Articles by

Sarah Goodyear

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    Photo: A "Robust Engagement" workshop was part of the Civic Innovation in Action Studio, May 12-14. Photo by Tom Clark for Knight Foundation. Overview: Knight Foundation hosted 100 civic innovators at a Civic Innovation in Action Studio in Miami May 12 -14 to explore ways to harness talent, advance opportunity and promote robust engagement. If you spend any time at all reading about American cities and what is happening in them today, the word “gentrification” will certainly have bubbled to the top of your consciousness, usually in a negative context. There’s no question that as cities have regained popularity among more affluent and upwardly mobile Americans, gentrification – with its attendant ills of displacement and homogenization – can cause problems. The story that isn’t told as much is the one about how many places aren’t being gentrified -- the places where poverty is chronic and entrenched. According to a report on the nation’s largest metro areas from Impresa Consulting, of 1,100 census tracts with poverty rates in excess of 30 percent in 1970, 750 still had poverty topping that rate 40 years later. So what works to change the reality of entrenched disinvestment and poverty? As research for Knight Foundation’s recent Civic Innovation in Action Studio, we asked several civic leaders with a track record of successful redevelopment of disinvested neighborhoods for their thoughts on how to turn around troubled neighborhoods. Here are some of the themes that emerged.