Today, nearly half of all residents of U.S. cities live in a middle neighborhood. It’s not a place where real estate is hot, where prices skyrocket and cause displacement. Nor is it a place in distress, overwhelmed by vacancy and neglect. Middle neighborhoods are racially and socioeconomically diverse, historically home to working- and middle-class families. They provide critical opportunities for upward mobility.
Some are stable. Some are threatened by gentrification. Yet many more are at a great risk of tipping into decline.
Neighborhoods are, by nature, constantly in flux. So why does it matter that middle neighborhoods are disappearing?