chapter  7
20 Pages

Neighbourhood change

Within any large city individual neighbourhoods exist in different conditions or life-cycle stages. Several authors have attempted to portray a long-term neighbourhood development cycle by identifying successive land-use stages. Downs (1981) posits a five-stage neighbourhood change model comprising - Stage 1: Stable and viable. These are healthy neighbourhoods, either new and thriving or old and stable, in which property values are rising. Stage 2: Minor decline. These are generally older areas with a level of public services and social status below these typical of stage 1 areas. Minor physical deficiencies are evident in housii." units, density is higher than when the neighbourhood was first develop .. J, property values are stable or increasing slightly and demographically the neighbourhood is characterized by younger families with relatively few resources. Stage 3: Clear decline. The housing sector is dominated by rented accommodation often marked by poor tenant-landlord relations due to high absentee ownership. The area generally has occupants of lower socio-economic status. Minor physical deficiencies are widespread and many structures have been converted to higher-density uses than those for which they were designed. Overall confidence in the area's future is weak and there may be some abandoned housing. Stage 4: Heavily deteriorated. Most housing requires major repair. Properties are marketable only to the lowest socio-economic groups and subsistence level households are numerous. The profitability of rental units is poor and cash-flows are low or even negative leading to widespread abandonment. This has social and environmental consequences for the neighbourhood and financial (tax loss) implications for the city.