Please enjoy the following article from the Journal of Urban Affairs, available online.
Over the edge: Trajectories of African-American middle neighborhoods in St. Louis since 2000, by Alan Mallach
The phenomenon of the middle neighborhood, those urban working-class neighborhoods that are, in Paul Brophy’s words, “not in deep distress but not thriving either,” has not been widely studied, particularly African-American middle neighborhoods. This article calls attention to the large number of such neighborhoods that emerged in the 1970s in the wake of White flight and examines the trajectory of those neighborhoods in St. Louis since 2000, showing how the great majority of these neighborhoods, after decades of relative stability, have seen devastating social, economic, and housing market decline since 2000. The article examines the roles of subprime lending and the foreclosure crisis, as well as accelerated suburbanization of Black middle-class families since 2000, as central factors in the decline; explores the effect of the decline on Black homeowners’ equity as well as the larger social and political configuration of the city; and suggests policy directions to address the decline of these neighborhoods.