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This Used to Be Ours: Neighborhood Attachment and Gentrification in New York City

Authors: Sara Martucci*, Mercy College
Topics: Urban Geography, Qualitative Research
Keywords: gentrification, urban change, mixed methods
Session Type: Paper
Presentation File: No File Uploaded


Scholars typically consider race, class, and length of tenure in a neighborhood when assessing residents' perceptions of gentrification. This mixed methods research project utilizes 50 qualitative interviews and 150 quantitative surveys with New York residents to add a new variable to the usual categories-- neighborhood attachment style. Attachment style is theorized to be dependent on an individual's motivations for moving to a neighborhood, and the condition of the neighborhood at that time. The findings suggest that everyday experiences of gentrification are highly informed by a resident's style and level of neighborhood attachment, whether it be one of necessity, identity, or investment. Attachment is especially important when we consider experiences of cultural displacement and conflicts that arise as different groups claim ownership over a neighborhood. This research demonstrates that neighborhood attachment style is an important piece in understanding and mediating the negative effects of gentrification.

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