A recent report published by UC Berkeley titled The Urban Displacement Project took on the ambitious task of “mapping” gentrification in our region. The interactive map color-codes over 2,000 census tracts categorizing them into eight different states of gentrification ranging from “Very early stages” to “Advanced”.
The goal of the project was to scrutinize the impacts of policies intended to encourage density and meet climate change goals such as The California Global Warming Solutions Act (2006). The study suggests one of the consequences of this and other policies may be spurring gentrification and ultimately displacement. Most of Emeryville is a swath of Purple and Lavender indicating various states of Gentrification.
The researchers devised a formula based on criteria like property prices, density of low-income households and migration patterns to categorize the individual census tracts. One of the conclusions of the report is that a key indicator for gentrification in a neighborhood is a spike in development of market-rate housing.
Arguably, West Emeryville (west of the railroad tracks) is probably not prototypical gentrification as there were never any established neighborhoods and the area was predominantly rehabilitated EPA Brownfields from vacated industry. Nonetheless, the area continues to see displacement of residents from exorbitant rent increases and may be having an impact on the city as a whole. Critics of the study note that areas “untouched” by gentrification are more likely to persist in a state of deepened and concentrated poverty.
A Map of Gentrification in the Bay Area
Where are the Bay Area’s gentrification hot spots? In which neighborhoods are low-income residents most at risk of being pushed out due to rising real estate prices? Which areas have become exclusive enclaves unattainable to most of us?
UC Berkeley researchers assembled data on more than 2,000 census tracts in the region — including everything from property prices and rents to density of low-income households to migration patterns — to try to create a new portrait of gentrification and displacement dynamics. The result, released earlier this week under the auspices of UC Berkeley’s Urban Displacement Project, is the interactive map above — available with lots of supplementary data and case studies at the project’s website.
The team, led by Karen Chapple, a professor of city and regional planning, and Miriam Zuk, a postdoctoral researcher at Cal’s Center for Community Innovation, wasn’t focusing specifically on displacement and gentrification.
Read More on KQED.org →
The researchers discussed their findings on KQED’s California Report:
And on KQED’s Forum with Michael Krasny: