Who's Mapping Gentrification, and Where?
Chris Bousquet writes, "A number of cities have found mapping to be a powerful tool for observing gentrification trends, allowing them to intervene before low-income residents are seriously affected. Cities have created maps using data mostly from public sources both to better understand historical trends in gentrification and displacement and predict the next areas where low-income residents are likely to lose their homes."
Covering the cities of Los Angeles, Portland, Seattle, Boston, San Francisco, and New York, the data visualizations adopt a range of methods to depict both the progress of gentrification and the risk of displacement. For each tool, Bousquet discusses how the developers obtained their data, how they map it, and what additional analysis they undertake, if any.
Bousquet notes that the tools may misinterpret upward economic mobility as displacement. "These tools use mobility data—information on changes in the demographic makeup in neighborhoods—as a proxy for displacement." But as these tools grow more sophisticated, in concert with analyzing general demographic trends, these risk assessments can be made more accurate.