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Los Angeles' Plan to Minimize Displacement During Urban Revitalization

Bloomberg Philanthropies will fund an "Innovation Delivery Team" in Los Angeles to approach the challenge of revitalizing urban neighborhoods while also creating improvements for existing populations.
March 10, 2015, 8am PDT | Molly M. Strauss | @mmstrauss
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With cities nationally confronting the challenges of gentrification—particularly its perceived effect of pushing out long-term, low-income residents—Los Angeles is pulling together a group to explore these issues on the ground.

In an interview with The Planning Report, Los Angeles Deputy Mayor for Budget and Innovation Rick Cole outlines the goal for the new "i-team": coordinating Los Angeles' various urban revitalization programs to ensure the benefits minimize displacement and maximize benefits for existing residents. Cole is currently spearheading the recruitment for the new "i-team" director.

He explains: "If a neighborhood suddenly becomes more attractive in the marketplace, it does seem logical that residential and commercial rents will increase. What’s missing from that equation, however, are two other factors. First, what if revitalization was so widespread across Los Angeles that attractive neighborhoods were not a scarce commodity? In other words, what if the supply of attractive areas was increased to meet the demand? Second, what if rising wages and business activity allowed existing residents and local businesses to prosper in an improving neighborhood? Targeting both these missing factors could significantly reduce displacement. Using the 'i-team' approach, we will draw on policies and programs from across the nation to see what works—and apply those lessons to LA."

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Published on Friday, February 13, 2015 in The Planning Report
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