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Cities and Neighborhoods

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Our research on cities and communities cuts across several Urban Institute specialties—housing trends, crime prevention, economic development, arts and culture, and more.

Our urban studies define much of our history, from evaluations of community development corporations in poor neighborhoods to road-tested ideas for rebuilding New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina, to more recent projects helping policymakers monitor communities' progress. We also work closely with local groups to grasp and address the Washington, D.C., area's challenges. Read more.

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Partner Spotlight: The Data Center and the New Orleans Index (Research Report)
Alexandra Derian

During the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina, The Data Center developed the New Orleans Index to track storm recovery. Since then, the Index has expanded to cover a wide variety of indicators that chart long-term growth and progress in New Orleans. Indicators include job growth, employment, entrepreneurship, workforce development, incarceration, minority-owned businesses, and poverty. This article describes how the Index was developed and the ways it has been used to frame specific policy discussions about employment inequality in New Orleans.

Posted to Web: March 23, 2015Publication Date: March 23, 2015

Evolving Patterns in Diversity: Mapping America's Futures, Brief 2 (Research Report)
Steven Martin, Nan Astone, H. Elizabeth Peters, Rolf Pendall, Austin Nichols, Kaitlin Franks, Allison Stolte

From 2010 to 2030 the United States will become more racially and ethnically diverse, but demographic projections suggest the patterns of increasing diversity will vary widely across cities and regions. We project changes in the population shares across geographies for four major groups: Hispanics, non-Hispanic blacks, non-Hispanic whites, and non-Hispanic others. Though growing diversity across the United States will be welcome in many ways, it will also bring challenges to areas in which different groups increase in population share.

Posted to Web: January 20, 2015Publication Date: January 20, 2015

The Labor Force in an Aging and Growing America: Mapping America's Futures, Brief 4 (Research Report)
Austin Nichols, Steven Martin, Nan Astone, H. Elizabeth Peters, Rolf Pendall, Kaitlin Franks, Allison Stolte

From 2010 to 2030, patterns of labor force participation will change across regions of the United States. In some regions, the primary demographic effect will be changes in age structure, which will drive declines in labor force participation rates. In other regions, in-migration and changes in the racial and ethnic composition of the adult population will primarily increase the numbers of the "dependent population"-people not in the labor force. Still other regions will have to accommodate both sharply declining participation rates and sharply increasing nonparticipants. These diverse patterns of changes in labor force participation pose different challenges to regions.

Posted to Web: January 20, 2015Publication Date: January 20, 2015

Methodology and Assumptions for the Mapping America's Futures Project: Mapping America's Futures, Brief 5 (Research Report)
Austin Nichols, Steven Martin, Kaitlin Franks

The Mapping America's Futures project has developed multiple series of population projections for 740 commuting zones in the United States by age, race, and ethnicity. This brief explains the assumptions and methodology of our population projections.

Posted to Web: January 20, 2015Publication Date: January 20, 2015

Scenarios for Regional Growth from 2010 to 2030: Mapping America's Futures, Brief 1 (Research Report)
Rolf Pendall, Steven Martin, Nan Astone, Austin Nichols, Kaitlin Franks, Allison Stolte, H. Elizabeth Peters

National population projections from the Census Bureau foresee growth of nearly 49 million people between 2010 and 2030. We explore where in the United States that growth could occur using scenarios from Urban Institute's new "Mapping America’s Futures: Population" tool. The scenarios provide food for thought about how birth, mortality, and migration might play out differently across the nation. All three of these fundamental demographic drivers will affect a region's future age structure, labor force composition, and diversity. Conversely, a region's age structure, labor force composition, and diversity today will affect birth, death, and migration in the future.

Posted to Web: January 20, 2015Publication Date: January 20, 2015

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