When Gentrification Follows Transit Oriented Development
Jeff Turrentine writes about the connections between gentrification and public transit investments.
Things have changed. Transit-oriented development, once little more than a jargony buzz phrase uttered by urban planners and public transportation advocates, is transforming cities and suburbs all across the country as the market for housing near transit hubs continues to explode.
Unfortunately, this type of development is also changing the affordability of long-standing communities that working-class residents have called home for generations. At issue is something called transit-induced gentrification, a socioeconomic by-product of transit-oriented development that would have been largely unthinkable 25 years ago, when the idea of living above a busy train station and not owning a car held less appeal among the upwardly mobile than it does today.
Turrentine cites examples from California, in San Diego, Los Angeles, the San Francisco Bay Area, and Sacramento as evidence of the reality of transit-induced gentrification, but also finds similar concerns reported in Chicago, Atlanta, and Portland.
As a response, Turrentine argues that communitarian interests protesting transit oriented development have understandable concerns, but their actions are short-sighted.
Done right, this type of development can revitalize cities while demonstrably curbing carbon pollution by lowering automobile use. The key is in balancing these social goods with the good that comes from keeping existing communities healthy and intact—even as we set about building new ones.
So what does transit oriented development "done right" look like? Click through to the source article to read Turrentine's take.