WAS 1992–2000 THE BEST OF TIMES FOR AMERICAN URBAN NEIGHBORHOODS?*

Authors

  • MICHAEL GREENBERG

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      Dr. Greenberg is the associate dean of the faculty at the Edward J. Bloustein School of Planning and Public Policy and a professor of geography at Rutgers University, New Brunswick, New Jersey 08901-1958.


  • *

    I would like to thank my colleague Frank Popper for engaging in a conversation with me that led to this study. I also acknowledge his careful editing, as well as that of my colleagues Briavel Holcomb and Dona Schneider, and I truly appreciate the thoughtful review and meticulous editing suggestions of two anonymous reviewers.

Abstract

ABSTRACT. A survey of about 400 New Jersey residents was conducted in 2001 in order to determine whether people believed that their home neighborhood benefited during the unprecedented economic boom of the 1990s. In this analysis of public perceptions and trust, most respondents did not perceive that their neighborhood had improved. The strongest correlates of no neighborhood benefits were distrust of government officials and neighbors, low personal efficacy, and lack of civic engagement, as well as fair or poor neighborhood quality. These disillusioning results underscore the difficulty of maintaining healthy neighborhoods in low-trust environments.

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