Neighborhood: General

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This article is intended to serve students and scholars of the social and behavioral sciences as well as professional planners and designers who are interested in the social context of their work. The first section presents an analysis of neighborhood characteristics and neighborhood change by social scientists, throughout the twentieth century. It goes from the emphasis on primary relations of the Chicago School, through the analysis of the loss of neighborly relations in big modern cities, towards a more diverse empirical examination of neighborhoods. It reviews several models of neighborhood change, including the invasion–succession model, and the life-cycle model, as well as the models of the political economy and the social movements theory. The second section deals with the neighborhood and its design in the eyes of planners and architects, including the English wards, the American neighborhood unit, the approach of modern international architecture and the recent new urbanism. The third section focuses on poor neighborhoods and the initiatives to regenerate them, analyzing three generations of policies: the bulldozer approach of urban renewal, the comprehensive programs with a social emphasis à la Model Cities, and the more recent plans of gentrification and other forms of public–individual and public–private neighborhood upgrading initiatives. The last section presents some contemporary trends, including urban enclaves and gated communities, and discusses the role of neighborhoods in the society of the twenty-first century.
Original languageAmerican English
Title of host publicationInternational Encyclopedia of the Social & Behavioral Sciences
EditorsNeil J. Smelser, Paul B. Baltes
Place of PublicationOxford
Number of pages7
StatePublished - 2001


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