How can we systematically track and analyze the indicators that lead to neighborhood development?

Research Project Name

Investigating Downtown Neighborhood Resurgence

What We Did

We analyzed the factors driving the resurgence of downtown and adjacent neighborhoods in the Midwest. We focused on seven Midwestern cities — Minneapolis, Milwaukee, Chicago, Cincinnati, St. Louis, Detroit, and Cleveland — including 56 neighborhoods under our assessment. We tapped multiple data sources such as median age, household growth, economic diversity, transportation accessibility, rental rates, and apartment occupancy to investigate the range of preconditions that yield neighborhood development.

Based on our initial analysis, we then used two case studies — Corktown, Detroit, and Walker’s Point, Milwaukee — to test the scalability and applicability of our findings. With these case studies, we were able to identify key themes around the process of neighborhood change. For further insight into market nuances, we interviewed two key area stakeholders: Farpoint, a development trust in Chicago, and the Department of City Development in Milwaukee.

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Andre Brumfield, Alice Davis, Wes Leblanc, Steve Wilson

Year Completed