On the Edge

OVERVIEW

Middle NeighborhoodsPolicymakers in America have long understood that the quality of life in neighborhoods—or the absence of it—matters a great deal to the social and economic vitality of larger cities and surrounding metropolitan regions. This understanding translated into clearing slums in the 1950s and 1960s, improving distressed neighborhoods via community development corporations later in the twentieth century, and seeking communities of opportunity in today’s policy environment.

Largely absent from these policy and redevelopment efforts is the consideration of neighborhoods in the middle. These are neighborhoods that are not in deep distress, but are not thriving either. One way to think about middle neighborhoods is that they are on the edge of transition.

On the Edge aims to stimulate a national dialogue about middle neighborhoods.

The esteemed authors in this volume believe that increasing our understanding of middle neighborhoods will enhance the discussions underway nationally and locally about improving distressed neighborhoods or coping with gentrification. We hope On the Edge sparks new discussions, research, and policies as well as innovative programs that will strengthen and secure the social and economic vitality of middle neighborhoods in all of America’s cities and suburbs.