Indiana University SPEA Edward J. Bloustein School of Planning and Public Policy University of Pennsylvania AIR American University

Panel Paper: Gentrification and Political Representation: A Comparative Analysis

Friday, November 13, 2015 : 9:10 AM
Ibis (Hyatt Regency Miami)

*Names in bold indicate Presenter

Derek Hyra1, Rosie Tighe2, James Wright1 and Robert Renner3, (1)American University, (2)Cleveland State University, (3)U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development
In many neighborhoods, gentrification does not always result in physical displacement due to affordable housing and other policies that help to keep a sizable proportion of long-term, low-income residents in place. However, gentrification might also result in political displacement as upper-income newcomers flock into gentrifying neighborhoods and take control over formal forms of political representation. Political displacement is a process that involves the loss of political voice in government due to neighborhood change.

This study analyzes political changes at the local level for majority black political districts experiencing gentrification. Using a unique dataset, containing local election and neighborhood change data from 1990 to 2010, we assess whether gentrification is associated with the loss of black elected officials at the municipal level in US cities that contain some of the fastest gentrifying black neighborhoods. Our findings suggest that the extent of black political loss is mediated by the city’s political context and type of demographic change occurring both at the city and neighborhood level.