Millicent Freeman – work-in-progress

Module 3:  The Impact of Gentrification

Change to cities, neighborhoods, and communities is inevitable—however, with the latest tide of change, many communities are experiencing gentrification.  During gentrification, poorer communities are commonly converted to high-end neighborhoods with expensive housing options such as high-rises and condominiums.

As property prices increase, the original residents of the neighborhood are forced out in a variety of ways. Gentrification occurs when “communities experience an influx of capital and concomitant goods and services in locales where those resources were previously non-existent or denied.”

Learning objectives: Understand the impact of urban renewal/gentrification can impact the lives of residents,

  1. Explain how it looks in your community
  2. Review articles from The Georgetown Journal on Poverty Law and Policy.  
  3. Understand the impact of residential displacement impacts the lives of all residents.
  4. Demonstrate how to locate community profile data and interpret those data.
  5. Explain how poverty affects health and educational attainment

Question: What would it look like for all people in your city or community to flourish? Can everyone thrive equally and safely?

Reading Assignment(s)

Emily Chong, Examining the Negative Impacts of Gentrification Sept, 2017

Evans, G. W., Brooks-Gunn, J., & Klebanov, P. K. (2011, winter). Stressing out the poor: Chronic physiological stress and the income-achievement gapPathways: A Magazine on Poverty, Inequality, and Social Policy, 16–21.

Select articles from The Georgetown Journal on Poverty Law and Policy


  • Sangeeta K Bishop


    I use Starbucks as an example of externalities in my classes to discuss the concept of gentrification and its impact on the surrounding communities. However, I don’t think I spend enough time with this issue. Definitely, I will spend more time on this now!

    Thanks for your blog post.

  • Brett

    I’d like to audit this class! You might offer students the option to share pictures or create a simple slideshow of evidence of gentrification in their neighborhood. They might also be able to share a story about displacement. Another possibility is a role-play, with students taking roles of lower income citizen, higher income citizen, developer, shopowner, city planner, council-person, etc.

  • Cara O'Connor

    Millicent, I love the learning objectives you have for your students, and the question “what would it look like for all people in your city or community to flourish?”

    What would you think about including “Everything was Everywhere” among your readings (from Topic 4 required readings for Robinson – Gottesdeiner’s A Dream Foreclosed)? This story evokes an experience of housing insecurity related to gentrification that is relatable. Moreover, it seems to point to potential activist interventions that you might already be speaking about with your students. A story or two about what it is like to fight back against the “real estate state” could be good additions to your already fantastic list of resources.


Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *