Restoring America's Neighborhoods: How Local People Make a Difference

Restoring America's Neighborhoods: How Local People Make a Difference

Restoring America's Neighborhoods: How Local People Make a Difference

Restoring America's Neighborhoods: How Local People Make a Difference

Synopsis

The author profiles 24 examples of people who live or work in blighted, or crime-battered areas across the United States. Through in-depth interviews he shows how these citizens have fought to make a difference in the quality of their neighbourhoods and the lives of the residents.

Excerpt

We like passion in our lives, but not in our neighborhoods. Americans want their neighborhoods quiet, stable, tidy, and, above all, safe. Since eighty-five people out of one hundred rate their neighborhood as of "excellent" or "good" quality, most Americans seem to be getting what they want. the remaining 15 percent rate their neighborhood as of "fair" or "poor" quality. I call them "multiple hazard" or "stressed" neighborhoods because they contain so many dangers. This description of a poor- quality neighborhood from an elderly African American resident of Chester, Pennsylvania, is illustrative:

I live in the worst neighborhood anyone could live in. Drive-by shootings, car thefts, young children destroying property, not enough lights, unruly patrons from the local bar. There are drugs, trash in the streets, and odors from rotting garbage. Our property value is zero. This neighborhood is a hazard, and none of the residents deserve it.

I have been in his neighborhood three times. It makes me feel like I'm sitting on top of a ticking time bomb; I never relax. Among the more than three thousand Americans I have surveyed across the United States during the last ten years, I have yet to find anyone who rated his or . . .

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