Understanding investments in city parks as they relate to residential displacement: a literature synthesis

Authors: Stephen Dickinson*, Temple University
Topics: Urban and Regional Planning
Keywords: anti-displacement, parks, gentrification,
Session Type: Paper
Day: 4/9/2020
Start / End Time: 9:35 AM / 10:50 AM
Room: Beverly, Sheraton, IM Pei Tower, Terrace Level
Presentation File: No File Uploaded


It is well-documented that investments in public spaces, such as parks, can result in gentrification and displacement in surrounding neighborhoods (Anguelovski et al. 2018, Checker 2011, Dooling 2009, Pulido 2017). However, the specific types of investments (public-private partnerships, private investments, federal grants, etc.) that cause displacement are still largely unknown. As governments attempt to entice residents back to the city with increased investments in public spaces and parks, the implications of these investments must be better studied in order to mitigate potential negative externalities through policy and other interventions. It has been found that parks-related anti-displacement strategies (PRADAS) around major park and open space projects have had some success in major cities in mitigating the effects of these large-scale projects (Rigolon and Christensen 2019). However, these strategies apply specifically to the displacement effects of large-scale public space investment in parks and not on smaller-scale parks reinvestment projects. This literature synthesis seeks to understand what types of investments in parks create residential displacement and what strategies exist to mitigate residential displacement in urban communities as investments in parks increase. The synthesis will bring together literature on green gentrification, park investments, and displacement as a result of gentrification as a means of setting an agenda for future research into public park investments as they relate to residential displacement.

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