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Assessing the effects of urban park features on gentrification indicators in Seattle, WA using geographically weighted regression (GWR)

Authors: Jonah White*, Michigan State University
Topics: Urban Geography, Environment, Urban and Regional Planning
Keywords: urban parks, gentrification, geographically weighted regression, Seattle
Session Type: Paper
Presentation File: No File Uploaded


Previous studies have attempted to investigate the intersections between gentrification and the development and maintenance of urban green space. Scholars contend that the creation of urban green space, particularly in the form of urban parks, is often intended to support healthy lifestyles, promote public well-being, and build cohesiveness within neighborhoods. However, research also suggests the provision of urban park space can serve as an attractive force for creative class residents, lead to inflation of housing costs and property values, and ultimately increase the likelihood of gentrification. This paper uses geographically weighted regression (GWR) to examine the effect of several urban park space features on a selection of commonly used gentrification indicators in the context of Seattle, Washington between 1990 and 2015. GWR accounts for spatial non-stationarity in predictor variables and thus is increasingly used in a variety of urban research endeavors since urban processes do not necessarily occur evenly across space. The GWR model performs better than a global regression model suggesting that the effect of urban park features on gentrification indicators does vary across space. Furthermore, the GWR model reveals how urban park space is related to a particular social class identified with gentrification pressure and illustrates how the intended benefits of an environmental amenity can be unequally distributed.

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