Revitalizing Urban Neighborhoods

Edited by W. Dennis Keating, Norman Krumholz, and Philip Star

Since the 1950s and the advance of urban renewal, local governments and urban policy have focused heavily on the central business district. Today, promoters of downtown development still emphasize office and retail expansion, convention centers, sports arenas, festival market places, and tourist attractions. But, as the authors of this volume demonstrate, such development has all but ignored the inner-city neighborhoods that continue to struggle in the shadows of high-rise America.

Revitalizing Urban Neighborhoods addresses that alarming oversight. This up-to-date analysis of urban neighborhoods in the United States from 1960 to 1995 presents fifteen original and thought-provoking essays by many of the leading scholars of urban planning and development. Together they show how urban neighborhoods can and must be preserved as economic, cultural, and political centers.

“This book is particularly effective in its discussion of the policy implications of large theoretical questions about urban revitalization that often go unexamined.

—American Planning Association Journal

“A comprehensive, cohesive, and up-to-date assessment of the prospects for community-led initiatives to bring about healthier, progressive cities. While acknowledging that there are broad political and economic forces that buffet the city and that are outside residents’ immediate control, the contributors identify ways in which even low-income neighborhoods can take things, productively, into their own hands. The collection strikes the right balance between visionary optimism and hard-headed realism.”

—Jeffrey R. Henig, author of Neighborhood Mobilization: Redevelopment and Response

See all reviews...

In this unique resource, the authors examine the growth and evolution of urban neighborhoods; illustrate what approaches have and haven't worked in a number of U.S. cities, including Chicago, Detroit, Cleveland, Los Angeles, Boston, and Minneapolis; investigate the expansion and widespread successes of Community Development Corporations in neighborhoods around the country; provide a comprehensive analysis of federal policies; and discuss the prospects of urban neighborhoods from a realistic perspective.

These authors remind us that, as Americans lead more mobile and private lives, the role of urban neighborhoods has changed dramatically in the wake of declining population, jobs, and community spirit. After reviewing these unsettling trends, they assess the current status of urban neighborhoods and revitalization projects and point the way to alternative policies.

While other works have addressed individual issues of urban revitalization, none provide the comprehensive and practical overview found in this volume. It is an invaluable source for students, educators, and practitioners of urban planning and development and anyone concerned with the prosperity of America's cities and the future of her neighborhoods.

About the Author

W. Dennis Keating is professor and associate dean of the Levin College of Urban Affairs at Cleveland State University and the author of Cleveland: A Metropolitan Reader and The Suburban Racial Dilemma: Housing and Neighborhoods. Norman Krumholz is professor of urban planning at Cleveland State University and coauthor of Re-Inventing Cities: Equity Planners Tell Their Stories. Philip Star is director of the Center for Neighborhood Development at Cleveland State University.

Additional Titles in the Studies in Government and Public Policy Series