Date Thesis Awarded

4-2019

Document Type

Honors Thesis

Degree Name

Bachelors of Arts (BA)

Department

Public Policy

Advisor

John McGlennon

Committee Members

R. Heather Macdonald

Lenneal Henderson

Abstract

With the rise of the environmental movement nationally and internationally, American cities are becoming increasingly focused on environmental initiatives to improve environmental quality, boost economic revenue, and better the quality of life for urban residents. Cities across the country have adopted the trend of implementing Large Green Infrastructure Projects, converting formerly developed but now unused areas into environment-oriented parks, based on the model project of the New York City High Line. While these projects benefit urban communities economically, socially, and environmentally, they often do so at the expense of minority and low-income residents. The Large Green Infrastructure Projects generally increase cost-of-living in their surrounding areas, displacing the at-risk communities unable to afford the higher cost in a process known as gentrification. In this research, I develop a methodology for quantitatively measuring the occurrence of gentrification, largely based on prior research with a similar goal. I apply the created methodology to several Large Green Infrastructure Projects in an attempt to validate the methodology and analyze gentrification occurring in surrounding neighborhoods. The analysis aims to show that gentrification in neighborhoods adjacent to the Large Green Infrastructure Projects has occurred at a greater rate than on a city-wide scale. The goal of this research is to identify project implementation as a primary cause for the displacement of low-income and minority urban residents; the application of my methodology will provide quantitative evidence for Large Green Infrastructure Projects being a cause of urban environmental gentrification. This research emphasizes the necessity for development companies and local housing authorities to implement better policies to protect low-income and minority housing during Large Green Infrastructure Project planning.

Share

COinS