Turning the Corner: Implications of Neighborhood Revitalization for Public Safety, Small Businesses, and Capital Investments

Brief

Turning the Corner: Implications of Neighborhood Revitalization for Public Safety, Small Businesses, and Capital Investments

Abstract

Launched in January 2016, Turning the Corner: Monitoring Neighborhood Change to Prevent Displacement piloted a research model in five cities to monitor neighborhood change, drive informed government action, and support displacement prevention and inclusive revitalization. The project was motivated by a desire to understand displacement pressures in cities with recovering or moderately strong housing markets.

When investments increase in long-disinvested neighborhoods, community life changes. Three issues emerged in multiple Turning the Corner sites that other cities should consider in their efforts to prevent displacement of longer-term residents and businesses in areas with strengthening real estate markets.

  • Neighborhood change can shift patterns of crime, community norms, and perceptions of public safety in ways that can cause longer-term residents to feel unwelcome or threatened. Including residents’ perspectives in analyses of neighborhood change can help community members and leaders develop grounded policy options.
  • Small businesses, especially those that rent space, can face displacement pressures like those experienced by residents. The public sector can help mitigate displacement by ensuring information, supports, and resources are available to business owners working to weather neighborhood change.
  • Large-scale investments, such as a new transit stop, medical facility, or education campus, can benefit neighborhoods, but also can increase displacement pressures by attracting additional investments that hasten change. When planning for such investments, policymakers should analyze possible effects on housing affordability and consider how to mitigate displacement risks.

The Turning the Corner project was guided by the Urban Institute’s National Neighborhood Indicators Partnership (NNIP) and the Federal Reserve-Philanthropy Initiative, a collaboration between the Restoring Prosperity in Older Industrial Cities Working Group of the Funders’ Network for Smart Growth and Livable Communities and several Federal Reserve district banks. Local participating sites included Buffalo, New York; Detroit, Michigan; Milwaukee, Wisconsin; Phoenix, Arizona; and the Twin Cities (Minneapolis and St. Paul), Minnesota.

Other Turning the Corner publications include a project overview,  a brief on overarching lessons from the five sites and a guide on data for measuring neighborhood change. For more information, visit NNIP’s Turning the Corner project website.

Thumbnail Image Courtesy of Cassandra Leopold

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