The 'G' Word: A Special Series on Gentrification

Gentrification has accelerated in recent years, creating challenges for local leaders for years to come.
February 2015
Photos by David Kidd

Gentrification, no matter how you definite it, is changing the face of metropolitan areas in every region of the country and generating social consequences that would have seemed far-fetched just a few years ago.

That's why we dedicated this series to examining some of the consequences that gentrification poses for local leaders for years to come: the escalation in housing costs that has made in-town living unaffordable for all but the affluent; the rise in suburban poverty caused by the arrival of minorities and immigrants who used to be concentrated in central cities; and the creation of affluent urban communities in which traditional families are largely absent. We also explore the difficulty of attracting retail to urban core areas, and the question of whether cities can make environmental improvements to neighborhoods without ultimately displacing the people who live there.

What follows is stories that have appeared both on the web and in the print magazine exploring this issue as well as interactive maps and data tracking gentrification.

Read Governing's national report examining gentrification in the 50 largest cities.

Gentrification Maps and Data for U.S. Cities

Albuquerque Columbus Kansas City Nashville San Antonio
Arlington Dallas Las Vegas New York San Diego
Atlanta Denver Long Beach Oakland San Francisco
Austin Detroit Los Angeles Oklahoma City San Jose
Baltimore El Paso Louisville Omaha Seattle
Boston Fort Worth Memphis Philadelphia Tucson
Charlotte Fresno Mesa Phoenix Tulsa
Chicago Houston Miami Portland Virginia Beach
Cleveland Indianapolis Milwaukee Raleigh Washington, DC
Colorado Springs Jacksonville Minneapolis Sacramento Wichita

What, Exactly, Is Gentrification?

It’s hard to define, but it's dramatically changing the urban landscape and bringing a host of new challenges to local leaders. Read more.

Gentrification's Not So Black and White After All

Despite complaints about well-educated white people buying up houses in low-income minority neighborhoods, recent studies show that gentrification often helps the original residents. Read more.

How D.C.'s Affordable Housing Protections Are Losing a War with Economics

In the fastest-gentrifying neighborhood in the country, some of the nation's strongest affordable housing protections haven’t been enough to keep lower-income residents from being priced out of their homes. Read more.

The Downsides of a Neighborhood 'Turnaround'

A former D.C. housing official gives a hard look at what worked, and what didn't, in an award-winning redevelopment project. Read more.

Suburbs Struggle to Aid the Sprawling Poor

Poverty in suburbs now outnumbers poverty in cities, a shift that’s put a major strain on public services and is easily visible in Austin, Texas. Read more.

Some Cities Are Spurring the End of Sprawl

A new report claims there's an historic shift in suburbs from being car-dependent to walkable places, blurring the lines between "urban" and "suburban." Read more.

Do Cities Need Kids?

Seattle is one place trying to figure that out. Read more.

Keeping Cities from Becoming “Child-Free Zones”

With kids on the decline in urban areas, cities can make themselves more attractive to young families by building more playgrounds. Read more.

The Neighborhood Has Gentrified, But Where’s the Grocery Store?

In many gentrifying neighborhoods, attracting new residents and restaurants is the easy part. Finding the right mix of retail is much harder. Read more.

From Vacant to Vibrant: Cincinnati’s Urban Transformation

How a lot of money and a little luck brought one of the nation’s most dangerous neighborhoods back to life. Read more.

Just Green Enough

Sprucing up a park can spur unintended gentrification. Is there a way to green a neighborhood without displacing its residents? Read more.

Can Cities Change the Face of Biking?

There's a growing trend of teaching young people (especially those from demographic groups that historically haven’t embraced biking) how to repair and ride bikes. Read more.