Community Development Investment Review

August 23, 2016

The Middle Neighborhood Movement, 1970-2000


Since the turn of the 20th Century, a broad range of people and institutions have been concerned with improving neighborhoods in America’s cities. Groups often sprang up in reaction to public projects like highway construction or school demolition. They turned their energy toward keeping the population they had and attracting new residents to neighborhoods that had been losing population. The national convergence of local groups led to significant federal policy changes including the passage of the Community Reinvestment Act. For the last 20 years, however, the national recognition and support of this local energy, and attention to appropriate national policies for neighborhood revitalization, has largely disappeared. Where did that surge in national activity, funding, media attention, research and policy come from and where did it go? What remains and how do we use it to build critical attention to the plight of middle neighborhoods at this moment?

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