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Dealing with Neighborhood Change: A Primer on Gentrification and Policy Choices

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This paper by The Brookings Institution Center on Urban and Metropolitan Policy and PolicyLink serves as a primer on how to view the complex issue of gentrification. It reviews the findings, analyses and frameworks developed during the gentrification wave of the ’70s and ’80s.

The paper outlines the complex ways that current and “original” residents view gentrification-and clarifies that long-time neighbors can take very different positions on the gentrification issue. Additionally, the paper shows the wide range in the way gentrification pressures play out in three very different cities and one multi-city region – Atlanta, Cleveland, Washington, D.C., and the San Francisco Bay Area – pointing out that gentrification is a much more urgent concern in some areas than in others, where it hardly exists at all. Finally, the paper suggests policies and strategies that can be pursued to advance equitable development by optimizing the benefits of neighborhood change while minimizing or eliminating the downsides of such change.