Urban Neighborhood Change in U.S. Metropolitan Areas: Longitudinal Trends, Clustering Effects, Adjacency Effects, and Urban Form

Authors: Hanzhou Chen*, Pennsylvania State University
Topics: Urban Geography, Urban and Regional Planning, Economic Geography
Keywords: neighborhood change, gentrification, spatial analysis, cities, urban studies, Census data, income
Session Type: Poster
Day: 4/6/2019
Start / End Time: 9:55 AM / 11:35 AM
Room: Lincoln 2, Marriott, Exhibition Level
Presentation File: Download


Neighborhood change can be measured in terms of differences in population (demographic) characteristics over time. Neighborhood change is an important topic to study because it can shift the balance of wealth or prosperity to certain parts of a city, or leave other parts in increasingly deprived states. When extreme wealth or poverty is clustered vs. distributed, this leads to different dynamics for crime generation, job accessibility, neighborhood upkeep, infrastructure funding, access to programs, and vulnerability to the negative effects of gentrification. Here, we test whether neighborhood change is clustered or distributed within a city, and where extreme neighborhood change occurs. We measure changes in median household income, home values, and resident education attainment from 1990 to 2010 per U.S. Census data and examine whether quickly-changing neighborhoods are spatially clustered or dispersed and whether they occur in downtowns or in more suburban/exurban areas. We also examine adjacency, i.e. a domino effect, where if a neighborhood changes, are nearby neighborhoods affected? Results can aid in understanding how the wave of reinvestment moves across space and time and evaluating policies regarding locating resources, jobs, facilities and public services. The ‘rules’ discovered about neighborhood change, and their potential replicability across cities can be used as input for future urban dynamics models.

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