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The Impact of Gentrification on Low-income Communities by Anna Marie Gulotta

Posted by: | April 1, 2013 Comments Off on The Impact of Gentrification on Low-income Communities by Anna Marie Gulotta |

The threat of climate change pushes sustainable development and reducing urban footprint.  Cities are revitalizing urban cores, increasing urban housing, developing walkable neighborhoods and reducing vehicle miles traveled.  However, sustainability does not just involve changes to benefit businesses and the environment.  Sustainability also involves the promotion of social values, such as diverse and inclusive communities.  An unfortunate byproduct of economic development can be gentrification.


Gentrification occurs when reviving or growing business districts become more popular and landlords decide to raise rents.  The increased demand for the area attracts developers who develop vacant lots or redevelop older properties.  The end result is higher rents than were traditional for the area, attracting wealthier businesses and residential renters.  As each area improves, chains or larger businesses move in, and developers build newer, more expensive buildings.


These price increases disproportionately impact smaller, local businesses who provide services for the lower income families and individuals who live in the neighborhood.   Local business and lower-income residential renters may be forced to move out of the neighborhood that they helped develop, unable to afford the increased prices.[1]  They can no longer benefit from the community they helped to create and are forced to live in underdeveloped and underserved areas further out from the urban core, with reduced walkability and access to services.

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