This essay analyzes and syntheses key theories and concepts on neighborhood change from the literature on anchor institutions, university engagement, gentrification, neighborhood effects, Cold War, Black liberation studies, urban political economy, and city building. To deepen understanding of the Columbia University experience, we complemented the literature analysis with an examination of the New York Times and Amsterdam newspapers from 1950 to 1970. The study argues that higher education’s approach to neighborhood revitalization during the urban renewal age, as well as in the post-1990 period, produced undesirable results and failed to spawn either social transformation or build the neighborly community espoused by Lee Benson and Ira Harkavy. The essay explains the reasons why and concludes with a section on a more robust strategy higher education can pursue in the quest to bring about desirable change in the university neighborhood.
This article examines perceptions of institutional encroachment and community responses to it in Buffalo, NY. Specifically, we focus on residents’ perceived effects of anchor institution (e.g. hospital and university) expansion on core city neighbourhoods. Through this analysis we offer insights into the processes driving neighbourhood displacement in the contemporary period. Data were collected through a series of focus groups with residents and other stakeholders in working class, minority neighbourhoods which were identified as being in the early stages of neighbourhood revitalization. A total of nine focus groups were held across three neighbourhoods experiencing encroachment due to institutional investments. The focus groups were held during the fall of 2017. The data were coded and analysed using ATLAS.ti software. The analysis was guided by standpoint theory, which focuses on amplifying the voices of groups traditionally disenfranchised from urban planning and policy processes. The findings from the analysis highlight how the expansion of anchor institutions transforms the built environment, neighbourhood identity, and everyday life in urban communities. Residents perceived change brought on by institutional encroachment as relatively unabated and unresponsive to grassroots concerns. On balance, residents perceived the benefit of neighbourhood revitalization accruing to anchor institutions while low-income, minority
residents cope with negative externalities in a disproportionate manner. This led to heightened concerns about residential displacement and concomitant changes in their neighbourhoods’ built and social environments.
This article revisits Arnstein’s “ladder of citizen participation” focusing on inner-city residents’ perceptions of public input in neighborhood revitalization projects. It draws from data collected in Buffalo, New York for a larger project that aimed to address negative externalities caused
by neighborhood change. Data were collected using focus groups in neighborhoods in the early stages of revitalization. Nine focus groups took place across three neighborhoods experiencing encroachment from hospitals and universities. Data analysis was guided by standpoint theory, which
focuses on amplifying the voices of groups traditionally disenfranchised from planning processes. The findings suggest that the shortcomings of public input identified by Arnstein a half century ago remain problematic. Residents continue to perceive limited access to urban planning processes
and believe outcomes do not prioritize their interests. This is particularly problematic in minority, working-class neighborhoods when institutionally driven development occurs. Recommendations emphasize enhancing planners’ fidelity to strategies that expand citizen control.
This article examines residents’ perceptions of inner-city revitalization in legacy cities. The analysis focuses on neighborhoods undergoing revitalization in a legacy city, Buffalo, NY. The article draws from data for a larger research project called Turning the Corner which was sponsored by the Urban Institute. The focus of that project was to identify planning strategies to address negative externalities caused by neighborhood change and heightened risks of displacement due to revitalization. Data were collected through a series of focus groups with residents and stakeholders
in working-class, minority neighborhoods which were identified as being in the early stages of revitalization. Two findings emerged from the analysis. First, residents perceived urban revitalization to have a destabilizing effect on traditional neighborhoods. Second, residents perceived revitalization as detrimental to the sustainability of family-friendly neighborhoods. Insights from the analysis are used to prompt planners’ advocacy for revitalization strategies aimed at protecting minority, working-class neighborhoods when institutionally driven revitalization occurs.