Planetizen - Urban Planning News, Jobs, and Education

Disaster Gentrification and COVID-19

Disaster gentrification is a widely documented phenomenon, like in New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina. The coronavirus and the resulting economic downturn could have similar consequences.
April 13, 2020, 9am PDT | James Brasuell | @CasualBrasuell
Share Tweet LinkedIn Email Comments

Marcus Harrison Green reports from an unincorporated neighborhood called Skyway, located just south of Seattle, where members of the Black community are pondering big questions about the likelihood of the current economic crisis to further drive processes of gentrification and displacement in the region. 

Green finds a lot of uncertainty among local workers and business owners in a community already populated with residents that moved from neighborhoods close to the center of Seattle as a result of the increasing cost of living in the region. Like so many other cities, the working class, including many communities of color, has been displaced from traditional neighborhoods in Seattle. Many people in the region are worried that scarcities of work and government support are likely to exacerbate those trends.

Green's survey of the complexities of gentrification and displacement in the context of COVID-19 include a survey of proposed legislation that could stem the worst effects of the economic downtown resulting from stay-at-home orders in the state, as well as insight from experts on the potential for the crisis to exacerbate gentrification. Junia Howell, an urban sociologist at the University of Pittsburgh, is quoted to describe the likelihood of the coronavirus presents to vulnerable communities: "Crisis doesn’t just reveal inequality," says Howell "It makes it worse."

Full Story:
Published on Wednesday, April 8, 2020 in Crosscut
Share Tweet LinkedIn Email