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Gentrification In Chicago

Gentrification in Chicago

Aaron Villasenor

Elmhurst College

Despite the considerable debates on the process of gentrification, there exists rare direct evaluation of its irregular evolution through time and space. This gap can be addressed by creating a conceptual framework on its social pathways and incorporating an approach of systematic social observation to identify observable signs of neighborhood change. The gratification of neighborhoods may result from the control of residential selection by a stronger racial hierarchy (Anderson 2013). There are many types of approaches that may be followed to assess the gentrification that is occurring in Chicago. These may include integration of community surveys, prior street-level observations, police records, census data, city budget data on capital investments and the proximity to amenities. It is identified that, between 2007 and 2009, gentrification in Chicago was negatively related to the concentration of Latinos and blacks in neighborhoods (Krase, 2012). The depiction was either signs of gentrification or the mere disinvested since 1995. Despite the threshold impact of the racial composition, there is over 40 percent attenuation of gentrification related to the share of blacks in a neighborhood. Relating to the theories of neighborhood stigma, it is revealed that the collection disorder perceptions found mostly in poor minority neighborhoods prevent gentrification. Gentrification aids in explanation of how neighborhood racial inequality reproduces in the midst of urban transformation.

Widespread gentrification has been the reason for the social transformation reflected in the period of the past two decades. The changes have resulted in much argumentative debates addressing the benefits and costs of gentrification, mostly for poor minority groups (Anderson, 2013). One of the common measure of neighborhood is the contemporary pathways gentrification which does not have direct indicators of neighborhood development. Specifically, census-based approaches do not indicate the distinctly observable changes to urban landscape arising from the built environment on gentrification (Krase, 2012). Besides, the traditional sources of data fail to capture the economic and political forces like public housing policies, city capital investments and large-scale private developers, which are increasingly fundamental in enabling gentrification.

One of the significant predictor of gentrification is the ethnic and racial composition of the neighborhood. However, most of the quantitative researches on gentrification processes offer underdeveloped explanations of the role of ethno racial composition of the neighborhood (Hwang and Sampson, 2014). This is despite the explanations that the neighborhood ethno racial composition could be a significant factor of gentrification. A number of researches on neighborhood preferences consistently report the unwillingness of the Whites to transfer into neighborhoods including a small African-American population (Krysan, 2007). Adding to the general impacts on the likelihood that the Whites would gentrify a largely Latino or Black neighborhood, White evasion probably reduces the plea of Black neighborhoods to real estate developers in struggle for profit maximization on scarce resources of investment (Hyra, 2008). The research on Latino gentrification is less well developed (Anderson, 2013). Nevertheless, such general observations on the neighborhood racial and ethnic composition have less significance in explanation of the gentrification in the largely neighborhoods of Latino.

The evolution of gentrification with time can be addressed by testable conceptual framework built on the combinations of researches on gentrification with sociological studies on residential selection and racial preferences. The trajectories of recent gentrification can be estimated by assessing how the Google Street view technology has been exploited by gentrification (Krase, 2012). Although various researchers agree the process of gentrification across neighborhoods to be uneven and temporary, quantitative studies have hardly scrutinized how the gentrification of properties evolve over time, its expansion and relation to the neighborhood inequality and racial segregation (Anderson, 2013). Researches reveal that the high-income or gentrified neighborhoods can contribute to upgrading of their adjacent poor neighborhoods. Moreover, ethnicity and race in neighborhood selection play powerful role in decline of neighborhood and regulations of residential segregation patterns.

For a long period, researches on gentrification have failed to incorporate racial stratification in regulating the trajectory of gentrifying neighborhoods and their surroundings. Generally, both economic and political forces are incorporated in the social neighborhood processes to instantaneously regulate the demand and supply for prospective neighborhood reinvestment. The reconstitution of neighborhood reputations and identities support the further upgrading facilitated by the observable indicators of neighborhood reinvestment (Hyra, 2008). The decision to invest in or move to a neighborhood is a significant social process with developing impacts for the trajectory of the neighborhood. There are different forms of racial composition in neighborhood selection as implicated by research on disorder, segregation and gentrification (Krase, 2012). The evolution of gentrifying neighborhoods with time can be theorized by integrating various research.

The discussion provides insights on the pathways of modern gentrification and aids in explanation of the mechanisms supporting the persistence of neighborhood inequality in the period of urban revolution in Chicago. In general, the occurrence of gentrification in Chicago was highly probably in the urban neighborhoods around the central business district zone. The Black residents had positive relation with the gentrified Black but negative association with the gentrified White neighborhoods (Krysan, 2007). Contrariwise, the gentrified Latino neighborhoods had positive relation with the Latino residents. Many researchers have provided empirical and theoretical contributions without sufficiently exploring the roles of ethnic and racial composition of neighborhood as an important gentrification indicator. References

Anderson, Matthew B. and Carolina Sternberg. 2013. “‘Non-White’ Gentrification in Chicago’s Bronzeville and Pilsen: Racial Economy and the Interurban Contingency of Urban Redevelopment.” Urban Affairs Review. vol. 49, 3: pp. 435-467

Betancur, John. 2010. “Gentrification and Community Fabric in Chicago.” Urban Studies 48(2):383–406.

Curran, Winifred. 2017. “‘Mexicans Love Red’ and Other Gentrification Myths: Displacements and Contestations in the Gentrification of Pilsen, Chicago, USA.” Urban Studies 55(8):1711–28.

Hyra, Derek S. 2008. The New Urban Renewal: The Economic Transformation of Harlem and Bronzeville. Chicago: University of Chicago Press.

Hwang, Jackelyn and Robert J. Sampson. 2014. “Divergent Pathways of Gentrification.” American Sociological Review 79(4):726–51.

Hwang, Jackelyn. 2015. “Gentrification in Changing Cities.” The ANNALS of the American Academy of Political and Social Science 660(1):319–40.

Krase, Jerome. 2012. Seeing Cities Change: Local Cul- ture and Class. Surrey, UK: Ashgate Publishing.

Krysan, Maria and Michael Bader. 2007. “Perceiving the Metropolis: Seeing the City through a Prism of Race.” Social Forces 86(2):699–733.

Phillips, Martin and Darren P. Smith. 2018. “Comparative Approaches to Gentrification.” Dialogues in Human Geography 8(1):3–25.

Smith, Chris M. 2012. “The Influence of Gentrification on Gang Homicides in Chicago Neighborhoods, 1994 to 2005.” Crime & Delinquency 60(4):569–91.

Timberlake, Jeffrey M. and Elaina Johns-Wolfe. 2016. “Neighborhood Ethnoracial Composition and Gentrification in Chicago and New York, 1980 to 2010.” Urban Affairs Review 53(2):236–72.