Metropolitan Contexts for Community Initiatives: Contrasts in a Turbulent Decade
Kingsley, G. Thomas
Kingsley, G. Thomas and Williams, Ashley (2010) Metropolitan Contexts for Community Initiatives: Contrasts in a Turbulent Decade. Working Paper. UNSPECIFIED. (Unpublished)
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Those implementing community improvement initiatives recognize that conditions in their metropolitan areas have a powerful influence on what they can accomplish at the neighborhood level. A specific neighborhood workforce development strategy cannot be expected to yield the same result in a declining metropolitan labor market as in a metro where job growth is booming. An approach to bolstering neighborhood housing conditions that worked well in a metro with a generally strong housing market is not likely to be as successful in one where the average house price is plummeting. Differences like these, however, are seldom taken into account explicitly. The purpose of this report is to illustrate the wide range in conditions and trends that America’s metropolitan areas have experienced over the past decade to give community planners a basis for thinking about implications for their work. To ground the research, we highlight 14 metros that have been the focus for investment by the Annie E. Casey Foundation over the past decade: Atlanta, Baltimore, Denver, Des Moines, Hartford, Indianapolis, Louisville, Milwaukee, New Haven, Oakland, Providence, San Antonio, Seattle, and Washington DC. As will be shown, these 14 are strikingly diverse along many dimensions and are reasonably representative of the diversity in circumstances that exist across America’s large metropolitan areas.