Inclusive Prosperity: No Displacement Necessary

Recent analysis identifies nearly 200 U.S. neighborhoods that have achieved the highly-sought-after goal of increasing the prosperity of residents without displacing the existing community.

2 minute read

September 15, 2022, 11:00 AM PDT

By James Brasuell @CasualBrasuell


BART Train

The Fruitvale transit and shopping district, located in Oakland, California, is one heavily cited example of a model of urban redevelopment achieved without resulting in a high level of displacement. | Sheila Fitzgerald / Shutterstock

Nearly 200 U.S. neighborhoods defined by concentrated poverty have reduced poverty without displacing current residents—showing that investments in neighborhoods are possible without causing displacement.

The findings come from the “Reducing poverty without community displacement: Indicators of inclusive prosperity in U.S. neighborhoods” report written by Rohit Acharya and Rhett Morris for the Brooking Institution. Other key findings from the report include evidence of inclusive prosperity as a hallmark of these neighborhoods: better-than-the-national-average retention of local residents alongside increasing property values and small business activity.

The research findings greatly expand the number of case studies available of low-income neighborhoods allowing investment without displacing the community. Fear of gentrification is often cited as a reason for opposing investment in vulnerable communities—but these findings suggest that investment without displacement is possible.

The report also identified eight indicators of neighborhoods achieving inclusive prosperity. External indicators, from the environment around the neighborhood, include positive economic growth, lower homicide rates, and low risk of displacement. Five internal indicators, which show the prosperity of residents within the neighborhood, include higher rates of homeownership, lower residential vacancy, increased housing density, greater self-employment, and the presence of community organizations.   

Previous Planetizen coverage of the connection between increased levels of investment and displacement:

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