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How Gentrification Works

By: Dave Roos

Gentrification: Cheat Sheet

Stuff you need to know:

  • Gentrification is most often used negatively to describe the arrival of wealthy people to a lower-income urban neighborhood and the eventual displacement of the original residents and their culture.
  • Gentrification can cause racial and class tensions in neighborhoods that were traditionally populated by a relatively homogenous group of people.
  • It is widely believed that the economic and social benefits of gentrification -- improved and beautified buildings, parks, shops and schools -- are mostly enjoyed by the wealthy newcomers.
  • New research argues that gentrification isn't as one-sided as we previously thought. According to census data, the largest income gains in gentrifying neighborhoods are enjoyed by black residents with a high-school diploma, not white residents with a college degree. Older Latinos also fare pretty well.

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