Dr. Amie Thurber is an Assistant Professor in the School of Social Work at Portland State University. Dr. Thurber’s scholarship focuses on building more just neighborhoods through innovations in policy, practice and participatory inquiry. Dr. Thurber served as the lead author of ‘Equitable Development: Promising practices to maximize affordability and minimize displacement in Nashville’s urban core’, prepared for the Metropolitan Nashville Planning Department. She has conducted action research in partnership with tenant rights groups in Nashville, TN and Portland, OR. Her study of an innovative neighborhood-based response to gentrification was awarded the 2019 Award for the Best Dissertation on a Topic Relevant to Community Psychology by the Society for Community Research and Action.
Many cities are grappling with the complexities of neighborhood change, gentrification, and shifting geographies of racially segregated poverty. One of the greatest policy challenges is how to support residents to be able to stay in place, and, even more difficult, how to return to the neighborhood after it’s begun to gentrify.
Portland's North/Northeast (N/NE) Preference Policy the first in the nation to recreate housing access in a historical community of color to those displaced by urban renewal and gentrification. The policy builds new affordable rental housing with placement priority for families with inter-generational ties to the area.