The creation of mixed-income developments, with housing for residents of a variety of social and economic backgrounds, is central to the “Plan for Transformation” of public housing in Chicago. One view of mixed-income developments is that they are about more than building quality housing: they are about rebuilding urban neighborhoods. This goal is often talked about in terms of “building community.” But how is this task being defined, and what are reasonable expectations for building community in mixed-income developments?
Our exploration into these questions focuses on four issues:
- Expectations for what mixed-income developments may accomplish
- Strategies used to build community in them
- Early resident responses to these strategies
- Implications for practice and policy moving forward
This brief is based on a longer paper, Building "Community" in Mixed-Income Developments: Assumptions, Approaches and, Early Experiences (Chaskin and Joseph, 2010, Urban Affairs Review 45(3): 299-335).