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date: 24 March 2017

Gentrification in the United States

Summary and Keywords

Gentrification is one of the most controversial issues in American cities today. But it also remains one of the least understood. Few agree on how to define it or whether it is boon or curse for cities. Gentrification has changed over time and has a history dating back to the early 20th century. Historically, gentrification has had a smaller demographic impact on American cities than suburbanization or immigration. But since the late 1970s, gentrification has dramatically reshaped cities like Seattle, San Francisco, and Boston. Furthermore, districts such as the French Quarter in New Orleans, New York City’s Greenwich Village, and Georgetown in Washington DC have had an outsized influence on the political, cultural, and architectural history of cities. Gentrification thus must be examined alongside suburbanization as one of the major historical trends shaping the 20th-century American metropolis.

Keywords: gentrification, revitalization, cities, displacement, race, neighborhoods

Gentrification is one of the most controversial issues in American cities today. But it also remains one of the least understood. Few agree how to define it or whether it is boon or curse for cities. Gentrification historically has had a smaller demographic impact on American cities than suburbanization or immigration. But since the late 1970s, gentrification has dramatically reshaped cities like Seattle, San Francisco and Boston. Furthermore districts such as New Orleans’ French Quarter, New York City’s Greenwich Village and Washington DC’s Georgetown, have had an outsized influence on the political, cultural and architectural history of cities. Gentrification thus must be placed alongside suburbanization as one of the major historical trends shaping the twentieth-century American metropolis.

What Is Gentrification?

Gentrification is difficult to define. Scholars are divided between those who advocate strict and broad definitions. English sociologist Ruth Glass coined the term in 1964 to describe a specific phenomenon she noticed in East London.1 Middle-class pioneers were migrating into older working-class districts, purchasing and renovating run-down buildings, and eventually displacing longtime poorer residents. Social scientists in the United States first borrowed her term in the late 1970s to describe a similar trend in American cities.

“Gentrification,” according to this strict definition, was distinct from “urban redevelopment.” Urban redevelopment referred to the large-scale demolition of slum areas, the erection of new structures, and government subsidies. Gentrification, in contrast, involved the gradual and private rehabilitation of the existing housing stock. Redevelopment was planned by government officials and large developers. Gentrification began at a grassroots level and was largely unplanned. Where urban redevelopment was subsidized by public funds, young white middle-class “pioneers” mostly used their own private savings and sweat equity. Urban redevelopment conjured the bulldozers of Robert Moses. Gentrification was an outgrowth of organic “unslumming” championed by his nemesis Jane Jacobs.

Gentrification in the United StatesClick to view larger

Figure 1. “Mrs. Jane Jacobs, chairman of the Committee to Save the West Village, holds up documentary evidence at a press conference at Lions Head Restaurant at Hudson & Charles Sts.,” November 28, 1961.

(Photograph by Phil Stanziola for the World Telegram & Sun. Courtesy of the Library of Congress, Reproduction Number LC-USZ-62-137839)

Since the late 1970s, when city planners and developers turned from modernist slum clearance to postmodern festival markets and the adaptive reuse of older buildings, the distinction between gentrification and urban redevelopment has blurred. Today the public uses “gentrification” quite liberally to describe any shift of urban space from poor to wealthy, whether through rehabilitation or slum clearance. Some scholars thus have called for a broader and more flexible definition that captures a wider set of processes in cities as they become postindustrial, neoliberal, and globalized. Leading gentrification scholars Loretta Lees, Tom Slater, and Elvin Wyly, for example, have called for a more multifaceted and flexible term that still includes Glass’s “classical gentrification” but allows for newer variants such as “retail gentrification,” “new-build gentrification,” and “studentification.”2

Historians are wary of the abstract categories and models used by social scientists. But a historian of gentrification does need a workable definition that is narrow enough to distinguish from other processes yet broad enough to allow for change over time.3 From the earliest small-scale renovation of townhouses in Charleston, South Carolina in the 1910s to the large mixed-use waterfront development projects in Brooklyn of the 2000s, gentrification has consistently displayed two features to varying degrees that when combined distinguish it from other types of urban change.

  1. 1. A class shift in a given area in which wealthier residents and consumers replace poorer residents and consumers, or in which residents and consumers with more cultural and/or financial capital replace residents and consumers with less cultural and/or financial capital.

  2. 2. The restoration, rehabilitation, or adaptive reuse of existing buildings rather than large-scale slum clearance and redevelopment.

Three additional features have very often characterized gentrification in the United States. But they have not been omnipresent. Historians thus would be advised not to include them in a definition of gentrification.

  1. 3. A transformation that results in the direct or indirect displacement of long-time residents.

  2. 4. A racial transformation of an area in which white residents replace African American, Latino, or other nonwhite residents.

  3. 5. A market-driven, gradual, and unplanned process rather than a planned process funded by the state.

Features 3, 4, and 5 deserve more explanation.

Whether gentrification causes displacement is a heated debate among scholars. Residential displacement is nearly impossible to measure as it requires locating thousands of departed residents to determine their reasons for leaving. Some argue that gentrification historically has caused minimal displacement when compared to the more devastating countertrend of disinvestment and housing abandonment. Others have even argued that by improving services and attracting more amenities, gentrification actually provides the poor with more incentive to stay in inner-city districts. From a historical perspective, on the other hand, plenty of archival evidence demonstrates that gentrification has often caused displacement, particularly in eras when the state had few protections for tenants. Other scholars point to political or cultural displacement that may be difficult to quantify. Rather than trying to develop a universal rule, historians are better equipped to research the varying impacts gentrification has had on the poor in different locations over time. To write a comprehensive political, cultural, and social history of gentrification, historians need not be handcuffed by the displacement debate.4

The relationship between race and gentrification is also complex. Although gentrification has transformed cities from Amsterdam to Tokyo, in the United States the public today often uses the word as a euphemism for a type of “reverse white flight” in which wealthy whites migrate into poorer African American neighborhoods. While African Americans have been disproportionately displaced, the history of race and gentrification differs somewhat from conventional wisdom. “Gentrifiers” in the United States have since the early 1910s indeed been overwhelmingly white. The racial composition of the neighborhoods that they migrated into, however, has changed over time and reflects the shifting landscape of urban poverty. From the 1910s through the 1940s, gentrification occurred in older inner-city districts that were often home to a mix of impoverished European immigrants, African Americans, Puerto Ricans, and “old money” white families. From the 1950s to the mid-1970s, gentrification was almost exclusively limited to poor and working-class white inner-city areas. As many of these districts also underwent racial transition, white urban professionals often displaced African Americans from individual rooming houses and apartments. Yet, the number of African Americans in many gentrifying districts actually rose during this period. By the 1980s, as many cities became stratified “dual cities,” white urban professionals began to push into neighboring blocks that in the 1960s had become home to poorer African Americans and Latinos. In the 1990s, white middle-class residents began to move into historically African American districts such as New York’s Harlem and Bedford-Stuyvesant, sparking a new set of tensions. Recent studies have pointed to the migration of a new African American middle class into the inner city, which further complicates the racial dynamics of gentrification.5

The role of the state in promoting gentrification is also a contentious issue in the scholarship. Scholars all agree that the state has taken a stronger role since the 1970s in directing the process. What in 1960s was a small-scale renovation fad led by “pioneers” using personal savings and sweat equity transformed by the 2000s into a central growth strategy for cities eager to attract a “creative class” to the city center. Yet while they concur that the role of the state has expanded over time, scholars are divided as to whether the public sector has primarily fueled gentrification or regulated it to protect the poor.6

Where sociologists once debated about “production-side” and “consumption-side” explanations, scholars today concur about the historical causes of gentrification. As city economies shifted from manufacturing to services, white-collar, college-educated workers employed in finance, law, administration, government, and the arts migrated to housing in convenient access to central business districts. While many looked to the suburbs or new high-rise apartment towers rising downtown, a small number moved into and repurposed older buildings from previous economic eras that still remained at the core of many cities.

Several factors led this group to choose older housing. Nineteenth-century townhouses, lofts, alley dwellings, and stables in the center city suffered decades of disinvestment and were cheap. They also offered convenient access to the central business district. Gentrification also reflected the changing cultural tastes of a new postindustrial middle class. Young white-collar professionals moving to older inner-city districts described themselves as rejecting modern suburbs and postwar high-rise apartment towers that they described as alienating and sources of anomie. They championed a new urban ideal that celebrated the 19th-century built environment for being mixed-use, walkable, historic, and, most importantly, authentic. Many of the white-collar workers moving into this older housing also belonged to key subgroups that looked to the center city as a refuge from suburbs they described as conformist and intolerant: “bohemian” artists and writers, childless couples and divorcees, single women, gays and lesbians. Some scholars in contrast point to an angry, revanchist, and even colonial impulse that underlay gentrification. Having left in previous decades for the suburbs, white middle-class arrivals described themselves as returning to take back inner-city neighborhoods that were rightfully theirs and had been stolen by minority groups.7

When American social scientists first began to study gentrification in the late 1970s, they theorized that gentrification occurred in “stages.” Young and risk-taking artists, bohemians, and historic preservationists “pioneered” poorer areas. Risk-averse yuppies, real estate speculators, and developers soon followed. Today scholars have largely abandoned these rigid stages and emphasize instead that gentrification is a historical process that evolved over time. Geographers and sociologists have begun to periodize gentrification, although more from a theoretical perspective. Neil Smith and Jason Hackworth, for example, split gentrification into several “waves” that remain the most useful framework for examining gentrification historically.8

The Seed Stage: Gentrification in the 1910s and 1920s

In the first decades of the 20th century, American cities experienced an early wave of gentrification. Sixty years before the word “gentrifiers” came into existence, a new middle class migrated into and renovated the dilapidated 19th-century tenements, townhouses, horse stables, wooden piers, and industrial lofts that hugged the central business districts of cities ranging from New York to Charleston, South Carolina. Chicago School sociologists at the time labeled this inner-city belt of ramshackle buildings the “Zone of Transition.” Local residents often used names like “Old” or “Little” to describe districts that sat in the shadow of new skyscrapers and had some of the oldest housing in the city. Built during a previous century, the Zone of Transition was walkable and mixed-use avant la lettre. Industrial lofts and tenements near the waterfront sat steps away from the decaying mansions and townhouses of declining urban aristocracies of a previous economic era: the “Brahmins” of Boston, the “Creoles” of New Orleans, the “Cave Dwellers” of Georgetown, and the former merchant-planter families of Charleston, for example. In the North and Midwest and on the West Coast, poorer residents were largely immigrants from southern and eastern Europe. In southern cities like Washington, D.C., and Charleston, alley dwellings and tenements home to African Americans sat cheek by jowl with the homes of wealthy whites.9

One reason for this early burst of gentrification was the rapid growth of white-collar workers in American cities. In 1870, less than 1 percent of American laborers performed clerical work. By 1930, that number had risen to 10 percent of the population. By mid-century, clerical workers, along with sales employees, managers, and professionals made up 37 percent of all American workers. This new white-collar labor force looked hungrily for housing in convenient access to the new skyscrapers and department stores of the central business district.10

The vast majority of white-collar workers, however, moved to the urban periphery. Housing in the Zone of Transition was in dismal shape in the 1910s and 1920s. Townhouses in elite districts like Beacon Hill lacked modern electrical wiring and plumbing. Decaying mansions were regarded by the descendants of old aristocratic families as “white elephants” requiring endless repairs and an army of full-time domestic staff. Tenements were in even worse shape: disease-ridden fire traps with shared toilets, thin walls, and no ventilation. Industrial lofts and working waterfronts exposed residents to noise and pollution. Many middle-class city workers felt an antipathy about sharing space with impoverished immigrants and African Americans.

Some white-collar workers, however, found suburban living unappealing. Many were young singles or childless couples who sought cheap rent within walking distance to the new office buildings and the entertainment districts of the center city. Young women were particularly important in this regard. In the 19th century, clerical work was done almost entirely by men with women working primarily as teachers, domestics, and unskilled farm or factory workers. By 1900, however, a quarter of clerical jobs were held by women. By 1960, the number rose to 62 percent. The number of professional women in business rose in the United States from 100,000 to 450,000 in the 1920s alone. These new “white-collar girls,” often single and working in new skyscrapers, moved into center-city apartments or boarding houses with roommates. Gay men and lesbians were also an important group who also eschewed the suburbs for the center city. Artists, writers, and musicians also migrated to affordable rentals in older buildings.11

Gentrification began with little support from city “growth machines.” Downtown business leaders and city planners in the 1910s and 1920s saw little potential in areas like New Orleans’s Vieux Carré and hoped to build new skyscrapers, parking facilities, modern auditoriums, and other tourist attractions. Developers responded to new white-collar demand by demolishing older buildings to erect the first apartment towers. In the 1880s, the earliest high-rise apartments purposefully built for the middle class appeared in Manhattan. By the end of the 1920s, areas like Manhattan’s West Side, Philadelphia’s Rittenhouse Square, and Chicago’s Gold Coast district had transformed from blocks of small row houses and mansions to upper-income apartment buildings.12

Gentrification instead was spearheaded on the local level by individual architects, preservationists, and small-time entrepreneurs, many of whom were women. Young architects were among the first to gentrify working-class row houses, first for themselves and then for clients. In 1908, New York City architect Frederick Sterner became perhaps the first “gentrifier” in the city when he renovated an East 19th Street rooming house that he had purchased in the Gramercy Park neighborhood and from which he had evicted the residents. Sterner’s renovation was so successful that architects began to emulate him by remodeling run-down row houses in Gramercy Park, Murray Hill, East Midtown, Treadwell Farm, and Lenox Hill. The row house renovation trend soon spread across the river to Brooklyn Heights. By the end of the 1920s, most of the row houses of Manhattan’s East Side once home to the poor and working class now housed wealthy owners and renters.13

Other cities saw a similar trend. Boston’s Brahmin families began to leave Beacon Hill as early as the 1880s. By 1905 only 242 families listed in the Social Register remained in the neighborhood, and most of its townhouses were subdivided into rooming houses. That year, a young architect, Frank A. Bourne, moved to the area and renovated a deteriorated colonial townhouse. Joined by William Coombs Codman, a Brahmin whose family lived in Beacon Hill for generations, Bourne recruited friends and business acquaintances to purchase and renovate properties both for themselves and to sell on the market. Although their efforts were small-scale and not publicized in major newspapers or realtor publications, their efforts sparked a renovation movement that continued into the 1950s. In Philadelphia’s Rittenhouse Square, architects such as William B. Koelle similarly renovated smaller buildings in rear alleys like Panama Street.14

Renovators did not only “make over” old buildings for new white-collar professional residents. In new bohemian districts like Chicago’s Towertown, landlords converted tenements and rooming houses into apartments and studios for artists, musicians, and writers. In New York’s Greenwich Village, contractors cut large, north-facing windows in townhouses and former horse stables to emulate the studios of the West Bank of Paris. Writers and artists like DuBose Heyward and Elizabeth O’Neill Verner bought property on and around Tradd Street in Charleston, South Carolina, and soon became known as a “Charleston Renaissance.” Sherwood Anderson, William Faulkner, Edmund Wilson, and Alberta Kinsey were among the number of creative minds, many with connections to Tulane University, who moved into New Orleans’s struggling Vieux Carré. Along with paying higher rents, bohemian residents acted as countercultural boosters for downtrodden inner-city districts by writing and painting romantic portraits of poor residents and celebrating the charm and history of the architecture. DuBose Heyward’s novel Porgy and Bess, for example, brought national attention to “Catfish Row,” a pseudonym for Cabbage Row, a collection of African American tenements near his home. Shortly after the novel’s publication, Cabbage Row was renovated for wealthier white residents and its tenants evicted.15

Gentrification in the United StatesClick to view larger

Figure 2. “Cabbage Row” or “Catfish Row,” ca. 1933. Charleston, Charleston County, South Carolina.

(Courtesy of the Historic American Buildings Survey, Library of Congress, Survey Number HABS SC-447)

Foreshadowing activists like Jane Jacobs in the 1960s, women in the 1910s and 1920s played a particularly important role in initiating gentrification. Shunned by real estate developers and city planners, dilapidated housing in the inner-city offered entrepreneurial opportunities and financial independence for ambitious middle-class women. Preservation and home restoration also dovetailed with other Progressive urban reform causes championed by women’s civic groups. In Charleston, Susan Pringle Frost, the daughter of one of the city’s declining aristocratic families, used her experience from working as a secretary for a prominent architect to purchase old homes in the city’s historic southern tip. Using ironworks and artifacts she had salvaged over the years from demolished buildings and with the hired assistance of Thomas Pinckney, an African American craftsman, she restored buildings, often evicting their African American tenants, and sold them at a small profit. She later helped found the Society for the Preservation of Old Buildings, which pushed the city to pass one of the nation’s first zoning ordinances in 1931 protecting historic architecture in “Old and Historic Charleston District.” In New Orleans’s Vieux Carré, Elizebeth Werlein and other middle-class women founded the Quartier Club, which initiated preservation efforts and lobbied middle-class residents to purchase property in the area. Along with writing one of the first architectural studies of the area, The Wrought Iron Railings of the Vieux Carré New Orleans, Werlein founded and led the Vieux Carré Commission and the Vieux Carré Property Owners Association, which advocated protecting the area from redevelopment.16

Gentrification in the United StatesClick to view larger

Figure 3. “Le Petit Theatre du Vieux Carre, Chartres and St. Peter Sts., New Orleans, Orleans Parish, LA,” ca. 1937.

(Photograph by Frances Benjamin Johnston. Courtesy of the Library of Congress Prints and Photographs Division, Reproduction Number LC-DIG-csas-01218.)

Local ethnic entrepreneurs also played an important role in marketing poorer areas to a new wealthier clientele. In New York’s Greenwich Village, Italian-American immigrant realtor Vincente Pepe was an avid booster of his impoverished neighborhood, who after renovating several townhomes began to promote the area’s bohemian ambience in New York City newspapers as well as writing the influential 1914 guide How Would You Like to Open One of These Doors in Greenwich Village? “It was Vincent Pepe who conceived of the idea of having artists and scribes colonize a slum and then gradually improve the district by crowding out the wicked, vicious and slovenly tenants,” complained Robert Edward, publisher of the Greenwich Village monthly The Quill in 1924.17

In the late 1920s, cities saw the first public outcries against gentrification. New neighborhood associations lobbied for the first zoning laws to stop the encroachment of high-rise apartment buildings. Newspapers criticized home renovators for displacing the poor. Groups like the American League of Artists and the Authors’ League of America complained that white-collar professionals were coopting la vie bohéme. “Pseudo-artists” and “poseurs” were pouring into Greenwich Village and the French Quarter, driving up rent prices and displacing real artists from their workspaces. By the 1930s, former enthusiasts lamented that bohemian districts had become tourist traps. “As in Greenwich Village,” wrote the New York Times in 1922, “the most ardent of the poseurs [in the French Quarter], the youths with the longest and girls with the shortest hair, hail from Peoria and Oshkosh. Someday a patient sociologist will chart the invisible watershed which turns some of these acolytes of art toward New York Bay and some toward the Gulf … The French Quarter has suffered the fate of such quarters. It has become a fad.”18

The Formative Stage: Gentrification in the 1960s and 1970s

During the Depression and World War II, gentrification in most cities stalled. One exception was Washington, D.C., where the New Deal brought thousands of new federal office workers to the city, a prominent group of whom restored 19th-century homes in Georgetown. But starting in the 1950s gentrification took off again. Gentrified districts from the 1910s and 1920s, such as Brooklyn Heights, Rittenhouse Square, and Beacon Hill, became springboards for renters who fanned outward in search of cheaper rents and affordable homes to purchase. By the 1970s, gentrification had expanded from a small renovation trend in a few cities to a national phenomenon.

Because gentrification remained largely private, grassroots, and unplanned during these decades, scholars have referred to this period alternatively as the “pioneer stage,” “R and D stage,” or “first wave” of gentrification. In an era of experimentation and grassroots activism, new middle-class “pioneers” moved into poorer districts and rehabilitated homes. They coined new names for enclaves, started new block and neighborhood associations, planted trees, led home tours, and wrote newsletters and guides about home restoration. New historic preservation groups researched the history of their enclaves. Frustrated that realtors were steering white homebuyers from their revitalizing enclaves, some residents founded small real estate agencies that specialized in purchasing, restoring, and selling Victorian housing. A “heritage industry” of small businesses produced stonework, stained glass windows, and faux gaslights for restored townhouses. Journalists and writers who moved into poorer areas penned articles about their up-and-coming districts. By the early 1970s, major newspapers around the country began to describe a “brownstone revitalization movement” or “back-to-the-city” movement that was transforming American cities. Newspapers in different cities used a variety of names for middle-class renovation efforts: “brownstoning,” “townhousing,” “whitepainting,” “sandblasting,” and “rehabilitation.” The term “gentrification” didn’t enter the popular lexicon until the late 1970s.19

Most new middle-class renovators were drawn to Victorian townhouses and homes in inner-city neighborhoods such as Atlanta’s Inman Park, Columbus Ohio’s German Village, and San Antonio’s King William. But in other districts, gentrifiers converted industrial lofts, warehouses, horse stables, and other 19th- and early 20th-century structures for residential uses. In New York City, for example, artists began in the 1950s to move illegally into manufacturing lofts in the Cast Iron district. By the 1970s, New Yorkers began to refer to the loft district as SoHo.20

In absolute numbers, gentrification remained limited. From 1974 to 1976, according to a Department of Housing and Urban Development study, gentrification and condominium conversions affected only between 519,000 and 541,000 people, or less than 4 percent of the nation’s population who moved. But the phenomenon was widespread, with a majority of the nation’s cities experiencing some degree of gentrification. One 1975 study showed that 48 percent of the nation’s 143 cities with populations over 50,000 were “experiencing some degree of private-market, nonsubsidized housing renovation in older deteriorating areas.” By January 1979, the Urban Land Institute found that 86 percent of cities with more than 150,000 residents had at least one gentrifying district. Gentrification was present primarily in older cities in the East, Midwest, and South. San Francisco, Denver, and Seattle also had experienced significant gentrification. A 1976–1979 study of the nation’s 30 largest cities found that Washington, D.C., San Francisco, and Seattle were experiencing the most private renovation. Detroit, Newark, New Jersey, and Cleveland sat at the bottom of the list.21

Gentrification during this era largely occurred in white working-class neighborhoods undergoing the early stages of racial transition and white flight. According to a 1979 study of 967 gentrifying tracts, new middle-class arrivals were moving not to “ghettoes” but to areas with fewer vacant units, more owner-occupied units, and some professional households already. Out-movers from gentrifying districts according to studies from the late 1970s were 96 percent white in Washington, D.C., 90 percent in St. Louis, 92 percent in Seattle, and 93 percent in St. Paul. African Americans, Puerto Ricans, and other minorities, however, were moving to many of these areas and formed a significant subpopulation. The result was gentrifying neighborhoods in which African Americans were disproportionately displaced but also growing as a percentage of the overall population. By the 1980s, many districts had transformed from industrial white working-class neighborhoods to sharply stratified postindustrial neighborhoods with wealthy white professionals living blocks away from poorer minorities.22

The new urban middle class of the 1960s and 1970s shared many of the characteristics of their earlier counterparts from the 1910s and 1920s. Studies of cities like Saint Paul, Boston, and New Orleans in the 1970s showed that new arrivals in revitalizing districts were overwhelmingly young, white, and employed in white-collar professions and the arts. Two-thirds of renovators had bachelor’s degrees, and in some districts even up to 90 percent had completed some graduate school. Many new arrivals were single or couples without children. Gay men and lesbians were represented in disproportionate numbers.23

As in the previous wave of gentrification, new middle-class residents were drawn to inner-city areas for economic reasons. Outpriced from the enclaves of the 1910s and 1920s, new arrivals looked elsewhere for cheap housing with historic architecture and convenient access to new office towers in the central business district. During the 1970s, runaway inflation and skyrocketing fuel prices drove up the cost of constructing and purchasing new homes, making it comparatively cheaper to “recycle” older buildings. High interest rates made refinancing difficult, leading many landlords to sell their buildings or convert them to condominiums.

Like their predecessors, gentrifiers also moved to older districts because of changing cultural tastes. Inspired by the counterculture and other social movements of the 1960, new arrivals described themselves as rejecting modernist downtown skyscrapers, institutional university campuses, and suburban tract homes, which they regarded as dehumanizing and inauthentic. Older inner-city districts, in contrast, had historic housing that seemingly rooted residents in the past. Immigrant urban villages offered an imagined ethnic authenticity and face-to-face community that gentrifiers felt was lost in new suburban shopping malls.

Gentrification during this period continued to be a grassroots phenomenon not yet supported by the finance, insurance, and real estate sector. Most banks in the 1960s refused to grant loans in redlined inner-city districts. Home and fire insurance was difficult to procure. Realtors steered white home buyers away from areas with African American, Puerto Rican, or Mexican-American residents. To purchase a townhouse in a poorer district, many middle-class gentrifiers drew from private savings or paid expensive mortgage brokers to cobble together financing from a hodgepodge of lenders. Others turned to purchase-money mortgages in which they borrowed directly from the seller. Perhaps most striking about this wave of gentrification was how many renovators relied on sweat equity and restored homes themselves.

Gentrifying districts began to develop a political identity during these decades. New middle-class residents founded the first Reform Democratic clubs in the 1950s, in many cases out of frustration that regular Democrats failed to support Adlai Stevenson’s two presidential runs. By the late 1960s, gentrifying districts were hotbeds of political activism, with many college-educated home renovators like Jane Jacobs drawn to new social movements like the environmental, antiwar, and women’s movement. A new activist and left-leaning white middle class in districts such as New York’s West Village, Washington, D.C.,’s Adams-Morgan, and Atlanta’s Inman Park joined with poorer neighbors to fight urban redevelopment, new expressways, and redlining. A wave of new reform politicians with roots in gentrifying districts formed part of a “neighborhood movement” that in the 1970s challenged city growth machines in cities like San Francisco and Boston.24

Gentrification during this period was largely unsupported by the public sector. Local and federal officials, as well as developers and downtown business leaders, remained convinced until the early 1970s that urban redevelopment was the only viable strategy for attracting white middle-class residents back to center cities. While the 1954 and 1968 Housing Acts had more support for rehabilitation than the 1949 version, federal grants and loans had income requirements that limited their use by middle-class renovators. “Conservation districts” were largely aimed to encourage incumbent upgrading and prevent white flight rather than attract new upper-income whites to older districts. A handful of cities launched pilot urban renewal projects in the 1960s that rehabilitated older townhouses and tenements for middle- and upper-income residents: Philadelphia’s Society Hill, New York City’s Upper West Side Renewal Area, Baltimore’s Bolton Hill, Providence’s College Hill, and Chicago’s Lincoln Park, for example. Yet while they gained a lot of publicity, these pilot projects represented only a tiny fraction of each city’s larger urban redevelopment program.

In the mid-1970s, city and state governments began to take a limited but more active role in promoting gentrification. Faced with citizen protests against demolition, a federal moratorium on public housing funding, thousands of abandoned buildings, and crippling budget shortfalls, many cities in the mid-1970s halted their urban redevelopment programs and shifted to offering grants and tax incentives for private rehabilitation and adaptive reuse of old buildings. Quite small in number and bound by strict income guidelines, this mix of homesteading programs, tax abatements, and loans for rehabbing did not really constitute a “pro-gentrification” policy. But in practice, public funds were sometimes used to subsidize middle-class displacement of low-income residents. Section 312 federal funds for rehabilitation, for example, only had rent control requirements for five years. Some cities, such as Jersey City, New Jersey, and Columbus, Ohio, funneled grants into “Neighborhood Strategy Areas” that were already being revitalized by middle-class home renovators. Enacted in 1955 to help landlords improve tenement conditions, New York City’s J-51 law offered property tax abatements and exemptions to owners who rehabilitated rental buildings. In 1975, the law was expanded to include the conversion of nonresidential buildings like manufacturing and commercial buildings into multiple-dwelling apartment buildings. In Manhattan’s SoHo, owners converted cast iron industrial lofts into expensive apartments, displacing small manufacturing firms as well as artists who since the 1950s had illegally lived and worked there.25

Federal anti-redlining legislation passed in the 1970s also helped fuel gentrification by “greenlining” poor neighborhoods once shunned by lending institutions. In 1975, due to pressure from activists around the country, Congress adopted the Home Mortgage Disclosure Act. In 1977, Congress passed the Community Reinvestment Act, which allowed bank regulators to monitor whether federally supervised lending institutions were extending credit to homebuyers in low and moderate income urban areas.

New historic preservation legislation in the 1970s also provided indirect state support for gentrification. The National Historic Preservation Act of 1966 established the National Registry of Historic Places. During the late 1960s and 1970s, middle-class gentrifiers in cities nationwide lobbied to have their revitalizing enclaves placed on the Registry. According to a 1975 study, around two-thirds of the nation’s gentrifying enclaves were historic districts. The Tax Reform Act of 1976, along with several state and local programs, provided tax incentives for the rehabilitation of historic buildings with no income requirements or protection against displacement. The tax policy, complained that National Commission of Neighborhoods in 1979, “created incentives for historic district restoration … often … at the expense of low and moderate income residents of those newly discovered historic neighborhoods, many of whom have been displaced by more affluent homeowners.”26

The “formative stage” of gentrification lasted until the mid-1970s and was largely celebrated by newspapers and public officials as a welcome countertrend to white flight, deindustrialization, and heavy-handed government-led slum clearance. Gentrification was not a word yet used by Americans. Protests by poorer residents against middle-class rehabilitation efforts in the 1950s and 1960s were sporadic. In 1950, for example, African American residents in Washington, D.C.’s Georgetown testified at Congress against the passage of the Old Georgetown Act, an early historic preservation ordinance. But until the late 1970s, state-sponsored redevelopment, suburban flight, deindustrialization, and urban expressways were regarded by most as the primary threat to poorer inner-city communities.

“The Speculative Stage”—Gentrification in the 1980s and 1990s

At the start of the 1980s, many older American cities continued to struggle as their industrial economies contracted and residents migrated to the suburbs or Sunbelt. Cities like San Francisco, New York, Boston, and Seattle, however experienced dramatic economic revivals as they transformed into postindustrial financial and administrative centers for regional, national, and international trade. While manufacturing jobs continued to plummet from 1976 to 1985, Boston saw employment in professional services increase by 62 percent, business services by 55 percent, and the FIRE sector by 32 percent. New York City saw an increase of 272,000 jobs in corporate services in the same period.27

As cities emerged from the fiscal crisis of the 1970s, gentrification transformed from a grassroots renovation movement led by cash-strapped “pioneers” to a process spearheaded by developers, speculators, and city planners. Real estate investors drove up rents in the former countercultural districts of the 1960s and 1970s. The cost of Victorian homes in inner-city historic districts skyrocketed. In manufacturing areas where artists once illegally worked and lived, developers now converted industrial lofts into luxury apartment complexes. Along Brooklyn’s waterfront, for example, developer David Walentas in the early 1980s bought and converted an entire district of industrial warehouses into apartments and art galleries, hoping his planned version of DUMBO (or Down Under the Manhattan Bridger Overpass) would match the artsy aesthetic and popularity of Manhattan’s SoHo. In cities from Baltimore to San Francisco, new festival marketplaces tried to capture the feel of gentrified districts by mimicking their historic architecture, ethnic culture, small shops, and imagined authenticity. Architectural critics celebrated and derided a new “postmodern” era of urban architecture and planning.28

Although gentrification continued to be driven largely by the private sector, the state in the 1980s began to more aggressively subsidize gentrification. Much of this support was initially unintended. Developers and speculators abused tax incentives and abatements created during the financially desperate 1970s to help subsidize the conversion of older buildings to luxury apartments. New York City’s J-51 tax incentive, for example, came under fire from critics in the 1980s for giving tax breaks to developers for projects in wealthy Manhattan districts that they would have completed anyway. Others complained that speculators used J-51 abatements to convert single-room-occupancy hotels to luxury apartment buildings at great cost to the poor. In the 1990s, the federal government offered its first direct public funding for gentrification with the federal HOPE VI program, which provided cities with funding to demolish distressed high-rise public housing and replace them with mixed-income projects. Lauded by most housing reformers, a growing group of skeptics accused cities of subsidizing “gentrification by stealth.” Enterprise zones in the 1990s were criticized by some scholars as catalysts for gentrification.29

But the state was not only a booster of gentrification. City, state, and federal governments starting in the late 1970s also intervened to protect the poor from private rehabilitation and restoration. Much of this was the result of pressure from the first anti-gentrification groups that emerged in the late 1970s. On the federal level, for example, Congress in 1978 responded to public outcry with a Housing and Community Development Amendment, which required HUD to commission a study of displacement in U.S. communities. In 1980, faced with widespread complaints about a wave of condo conversions and speculation in cities, Congress passed the Condominium and Cooperative Conversion Protection and Abuse Act Relief Act. On the local level, 54 cities in the late 1970s and 1980s passed ordinances regulating speculation and condominium conversions.30

In the 1980s and 1990s, gentrifying cities became highly stratified “dual cities” divided between white-collar professionals and nonwhite service workers. Gentrification became a highly racialized issue as white-collar professionals who were largely white migrated into and drove up rents in predominately African American and Latino working-class and poor areas. At the start of the 1980s, gentrification still largely occurred in areas that were either white, racially mixed, or home to immigrants. In the 1990s, white middle-class renters and home buyers began to move into highly segregated African American neighborhoods like Bedford-Stuyvesant and Harlem in New York and Bronzeville in Chicago, to the surprise of many scholars who had considered these areas “gentrification proof.”

Not all new middle-class arrivals were white. A small African American middle class also moved into areas such as Harlem in New York City, Bronzeville in Chicago, and Auburn Avenue in Atlanta. A new Latino middle class similarly sought homes in poorer Mexican-American areas like Chicago’s Pilsen. Scholars debate about whether this migration marked the beginnings of “black gentrification,” “Latino gentrification,” or “nonwhite gentrification” or represented a different type of process altogether.31

“The Global Stage”: Gentrification in the 2000s

In the 2000s, cities like New York City had districts that were so high-priced that some pointed to a new trend they called “super-gentrification.” Rather than wealthy homebuyers or local entrepreneurs, global investment firms now used Manhattan and Brooklyn real estate as piggy banks to store capital. Property values in some districts rose to levels that even displaced the wealthy arrivals from the 1980s and 1990s. “Zombie” high-rise apartment buildings sat half empty with uninhabited units owned by foreign firms. During the 2000s, the Michael Bloomberg administration in New York City encouraged this new wave of investment by upzoning manufacturing districts along the waterfront and on the periphery of gentrified areas.32

Discussion of the Literature

Historians researching gentrification should familiarize themselves with the extensive social scientific literature covering the subject. The first wave of scholarship on gentrification in the United States were empirical studies in the late 1970s and early 1980s that remain invaluable resources. Shirley Bradway Laska and Daphne Spain’s Back to the City: Issues in Neighborhood Renovation, Neil Smith and Peter William’s Gentrification of the City, and Dennis E. Gale’s Neighborhood Revitalization and the Postindustrial City are three of the most important and offer a good starting point.

In the 1980s and 1990s, social scientists developed sophisticated theories about gentrification. “Production-side” theories offered by neo-classical economists and Marxist geographers focused on the housing supply and uneven development of cities. Gentrification, according to these theorists, was the result of a cycle of disinvestment and economic restructuring that lowered the cost of inner-city property in comparison to suburbs. Neil Smith’s The New Urban Frontier is a seminal “production-side” work that presented his influential “rent-gap” hypothesis. “Consumption-side” theories were developed by cultural and humanistic geographers like David Ley and emphasized the changing cultural tastes of a “new middle class.” Ley and others linked gentrification to the counterculture, the women’s movement, the gay liberation movement, and other social movements of the 1960s and 1970s. Postindustrial baby boomers looked to older inner-city districts for a sense of authenticity and freedom they felt was lacking in postwar mass suburbia and modernist high-rise apartment towers. Although his focus is on Canadian cities, Ley’s The New Urban Middle Class is a must-read for historians.

Historians need not worry about choosing between production- or consumption-side explanations as social scientists since the 1990s have largely accepted both. Newer scholarship has turned to transnational studies of gentrification, subsets of gentrification such as “rural gentrification,” as well as gentrification in former Eastern-bloc countries and the developing world. Scholars also have begun to pay more attention to the role of the state and neoliberal policy in shaping the trajectory of gentrification. Most importantly for historians, social scientists have begun to examine gentrification historically and theorize how to periodize the phenomenon. For a good overview of the social scientific scholarship, one can consult several readers. Loretta Lees, Tom Slater, and Elvin Wyly’s The Gentrification Reader and Japonica Brown-Saracino’s The Gentrification Debates have seminal articles by Ruth Glass, Robert Beauregard, Sharon Zukin, Neil Smith, and others. Lees, Slater, and Wyly’s Gentrification also provides a comprehensive overview of the subject.

Historical works on gentrification are few. The most extensive history of gentrification in the 1910s and 1920s is Andrew Dolkart’s The Row House Reborn: Architecture and Neighborhoods in New York City. Although they never or rarely use the term gentrification, many informative case studies exist about early restoration efforts and historic preservation in cities like New Orleans, Charleston, Annapolis, Boston, and New York City. Historians should also consult the many histories of bohemian districts in the early 20th century ranging from Caroline Ware’s Greenwich Village to Chad Heap’s Slumming. The historical literature on gentrification after World War II is similarly limited. Jon Teaford’s The Metropolitan Revolution offers a good national overview. Several new books are forthcoming: Aaron Shkuda’s Lofts and the Origins of Gentrification: Artists and Industry in SoHo, New York, 1950–1980 and Brian Goldstein’s The Roots of Urban Renaissance: Gentrification and the Struggle over Harlem. Historians should also draw from histories of the counterculture, women’s history, gay and lesbian history, histories of historic preservation, the history of urban environmentalist activism, and the history of the antiwar movement.

Primary Sources

The history of gentrification has yet to be fully examined by historians. An abundance of case studies around the country deserve more attention. Historians should examine the collections of neighborhood civic groups, block associations, and local historical societies. City and state archives should have vertical files about specific neighborhoods as well as records about city planning, housing, and redevelopment. More research needs to be done about how federal policy has shaped gentrification over time. Researchers should start with the papers of former secretaries of the Department of Housing and Urban Development such as Robert Weaver, George Romney Patricia Harris, and Jack Kemp. Before the late 1970s, the term “gentrification” will likely not appear in the archives, so researchers should look for other terms in finding aids: rehabilitation, historic preservation, revitalization, private restoration, and brownstoning, among others. As many were employed in media and arts, new middle-class residents of gentrifying districts produced a cornucopia of newsletters, alternative newspapers, articles in city newspapers and magazines, studies and reports, novels and films. As a result, most histories of gentrification tend to focus on the experiences of new middle-class arrivals. For the perspective of the poor in gentrifying districts, historians need to be creative. Edited by Joseph Barry and John Derevlany, Yuppies Invade My House at Dinnertime is an interesting collection of letters to the Hoboken Reporter about gentrification and captures much of the tension in that city during the 1980s. DW Wilson’s The Edge Becomes the Center: An Oral History of Gentrification in the 21st Century is a rich collection of interviews about gentrification with a wide range of New York City residents.

Further Reading

Dolkart, Andrew. The Row House Reborn: Architecture and Neighborhoods in New York City, 1908–1929. Baltimore: Johns Hopkins Press, 2009.Find this resource:

Freeman, Lance. There Goes the “Hood: Views of Gentrification from the Ground Up. Philadelphia: Temple University Press, 2006.Find this resource:

Gale, Dennis E. Neighborhood Revitalization and the Postindustrial City: A Multinational Perspective. Lexington, MA: Lexington Books, 1984.Find this resource:

Gibson, D. W. The Edge Becomes the Center: An Oral History of Gentrification in the 21st Century. New York: Overlook Press, 2015.Find this resource:

Hartman, Chester, Dennis Keating, and Richard LeGates. Displacement: How to Fight It. Berkeley, CA: National Housing Law Project, 1982.Find this resource:

Hyra, Derek. The New Urban Renewal: The Transformation of Harlem and Bronzeville. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2008.Find this resource:

Laska, Shirley Bradway, and Daphne Spain. Back to the City: Issues in Neighborhood Revitalization. New York: Pergamon Press, 1980.Find this resource:

Lees, Loretta, Tom Slater, and Elvin Wyly, eds. The Gentrification Reader. London: Routledge, 2010.Find this resource:

Osman, Suleiman. The Invention of Brownstone Brooklyn: Gentrification and the Search for Authenticity in Postwar New York. New York: Oxford University, 2011.Find this resource:

Smith, Neil, and Peter Williams. Gentrification of the City. New York: Allen & Unwin, 1986.Find this resource:

Von Hoffman, Nicholas. House by House, Block by Block: The Rebirth of America’s Urban Neighborhoods. New York: Oxford University Press, 2004.Find this resource:


(1.) Ruth Glass, “Introduction,” in London: Aspects of Change, ed. Centre of Urban Studies (London: MacGibbon & Kee, 1964, xviii. Cited in Japonica Brown-Saracino, ed., The Gentrification Debates (New York: Routledge, 2010).

(2.) For an overview of the debate over how to define gentrification, see Loretta Lees, Tom Slaterr, and Elvin Wyly, eds. “Introduction,” in The Gentrification Reader (London and New York: Routledge, 2010), xv–xvi, 3–6. See also Robert A. Beauregard, “The Chaos and Complexity of Gentrification,” in Gentrification of the City, ed. Neil Smith and Peter Williams (Boston: Allen & Unwin, 1986), 35–55; and Eric Clark, “The Order and Simplicity of Gentrification,” in Gentrification in a Global Context: The New Urban Colonialism, ed. Rowand Atkinson and Gary Bridge (London and New York: Routledge, 2005), 256–264. Both articles are also excerpted in The Gentrification Reader.

(3.) Ibid.

(4.) This article argues that displacement should not be a required part of a historical definition of gentrification. For a convincing counterargument that displacement should be a key part of any definition of the term, see Tom Slater, “The Eviction of Critical Perspectives from Gentrification Research,” International Journal of Urban and Regional Research 30.4 (December 2006); for a balanced analysis of the displacement debate, see Lance Freeman, There Goes the ‘Hood: Views of Gentrification from the Ground Up (Philadelphia: Temple University Press, 2006); for a nuanced analysis of political and cultural displacement and gentrification, see Japonica Brown-Saracino, A Neighborhood That Never Changes: Gentrification, Social Preservation and the Search for Authenticity (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2010).

(5.) For an analysis of the new black middle-class migration to New York’s Harlem and Chicago’s Bronzeville, see Derek Hyra, The New Urban Renewal: The Economic Transformation of Harlem and Bronzeville (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2008); Michelle R. Boyd, Jim Crow Nostalgia: Reconstructing Race in Bronzeville (Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 2008); and Lance Freeman, There Goes the ‘Hood: Views of Gentrification from the Ground Up (Philadelphia: Temple University Press, 2006).

(6.) Richard Florida, The Rise of the Creative Class: And How It’s Transforming Work, Leisure, Community and Everyday Life (New York: Basic Books, 2002); and Loretta Lees and David Ley, “Introduction to Special Issue on Gentrification and Public Policy,” Urban Studies 45.12 (November 2008): 2379–2384.

(7.) For an analysis of the countercultural roots of gentrification, see David Ley, The New Middle Class and the Remaking of the Central City (New York: Oxford University Press, 1996); for an analysis of gentrification as a rejection of urban modernism, see Jon Caufield, City Form and Everyday Life: Toronto’s Gentrification and Critical Social Practice (Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 1994); for an analysis of gentrification and discourses about authenticity, see Japonica Brown-Saracino, A Neighborhood that Never Changes: Gentrification, Social Preservation and the Search for Authenticity (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2009); for a critique of revanchist ideology and frontier imagery in gentrifying districts, see Neil Smith, The New Urban Frontier: Gentrification and the Revanchist City (New York: Routledge, 1996); for an analysis of gentrification as a “new urban colonialism,” see Roland Atkinson and Gary Bridge, “Introduction,” in Gentrification in a Global Context, 1–17.

(8.) Jason Hackworth and Neil Smith, “The Changing State of Gentrification,” Tijdschrift voor economische en sociale geografie 92 (2001): 464–477; also cited in Lees, Slater, and Wyly, Gentrification.

(9.) The “Zone of Transition” was coined by Ernst W. Burgess, “The Growth of a City: An Introduction to a Research Project,” in The City, ed. Robert E. Park, Ernst W. Burgess, and Robert E. McKenzie (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1925); Harvery Warren Zorbaugh, The Gold Coast and the Slum: A Sociological Study of Chicago’s Near North Side (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1929); Dennis E. Gale, “Restoration in Georgetown, Washington, D.C., 1915–65 (PhD Diss., George Washington University, 1982), 92–93; and Richard O. Baumbach Jr. and William E. Borah, The Second Battle of New Orleans: A History of Vieux Carré Riverfront-Expressway Controversy (Tuscaloosa: University of Alabama Press, 1981), 17–23.

(10.) C. Wright Mills, White Collar: The American Middle Classes (New York: Oxford University Press, 1956), 63–66; and Oliver Zunz, Making America Corporate 1870–1920 (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1990), 126.

(11.) Mills, 198–204; and Zunz, 126.

(12.) Andrew Dolkart, The Row House Reborn: Architecture and Neighborhoods in New York City, 1908–1929 (Baltimore: Johns Hopkins Press, 2009), 11; Anthony J. Stanonis, Creating the Big Easy: New Orleans and the Emergence of Modern Tourism, 1918–1945 (Athens, GA: University of Georgia Press, 2006), 28–69; Bobbye Burke, “History and Development,” in Historic Rittenhouse: A Philadelphia Neighborhood, ed. Trina Vaux (Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press, 1985), 30–33; and Homer Hoyt, One Hundred Years of Land Values in Chicago: The Relationship of the Growth of Chicago to the Rise of its Land Value, 1830–1933 (1933; reprint. Washington, D.C.:Beard Books, 2000), 237–245.

(13.) Andrew Dolkart, The Row House Reborn. Dolkart’s book is the most detailed and groundbreaking study to date of gentrification during this period.

(14.) Dolkart, The Row House, 180; and Walter Firey, Land Use in Central Boston (New York: Greenwood Press, 1968), 117–121.

(15.) Chad Heap, Slumming: Sexual Encounters in American Nightlife, 1885–1940 (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2008), 59–62; Dolkart, The Row House, 114–123; Baumbauch and Borah, The Second Battle of New Orleans, 22–23; Robert R. Weyeneth, “Ancestral Architecture: The Early Preservation Movement in Charleston,” in Giving Preservation a History: Histories of Historic Preservation in the United States, ed. Max Page and Randall Mason (New York: Routledge, 2004).

(16.) Sidney R. Bland, Preserving Charleston’s Past, Shaping It’s Future: The Life and Times of Susan Pringle Frost (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1994); and Anthony J. Stanonis, Creating the Big Easy: New Orleans and the Emergence of Modern Tourism, 1918–1945 (Athens, GA: University of Georgia Press, 2006), 129, 141–169.

(17.) Dolkart, The Row House, 123, 169–173.

(18.) Ibid.; “Greenwich Village on Royal Street,” New York Times, July 23, 1922; also cited in John Shelton Reed, Dixie Bohemia: A French Quarter Circle in the 1920s (Baton Rouge, LA: LSU Press, 2012), 91.

(19.) Hackworth and Smith, “The Changing State of Gentrification”; David Ley response to Suleiman Osman, “Gentrification and the Death and Life of Great American Cities: Was Jane Jacobs a ‘Gentrifier’?” public lecture, Gentrification and the City series, Simon Fraser University, Vancouver, Canada, November 20, 2013; Tom Slater, “Gentrification in Canada’s Cities: From Social Mix to ‘Social Tectonics’,” in Gentrification in a Global Context: The New Urban Colonialism, 41; and Suleiman Osman, The Invention of Brownstone Brooklyn: Gentrification and the Search for Autheniticity in Postwar New York (New York: Oxford University Press, 2011), 8, 12.

(20.) Dennis E. Gale, Restoration in Georgetown, Washington, D.C., 1915–65 (PhD Diss., George Washington University, 1982).

(21.) Dennis E. Gale, Neighborhood Revitalization and the Postindustrial City: A Multinational Perspective (Lexington, MA: Lexington Books, 1984), 9–10, 22; and J. Thomas Black, “Private-Market Housing Renovation in Central Cities: An Urban Land Institute Survey,” in Back to the City: Issues in Neighborhood Revitalization, ed. Shirley Bradway Laska and Daphne Spain (New York: Pergamon Press, 1980), 11.

(22.) Richard T. Legates and Chester Hartman, “The Anatomy of Displacement in the United States,” in Gentrification of the City, ed. Neil Smith and Peter Williams (Boston: Allen & Unwin, 1986), 185–186;

(23.) Gale, Neighborhood Revitalization, 11.

(24.) Shirley Bradway Laska and Daphne Spain, “Anticipating Renovators’ Demands: New Orleans,” in Back to the City, 131–132.

(25.) Chester Hartman, Dennis Keating, and Richard LeGates, Displacement: How to Fight It (Berkeley, CA: National Housing Law Project, 1982), 154–162.

(26.) Gale, Neighborhood Revitalization, 4, 9; and Hartman, Keating, and LeGates, Displacement, 162–165.

(27.) Jon Teaford, The Metropolitan Revolution: The Rise of Post-Urban America (New York: Columbia University Press, 2006), 168–169.

(28.) Jason Hackworth, The Neoliberal City: Governance, Ideology, and Development in American Urbanism (Ithaca, NY: Cornell University Press, 2007), 144–149.

(29.) Gary Bridge, Tim Butlee, and Loretta Lees, eds., Mixed Communities: Gentrification by Stealth? (Chicago: Policy Press, 2012).

(30.) Hartman, Keating, and LeGates, Displacement, 33, 45–48; and Matthew Lasner, High Life: Condo Living in the Suburban Century (New Haven, CT: Yale University Press, 2012).

(31.) Matthew B. Anderson and Carolina Sternberg, “‘Non-White’ Gentrification in Chicago’s Bronzeville and Pilsen: Racial Economy and the Intraurban Contigency of Urban Redevelopment,” Urban Affairs Review 49 (2013): 442; and Kesha S. Moore, “Gentrification in Black Face?: The Return of the Black Middle Class to Urban Neighborhoods,” Urban Geography 30.2 (2009): 118–142.

(32.) Loretta Lees, “Super-Gentrification: The Case of Brooklyn Heights,” Urban Studies 40.12 (2003): 2487–2509; Julian Brash, Bloomberg’s New York: Class and Governance in the Luxury City (Athens, GA: University of Georgia Press, 2011); and “Stream of Foreign Wealth Flows to New York City Real Estate,” New York Times, Feburary 7, 2015; “Has Zombie Urbanism Gripped the Global City,” KCRW, accessed October 17, 2015.