Researchers have determined many of the factors that make neighborhoods susceptible to gentrification, but we know less about why some gentrification-susceptible neighborhoods gentrify and others do not. Some studies claim that internal neighborhood features such as historic housing stock are the most powerful determinants of gentrification, whereas other studies argue that a lack of strong affordable housing policies is the primary driver of neighborhood change. In this article, we move beyond a focus on singular determinants to recognize the interplay between these variables. We develop a socioecological model of gentrification in which we characterize neighborhood change as shaped by nested layers we categorize as people (e.g., demographics), place (e.g., built environment), and policy (e.g., housing programs). We then test the model in the five largest urban regions in the United States to begin to determine which variables within the people, place, and policy layers best predict whether a neighborhood will gentrify.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Sociology and Political Science
- Urban Studies