“Gentrification” is a word that gets thrown around a lot. Sometimes it’s a “loaded term”, sometimes it’s a warning, and sometimes it’s a call for development. But just where (and how) is such gentrification happening? Governing Magazine decided to examine the issue on a neighborhood-by-neighborhood basis, looking at census tracts where certain signifiers of gentrification– home prices, median incomes, and educational rates– showed significant increases over a short period of time.
According to Governing, Baltimore is gentrifying much less than cities such as Portland, Minneapolis, and Washington D.C., but the city’s rate of gentrification is still higher than the national average. Nationwide, areas that gentrified also became more white and more populous; the neighborhoods that lost out in the race toward gentrification saw a greater increase in poverty rate, as well as a loss in population.
As you can see from the map above (interactive version available here), in the 1990s, Baltimore’s gentrification–indicated by the darker blue color– was mostly confined to South Baltimore’s waterfront neighborhoods.
As in many cities, gentrification increased rapidly over the past decade, which saw the phenomenon spread to many other pockets of the city, including a broader swath of waterfront neighborhoods, the Patterson Park area, the Charles Street corridor, and neighborhoods near both the Johns Hopkins hospital and the Homewood campus:
It’s dangerous and unfortunate when a national research organization tags our communities with such a loaded term. Should blighted areas not see revitalization? I would hardly say the neighborhoods of Garwyn Oaks, Waltherson, Washington Village, and Frankford are suffering “gentrification.” Yet based on this this study’s title alone, critics will point fingers. It’s a shame.
Interesting, in my neighborhood (Medfield) our education and house value went up exponentially but our salary only went up less than $10K in constant dollars.
I agree revitalization is necessary in these areas. I also agree everyone should have a nice place to live. I do think it would be in everyone’s best interest to help find a better solution that doesn’t force people from their homes because they can no longer afford the properties because the value has increased. Maybe we need to take some control from these banks robbing us blind. Maybe these communities at risk of gentrification need to stop it in its tracks and revitalize their own neighborhoods.
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