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Beyond housing: Perceptions of indirect displacement, displacement risk and aging precarity as challenges to aging in place in gentrifying cities

Authors: H.Shellae Versey*, Wesleyan University
Topics: Geography and Urban Health, Qualitative Research, Social Geography
Keywords: Age-friendly Cities, Physical environment/space, Urban aging, Gentrification, Displacement, Aging in place
Session Type: Paper
Presentation File: No File Uploaded

Neighborhoods within age-friendly cities and communities are an important factor in shaping the everyday lives of older adults. Yet, less is known about how neighborhoods experiencing change influence the ability to age in place. One type of rapid neighborhood change occurring across major cities nationally and globally is gentrification, a process whereby the culture of an existing neighborhood changes through the influx of more affluent residents and businesses. Few studies have examined the impact of gentrification on older adults, who are among the most vulnerable to economic and social pressures that often accompany gentrification.

The current study explores one consequence of gentrification, indirect displacement. While gentrification-induced displacement can refer to the physical (e.g., direct) displacement of residents moving out of a neighborhood due to rising housing costs, it also references the replacement of the unique character and social identity of a neighborhood (e.g., indirect displacement). We discuss perceptions of the latter, characterized by perceived cultural shifts and housing concerns among adults aging in place in a gentrifying neighborhood in New York City. Furthermore, the implications of indirect displacement for displacement risk and aging precarity are discussed as potential threats to aging in place in age-friendly cities.

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