NPR

What Does It Take To See Gentrification Before It Happens?

The great hope of urban advocates is to democratize data, allowing residents to see more clearly how a neighborhood is changing — but knowledge of those changes may accelerate them, says Adam Frank.
Source: Jay Lazarin

Gentrification can wreak havoc on neighborhoods for those most vulnerable to change.

Sure, access to services and amenities rise in a gentrifying neighborhood. That's a good thing. But those amenities won't do you much good if you're forced to move because of skyrocketing housing costs.

That's why neighborhood and housing advocacy groups have spent decades searching for ways to protect long-time residents from the negative affects of gentrification.

But how can you tell if a neighborhood is gentrifying? Is it the that appears next to the bodegas? Is it the hipster coffee shop opening up where the old deli used to be? Maybe it's the expensive new condos rising up across from the older row houses? The problem with any of these obvious indicators is that by the time they appear, it may already be too late. The tide of living expenses in a given neighborhood may already

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