What Works in Revitalizing Distressed Older Suburban Areas?

About the author

Jonathan Morgan

Jonathan Morgan is a School of Government faculty member.

linkedin
Share on Google+
Share on Reddit
Share on Tumblr

Jonathan Morgan is a School of Government faculty member.

This is a continuation of the series of blog posts focused on “What Works” in economic development.  Two previous posts (Part I, Part II)  identified some effective strategies for incubating small start-up businesses. This post highlights a recent study that offers insight into what communities can do to revitalize older suburban areas that are experiencing chronic economic and social distress.

The findings are presented in a report titled “Revitalizing Distressed Older Suburbs” that was prepared by participating researchers involved in the What Works Collaborative, which is funded by several foundations interested in promoting evidence-based housing and urban policy in the U.S.  The researchers conducted in-depth case studies of four distressed suburban areas with majority African American populations:

  • East Cleveland, Ohio  (pop. 17K)
  • Inkster, Michigan (suburb of Detroit; pop. 25K)
  • Chester, Pennsylvania (midway between Philadelphia and Wilmington, DE; pop. 34K)
  • Prichard, Alabama (suburb of Mobile; pop. 23K)

Once prosperous and vibrant, all four of these suburban cities now suffer from high poverty, declining employment, fiscal pressures, low-performing schools, sub-standard housing, and shrinking populations.

The report discusses the lessons learned from the case study research related to the following issues and their roles in revitalizing older distressed suburbs:

  • housing and community development
  • concentrated poverty
  • trust in government
  • anchor institutions
  • education
  • local government capacity
  • regional collaboration
  • state programs
Jonathan Morgan (55 Posts)

Jonathan Morgan is a School of Government faculty member.


Leave a Comment

NOTE - You can use these HTML tags and attributes:
<a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>