From the Editor

This issue of Cityscape differs from all that have preceded it. Instead of presenting a group of articles on a specific theme, this volume contains a single, unique study of stable, racially and ethnically diverse urban communities.

The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development worked with the Policy Research Action Group (PRAG) to study the factors central to creating and sustaining viable, inclusive, diverse, stable urban neighborhoods. In each of nine cities presented here, PRAG coordinated a team of researchers and local community-based partners to: interview residents, businesspeople, and community leaders; review key documents; and otherwise assess the basis for diversity and stability within these special neighborhoods. Each team also drew on prior studies and census analyses.

Two distinct models of stable, diverse communities emerge from this study. The first model includes deliberate efforts to maintain a balance of African-American and Caucasian residents in an already self-aware, middle-income neighborhood. The second model is reflected in a multi-ethnic, multiracial neighborhood -- "beyond black and white" -- that focuses on a community identity and on maintaining economic and racial stability as a byproduct of other assets.

Given the considerable -- and constant -- media emphasis on forces that destabilize and segregate urban communities, this encouraging study of diversity protected, even celebrated, may pleasantly surprise as well as inform Cityscape readers.
Xavier de Souza Briggs
Xavier de Souza Briggs
Deputy Assistant Secretary for Research, Evaluation, and Monitoring