Neighborhoods

Light-rail Investment in Seattle: Gentrification Pressures and Trends in Neighborhood Ethnoracial Composition

July 31, 2018 // 0 Comments

Chris Hess | Public infrastructure has always shaped patterns of metropolitan growth and residential segregation. Street-car lines, followed by highways, created important corridors from cities out into the so-called “Crabgrass Frontier” (Jackson 1985). New access to undeveloped suburban areas combined with government-insured mortgages with low down-payments generated vast opportunities for housing construction. However, through much of the 20th century “redlining”, discriminatory housing covenants, and exclusionary zoning maintained a system of residential stratification preventing racial and ethnic minorities from moving outward to burgeoning suburbs. Consequently, many urban neighborhoods became racially-segregated, faced disinvestment due to housing policy favoring lending to suburban contexts, and experienced increasing “mismatch” from suburban employment growth. Read More

Racial/Ethnic Transition and Hierarchy Among Ascending Neighborhoods

May 1, 2018 // 0 Comments

Ann Owens and Jennifer Candipan | When neighborhoods’ socioeconomic status (SES) improves, does their racial/ethnic composition change? Is socioeconomic change also a process of racial/ethnic transition from minority to white? Often when minority neighborhoods are experiencing socioeconomic increases, residents and anti-gentrification activists perceive such a threat—that higher-income, mainly white newcomers will “invade” the neighborhood, potentially displacing residents and altering the neighborhood’s racial/ethnic makeup. Read More

Putting Culture On The Map: Media Discourse and the Urban Growth Machine in Koreatown, Los Angeles

March 29, 2018 // 0 Comments

Brady Collins | Over the last decades, culture has become an essential ingredient in the economic development strategies of cities around the world. In this context, the development and promotion of ethnic neighborhoods—e.g. Chinatown, Little Tokyo, Harlem—is a strategy for revitalizing diverse urban areas. The local newspaper is a key actor in this process: it represents and promotes a city’s cultural assets, and in doing so shapes the way readers perceive of different communities. Given the tastes and preferences of today’s young urban professionals, “hipsters”, and tourists--urban environments characterized by ethnic diversity, authentic cuisine, and unique cultural experiences--these representations have the power to attract new capital and residents to immigrant communities.  Read More

Testing the Importance of Geographic Distance for Social Capital Resources

January 3, 2018 // 0 Comments

Kirk Foster | Each one of us occupies a particular space in the course of our daily lives. We live in a domicile on a block that is situated within a specific neighborhood within a specific town or city. We move about that city as we go to work or someplace to volunteer – each occupy their own space into which we are incorporated. We have particular places that we stop for coffee to chat with familiar faces or shop for groceries. We may drop off children at daycare and discuss common issues with other parents. We may worship with a group of people who share similar values and experiences. My point is that our lives exist within both a social and geographic context. We cannot divorce the two. Our social interactions happen, in part, because of the geography we occupy each day.   Read More

Is ‘Gaytrification’ a Real Phenomena?

August 10, 2017 // 0 Comments

City leaders have often suggested attracting gays to neighborhoods within their cities as a remedy for urban blight. A 2013 Slate column discusses the CEO and president of the Detroit Economic Growth Corp who explicitly suggested that city leaders try to attract gays to Detroit to spur gentrification of decaying areas. The research literature suggests a few reasons why gays may act as “urban pioneers” who revitalize run-down areas close to downtowns. One proposed reason is that gays and lesbians may be willing to invest and reside in run-down areas to create welcoming communities in the presence of perceived discrimination elsewhere. In creating these enclaves, gays and lesbians renovate the aging housing stock and provide additional amenities to the region.

Read More

Donald Trump is from America’s Most Diverse Neighborhood, How Did That Happen?

August 1, 2017 // 0 Comments

By Max Holleran and Sam Holleran | Queens, New York City’s second largest borough with nearly 2.3 inhabitants, is known as the beating heart of the city’s many immigrant communities. Once a collection of splintered garden districts, public housing estates, and industrial areas, the borough has grown enormously in the last fifty years. It is arguably the most diverse place on earth and the American torchbearer for tolerance and multiculturalism. It is also the place that brought the world Donald Trump. Read More