America’s Middle Neighborhoods: Setting the Stage for Revival

By Alan Mallach, Senior Fellow, Center for Community Progress

This report was prepared by Center for Community Progress in partnership
with the 
Lincoln Institute of Land Policy.

Read the full report on the Lincoln Institute of Land Policy’s website.

A policy brief that summarizes this report is also available from the Lincoln Institute of Land Policy.

In this paper, Alan Mallach attempts to provide a comprehensive framework to encourage thinking about the growing challenges faced by the middle neighborhoods of the nation’s legacy cities and their inner-ring suburbs. Beginning with a discussion of alternative ways of defining and measuring middle neighborhoods, Alan proposed a typological framework that links a neighborhood’s trajectory to five factors: market trends, racial and ethnic characteristics and transitions, physical form, and location. That is followed by an exploration of the challenges these neighborhoods face today and those they may face in the future, with particular emphasis on the distinct challenges facing predominately African-American middle neighborhoods. A closing section offers a number of key strategies for revival of middle neighborhoods, while an appendix outlines a future middle neighborhoods research agenda.