Metropolitan Contexts for Community Initiatives: Contrasts in Turbulent Decade

Report by G. Thomas Kingsley, Kaitlin Franks, Ashley Williams
November 2010

Urban Institute   (NNIP Coordinator)

The potential of community development in a neighborhood is strongly influenced by conditions in its metropolitan area.  This report presents relevant conditions in the metropolitan areas that are the contexts for two major comprehensive community development initiatives being operated by the Local Initiatives Support Corporation (LISC) with support from the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation.  These are the New Communities Initiative (operating in Chicago) and the Sustainable Communities Initiative (operating in 12 metros, Detroit, Duluth, Houston, Indianapolis, Kansas City, Milwaukee, Minneapolis-St. Paul, Philadelphia, Providence, San Diego, San Francisco, and Washington DC).

We look at changing trends in these areas against the backdrop of comparable data for America’s 100 largest metropolitan areas.  Section 1 introduces the metros by reviewing indicators on demographic conditions, social conditions and poverty levels.  Section 2 then examines dynamics of the economies of these metropolitan areas since 2000, and Section 3 does the same for their housing markets.