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Making the Case for America’s Middle Neighborhoods

September 24th, 2018 | Next City

By Kelly Regan, Next City and Stephanie Sung, The American Assembly,
with research by Brianna Williams

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?

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Next City Wants Your Op-Ed about Middle Neighborhoods

August 21st, 2018 | Next City

Next City and The American Assembly are soliciting op-eds about middle neighborhoods—Where are they? Why are they important? And what are the biggest obstacles to addressing their needs?

If you are a resident, community organizer, practitioner, researcher or policymaker working to effect change in middle neighborhoods—and perhaps rewriting the playbook in order to do so—your input is needed.

Neither hot market areas nor overly distressed with falling prices, middle neighborhoods are reasonably affordable, stable, and safe. They are among the most racially and socioeconomically diverse neighborhoods in the nation and play an important role in building opportunity and prosperity. And while they get little national attention, there is a growing movement to document and share strategic interventions and policies that stabilize them.

Which is why we want to hear from you.

On the edge between growth and decline, middle neighborhoods are a subject of growing importance and we’d love to hear your insights. A sample list of Op-Ed topics to address include:

  • How do you define middle neighborhoods? What are their characteristics and why do they matter?
  • What steps have policymakers, planners, developers, activists or residents taken—working alone or together—to protect or stabilize middle neighborhoods?
  • What is the opportunity for coordinated action at a larger scale (regional, state, or federal) to support middle neighborhoods?

Please address all submissions (or pitches) to editor Oscar Perry Abello at oscar@nextcity.org, and include “Middle Neighborhoods Op-Ed Idea” in the subject line. Feel free to submit anything from a few bullet points to a full draft. The deadline for submissions is September 10th, 2018.

If published, Op-Ed submissions will be included in presentation materials at the next national meeting on middle neighborhoods in Cleveland, OH on Nov 13th-14th, 2018. The meeting is presented in partnership by The American Assembly, local community groups and the Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland. Practitioners, policymakers, and researchers will share insights and learn about recent efforts to build the knowledge base around middle neighborhoods. The meeting will also provide practical information about how to mobilize support to better serve these communities. To learn more, visit www.middleneighborhoods.org or contact Stephanie Sung at The American Assembly, ss4336@columbia.edu.

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Press Release: “Congressman Evans Raises Dialogue on Middle Neighborhoods in Congress”

May 19, 2017 | Media Center, Congressman Dwight Evans

By Becca Brukman

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Yesterday, Congressman Dwight Evans (PA-02) hosted a congressional briefing in D.C. to bring together a group of stakeholders who are working on the city, state and federal level to put policies in place that help strengthen our Middle Neighborhoods.

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