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Robison

Gentrification and Displacement in the Twin Cities

Gentrification and Residential Displacement in the Twin Cities of Minneapolis and St. Paul, Minnesota Zack Robison

Abstract Gentrification has been linked to price-based displacement of residents in inner city neighborhoods across North America and Europe from as early as the 1960s , and especially since 1990. This paper investigates the relationships between gentrification and residential displacement in Minneapolis and St. Paul, MN by analyzing established demographic and economic indicators for these processes such as home ownership, median income, and market value. Taken together, these factors are used to develop an index that determines neighborhoods at risk for, or currently undergoing, gentrification and urban residential displacement. Key Words Gentrification, Residential Displacement, Urban GIS, Twin Cities, Minneapolis, St. Paul

Robison

Gentrification and Displacement in the Twin Cities

CONTENTS

Table of Contents
Abstract .......................................................................................................................................... 1 Introduction.................................................................................................................................. 3 Geographical Concepts.............................................................................................................. 3 Research Questions and Hypotheses ................................................................................... 5 Research Data .............................................................................................................................. 6 Bibliography ............................................................................................................................... 12

Robison

Gentrification and Displacement in the Twin Cities

Introduction The American City is becoming a hub of local excitement as inner cities across the nation become renowned for their increased livability as hubs of entertainment and recreation; the decades-long flight of wealthy Americans out of inner cities to suburbs has ended as the past two decades saw the first large-scale national increases in inner city population since the 1950s. Minneapolis and St. Paul, Minnesota, are no exceptions to this trend. A lively entertainment hub, a bike-friendly metropolis, and a burgeoning brew culture make the Twin Cities an attractive option to young professionals, and they are moving in. As wealthier residents relocate in to old neighborhoods, however, this Gentrification of an area has been linked to the displacement of current residents. Old residents often are forced to leave the communities where they grew up because they find increasing costs of living associated with urban gentrification too expensive to maintain. Ruth Glass first described and named this phenomenon in a 1964 as the process of middle and upper class households moving into lower-class neighborhoods, upgrading the local houses and facilities and eventually replacing the working-class residents (Glass 1964). Nearly every academic iteration of the term is based around this core process, sometimes excluding the displacement aspect. However, whether displacement is considered a necessary aspect of gentrification or not, there is little disagreement that the altered character of a neighborhood places a

heavy burden on the poorer populations living there. Policy responses in cities around the country are currently being developed to mitigate the potential social impacts of such developments with market-conscious approaches guiding new projects. In order to develop effective management strategies, it is essential to be aware of what factors are signs of displacement risk. This project uses demographic factors established by Kathy Bates (2013) in displacement risk and gentrification likelihood to determine neighborhoods in the Twin Cities which are likely to experience gentrification-related displacement in the near future, and typify the level of gentrification that certain neighborhoods have already experienced. Geographic Concepts and Traditions Introduction Defining Gentrification has been an issue of some debate within the academic community, so it is necessary to define this concept as well as other integral ideas relevant to the scope of this paper such as displacement, measurement, and to a lesser degree urban policy and politics. The definition of gentrification, and especially how it relates to race and displacement, has become as Bates describes conflicted (9). Conceptually, an effective definition of gentrification that is suited to this study must include discussion of indicators of the process as well as displacement that is related to it. The inclusion of racial change and displacement as defining features of gentrification strays somewhat from the model set forth by Glass (1964) and is not

Robison

Gentrification and Displacement in the Twin Cities

always included in discussion of gentrification, such as Hackworths straightforward definition of the production of space for progressively more affluent users. (839 Furthermore, in order to measure such a qualitative process as gentrification, an operational definition needs to be set which encapsulates specific aspects related to gentrification which are measurable. An operational definition for Gentrification must include characteristics of gentrifying or pregentrification neighborhoods. These indicators have been established to include demographic characteristics and changes as well as housing market characteristics (Bates 10, 11, 28-30; Levy et al 239; Freeman 469, 470). The specific characteristics investigated in this research will be discussed in more detail in the data section. The research presented in this paper will fall mostly in the Spatial Tradition of Geographic inquiry as discussed by Pattison in his work describing the development of Geography as a field (Pattison 202, 204), also the Area Studies Tradition bears some relevance to this work. The third, ninth and twelfth Geographic National Standards which focus on analysis of human patterns and migration fit into this tradition themselves while they describe the scope of this study as well (ed. Heffron and Downs). The Spatial Tradition and Standards William Pattison characterizes the Spatial Tradition as abstracting aspects of reality (205). More specific concepts that fit this research would include gentrification, risk indices, quantitative

urban analysis, spatial statistics, urban accessibility, or displacement. Essential to understanding urban displacement and especially as it pertains to gentrification is a conceptual understanding of human migration and settlement as well as economic processes. These are encapsulated in the Third Geographic Standard (the analysis of people, places, and environments on Earths surface), the Ninth (the characteristics, distribution, and migration of human populations on Earth's surface), and the Twelfth (the processes, patterns, and functions of human settlement). Access and displacement Urban Accessibility must be understood within Standards nine and twelve, and within the Spatial Tradition, as a concept that organizes urban planning and effects settlement. Broadly, it describes the interactions within an urban population across its own transportation network and other development patterns. Urban developers must consider accessibility as it pertains to patterns of local growth and consumption in order to plan transportation, communication, and utility networks which facilitate efficient movement of people, goods and services. Access to varieties of good and services are, after all, an essential function of a city; it therefore plays a major role in considering the choice of a particular neighborhood for a household to dwell in. Displacement related to gentrification therefore is, as discussed above, a reaction to the changing landscape and needs of the community. Measuring these phenomena however

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Gentrification and Displacement in the Twin Cities

presents some challenges: a researcher cannot pull out their gentrification meter to determine if an area is gentrified or not, there is no data collection recording the movement of each resident in Minneapolis and St. Paul. In studying these abstractions, quantitative stand-ins which describe these processes must be found and operationalized such that they allow for spatial analysis of gentrification and displacement that is useful to urban policy makers in developing for the future. Research Questions and Hypotheses Introduction Widely recognized as the first steps in scientific inquiry are the observation and the hypothesis. It is that most perennial and sometimes most dreaded question of why? which begins before the first memory and lasts up to if not beyond the final breath of every human, and frames the entire history of both science and, more specifically, geography. Padilla notes Precisely framed research questionsallow you to inductively develop and test grounded theory, as well as help you to make decisions about how you will do the study. (51) The recognition of geographic questions is the first mark of a geographically informed person, acting as the guiding force behind geographic research such as my own, and serves as the foundation for geographic investigation. Research Questions The research questions which

sparked my research are grounded in the Spatial Tradition of Geography: a desire to understand spatial relationships and patterns through qualitative and quantitative abstractions of complex realities. Four research questions which describe the purpose of my research are as follows. Which areas of the Twin Cities are experiencing gentrification- related displacement? Which neighborhoods are likely to gentrify in the future? Where are these neighborhoods? Do gentrified neighborhoods exhibit characteristics of displacement? In his investigation of the causality of gentrification to modern urban displacement, Freeman leads with the hypothesis of the efficacy held by existing inquiries into the relationship between gentrification and displacement, then asking how the two factors are expressed (463464). Bates recognizes the importance of appreciating such relationships, and endeavored to use the answers to these questions in Portland to direct policy goals for the city (6). Hypotheses Of course, the hypotheses which flow from observation and established research questions are rooted in the same geographical traditions as outlined by Pattison, in this case the Spatial Tradition. Research questions are great to guide research, however they are not what Karl Popper would call falsifiable. Thus, the difference between the spatial questions and spatial hypotheses

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Gentrification and Displacement in the Twin Cities

provided are in their specificity and falsifiability, or their test-ability. The hypotheses for my research are as follows. Neighborhoods exhibiting characteristics of regions likely to gentrify and experience gentrification-related displacement in 1990 will have undergone those processes by 2010. Neighborhoods with relatively high percentages of ownership, poverty, and racial minority are coincident with displacement and displacement risk. The final hypothesis that will be tested is whether neighborhoods which have gentrified business and cultural landscapes are effectively located in a model based on Research Data and Analysis Introduction Geography can be widely defined as a study of spatial relationships and patterns. A geographically informed mind sees such patterns and relationships, and in order to explore and understand them one requires the acquisition, organization, and analysis of geographic information in order to isolate and study the significant aspects of such interactions (Vogeler). In order to study gentrification in the Twin Cities, I have adapted the methodologies of previous research (especially Bates, 2013) and applied them to this study area. Data There are three major attributes of a neighborhood that have been isolated in the existing literature as correlational to gentrification and displacement: demographic vulnerability, demographic change, and housing market conditions.

demographics of gentrification and displacement. The most direct correlation between the preceding hypotheses and existing literature which focuses on the concepts of gentrification and displacement is the final hypothesis on the efficacy of current models and the work of Freeman, whose own hypotheses test for the correlation of gentrification, poverty and displacement specifically (476). Also related is the work of Bates and Levy et al, who develop methods for urban gentrification and displacement analysis.

Demographic VulnerabilityVulnerable communities to gentrification are operationally defined as having characteristics of populations that have shown difficulty in resisting development and displacement, particularly because these groups are less able to withstand rising costs of living. These neighborhoods have high percentages of poor, renter, elderly, less educated, and racial minority households. All of this demographic data is available from the U.S. Census Bureau at the tract level, except for the poverty statistics which are drawn from the HUD Comprehensive Housing Affordability Strategy (2006-2010). The census data will be taken from all tracts that fall within the boundaries of Minneapolis or St. Paul in 2010. The attributes collected for each tract will include white/nonwhite percent, rentership, and percent 25 years old and under with a bachelors degree. Also, percent poverty by tract will be used. Ultimately, from each of these four

Robison

Gentrification and Displacement in the Twin Cities

attributes will be designated thresholds as below average at which they are considered vulnerable attributes, then attributes at/above threshold will be aggregated into a vulnerability index that determines vulnerable tracts. Data is thus taken from its raw form (fig 1), to a Boolean value determined by the threshold (fig 2). Then these thresholds are combined for an index (fig 3). For example, if tract 101 has attributes that are lower than their educational and poverty thresholds, than it would receive a 2 on its vulnerability index, where tract 123 is wealthier and its poverty does not meet threshold so it receives a 1. A score of 4 would thus be the maximum vulnerability rating that a

tract would exhibit in this iteration of the vulnerability index, and it would indicate an area where the population is not likely to strongly resist development.

Figure 1: Pre-Threshold Nonwhite Population

Robison

Gentrification and Displacement in the Twin Cities

Figure 2: Poverty Threshold

Figure 3: Vulnerability index formed from combined Vulneability Thresholds

Robison

Gentrification and Displacement in the Twin Cities

Demographic ChangeNeighborhoods already experiencing gentrification display a decrease in the percent vulnerable population and increase in population of young, white, highly educated residents as well as home price increases. Essentially, this attribute of a gentrified or gentrifying neighborhood is determined by examining changes in the vulnerability indicators given above. Increases in white population, increases in people with a bachelors degree, increases in household income and increases in share of homeowners are the indicators that will be used to develop an index which typifies gentrifying neighborhoods. All of this data can be found in the Census, however as the study is now examining temporal change data from both the 2010 and 2000 census will be required. A ny splits or combinations of census tracts between the two censuses had their values averaged in one census or the other, to preserve analytical integrity. The specific attributes used will be percent homes owner occupied, percent white, percent 25 and over with a bachelors degree, and median household income. Again, thresholds were calculated for each attribute against the average change across the study area. An index will be created wherein tracts hitting three or four of these thresholds are defined as gentrified, tracts with two are gentrifying. For example, a neighborhood that has completely changed demographically from minority- to white- dominated, seen

substantial rises in income, and is now highly educated will receive a 4 which indicates that a new group of people have displaces those that lived in a neighborhood a decade or so ago. Housing MarketAs the most notable cause of cost of living increases that force vulnerable populations to relocate, housing market indicators can be used to identify regions of gentrification as well as the stage that a neighborhood is in. Home value, percent owner/renter occupancy, and proximity to neighborhoods of value appreciation are factors that can be used to typify a neighborhood housing market for this study. Data in this final pillar includes information drawn from the 1990, 2000, and 2010 censuses. Median home value is the only attribute taken from the census, but in order to establish an index which includes the market (which exists beyond a given tract) and appreciation, proximity to value across tracts and over time is also considered. So, each tract will end with a median home value, an appreciation rate, and a proximity of whether or not a tract borders tracts which are appreciating. From this, adjacent, accelerating and appreciated tracts will be defined. Naturally, the dollar value across censuses must be accounted for and converted before any analysis is conducted.

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Gentrification and Displacement in the Twin Cities

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Analysis - bringing it all together Ultimately, I arrive at three individual indices that can be brought together. Individually, they will describe the vulnerability, displacement, and housing market in each of the census tracts studied. Taken together, they can overlay each other and provide an idea of which regions currently are gentrified, which are experiencing gentrification, and which look like strong possibilities for gentrification in the twin cities. For example, I have provided a similar index developed for the City of Portland by Lisa Bates (fig 4).

average change is computed for the city to arrive at the threshold of significance.

Figure 4: Bates' vulnerability index

The Vulnerability Index is designed to describe how vulnerable the population of a tract is to displacement, and comprises the amount of % households in poverty, % individuals over 25 with a bachelors degree, % home rentership and % nonwhite values of the tract pulled from the census or ACS, if that value is beneath the threshold set as the citywide average. The Displacement index examines changes in the values of the indicators looked at in the vulnerability index between 2000 and 2010, and then

Results and Discussion The final analysis (fig 5) shows definite patterns across the twin cities. Neighborhoods that have been noted for their suceptibility to potential gentrification such as North Minneapolis and St. Anthony (in West St. Paul) show strongly against their neighboring tracts. The South St. Anthony neighborhood in particular has been mobilizing over the past decade by being involved in the placement of new bike paths, and in particular a light rail pathway, cutting across their neighborhood. These areas of the cities have not yet seen above average changes in demography, but have already seen swings in housing market values (ealry type two, orange). Hatched areas of the map show regions which contain vulnerable populations, and are highly co-incident with areas adjacent to development (green). This typology may prove useful in considering future developments in the cities, however it means little without proff of the value of these indices. Freeman (2005) is not convinced of the relationship between displacement and gentrification at all, and without streetlevel surveys to confirm the index, there can be no assurance as to whether it has been effective in quantifying this abstract, qualitative process. This would be an area ripe for further research, determining the accuracy of the indices used by myself or by Bates in Portland.

Map

The Final Gentrification and Displacement Index


This map represents the final indexed results for the Twin Cities at the Census Tract level. North Minneapolis, the area where a lot of focus on the potential for future gentrification and displacement in the region, is shown in red. High vulnerability is designated by the cross hatch, note how strongly it correlates to areas of gentrification (colored). Gentrified areas are in blue and purple (late, appreciated), red are regions currently undergoing the process (dynamic) as determined by this index. Orange and yellow (early type 1 and 2) denote areas that are beginning to gentrify, but type 2 areas have not seen market change while type 1 regions havent seen demographic change. Finally, green (early) areas are likely to gentrify. Note the lone gentrified area in southwest Minneapolis, it is surrounded by wealthy tracts and in the past decade has seen quick change as it came to resemble them.

Source: US Census Bureau 2010 Decennial Census (SF1)

Robison Bibliography

Capstone Project

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Bates, Lisa. 2013. Gentrification and Displacement Study: implementing an equitable inclusive development strategy in the context of gentrification. Commissioned by City of Portland Bureau of Planning and Sustainability. Available at http://www.portlandoregon.gov/b ps/ article/454027 (retrieved September 28, 2013) Freeman, Lance. 2005. Displacement or Succession? Residential Mobility in Gentrifying Neighborhoods. Urban Affairs Review. 40:463491. Glass, Ruth. 1964. London: aspects of change. MacGibbon & Kee. Hackworth, James. 2002. Postrecession Gentrification in New York City. Urban Affairs Review 37: 815-843. Heffron, S and Downs R. ed. National Geography Standards Index National Geographic. Accessed 11/16/13. http://education.nationalgeograph ic.com/education/standards/natio nal-geography-standards/?ar_a=1 Levy, D., Comey, J., Padilla, S. 2006. In the Face of Gentrification: Case Studies of Local Efforts to Mitigate Displacement. The Urban Institute, Metropolitan Housing and Communities Policy Center. Washington, D.C. http://www.urban.org/UploadedP DF/ 411294_gentrification.pdf (ret. September 28, 2013)

Marcuse, P. 1985. Gentrification, Abandonment, and Displacement: Connections, Causes, and Policy Responses in New York City Journal of Urban and Contemporary Law. 28: 195-240. Pattison, W. 1990. The Four Traditions of Geography. Journal of Geography. 202-206. Solem, M; Cheung, I; Schlemper, M.B. 2008. Skills in Professional Geography: An Assessment of Workforce Needs and Expectations. The Professional Geographer. 60: 356-373. Vogeler, I. Geog 401, Capstone Seminar University of Wisconsin Eau Claire. Accessed 10/10/2013. http://www.uwec.edu/geography/ Ivogeler/w401-capstone/401introduction.html