Gentrification and Displacement Revisited: A Fresh Look at the New York City Experience

Research Bulletin 31, July 2006, 8 pages.  Since the 1960s, researchers and policy-makers have argued over whether gentrification represents equitable reinvestment in inner-city neighbourhoods or polarizing displacement. Newman and Wyly re-examine the arguments for and against gentrification, based on a quantitative evaluation of displacement in New York City and its changes over the past decade as well as field work in gentrifying neighbourhoods. They conclude that the extent of displacement is often underestimated, and that gentification represents evidence of urban restructuring on a vast scale. Although some long-time residents in gentrifying neighbourhoods may find ways to stay put and enjoy the benefits that gentrification brings, their achievements are likely only short-term, as supports for low-income renters are dismantled.