From Gray Areas to New Communities: Lessons and Issues from Comprehensive U.S. Neighborhood Initiatives GCP-10-02

Karen Mossberger, Ph.D.
Public Administration
University of Illinois at Chicago

This paper examines the issues embedded in both the comprehensive aspirations and neighborhood focus in approaches towards fighting poverty, campaigning for better conditions and providing education and social services to residents; this is done through exploration of a brief history of major initiatives, and the lessons and needs for the future suggested by that history. In addition to the literature review on previous programs in the U.S., some material is included from interviews on comprehensive neighborhood revitalization efforts in Chicago, especially the New Communities Program (NCP). So far, twenty-one interviews have been conducted, and research will be completed in 2010. This working paper is also part of a cross‐national project comparing neighborhood regeneration in ten countries in North America and Europe, and it builds on a paper presented at a conference on neighborhood initiatives in Britain. Therefore, it highlights issues introduced by the institutional context for U.S. neighborhood revitalization efforts.

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