served 10 years as Urban's senior vice president for program planning and management and 11 years as director of the Metropolitan Housing and Communities Policy Center. A nationally recognized expert on urban policy and neighborhood issues, Turner has analyzed issues of residential location, racial and ethnic discrimination and its contribution to neighborhood segregation and inequality, and the role of housing policies in promoting residential mobility and location choice. Among her recent publications is the book Public Housing and the Legacy of Segregation.

Before joining Urban, Turner served as deputy assistant secretary for research at the US Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) from 1993 through 1996, focusing HUD's research agenda on the problems of racial discrimination, concentrated poverty, and economic opportunity in America's metropolitan areas. During her tenure, HUD's research office launched three major social science demonstration projects to test different strategies for helping families from distressed inner-city neighborhoods gain access to opportunities through employment and education.

Turner has a BA in political science from Cornell University and an MA in urban and regional planning from the George Washington University.

Research Areas
Neighborhoods, cities, and metros
Social safety net
Race and equity
Land use
Inequality and mobility
Community and economic development
Racial barriers to accessing the safety net
Racial barriers to housing