A Measure of Gentrification for Use in Longitudinal Public Health Studies in the US
What is Gentrification?
Gentrification is a commonly discussed and often politically charged topic in the media and among residents. But what does gentrification mean and how do we measure it? At its core, gentrification is one type of neighborhood change process. While there is no universally accepted definition, common themes include reinvestment in a neighborhood after a period of decline and population compositional changes.
The UHC gentrification working groups conceptualizes gentrification as a neighborhood change process that occurs over a period of time, measurable in three predominant ways:
- compositional demographic shifts in a neighborhood
- increased property values and
- physical signs of reinvestment, including improved streetscape appearance, beautification, access to healthy food and physical resources, and/or signs of housing investment
The gentrification process occurs in previously low-income areas of a city, which had inadequate access to health-promoting resources and poor housing infrastructure. Displacement is a potential, but not inevitable, outcome of gentrification.
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