Anticipating Gentrification in Detroit
Pete Saunders discusses the first report out of the Turning the Corner project, which examines where gentrification is likely to occur in Detroit. The initiative is a joint effort between the National Neighborhood Indicators Partnership and local organizations in Detroit, Milwaukee, Phoenix, and the Twin Cities. In the Motor City's case, Data Driven Detroit is the local partner.
For the report, "the researchers developed what they called a Neighborhood Change Index Score for all Census block groups in Detroit, ranking them in terms of likelihood of neighborhood change from lowest to highest."
In addition to neighborhoods close to downtown, the report suggests that "a wide swath of the city's northeast side" is vulnerable to gentrification. Saunders notes: "that part of the city is known for its modest homes and stable, longtime homeowners, but also for a lack of investment."
He also points out that the report excludes areas where few residents live. "A simple Google search of 'Detroit empty blocks' would reveal large-scale former residential areas that, once the city and developers figure out how to unwind the tangle of ownership, might become new revitalization hotspots -- without the specter of immediate displacement."