UCLA researchers have created an interactive map showing gentrified neighborhoods across Los Angeles County. They say the map will help, "community leaders better understand the effects of new light-rail and subway projects and related developments — especially on low-income communities," says an announcement from UCLA (seen via LA Weekly).
The map identifies areas that have been gentrified since 1999 to present. From the LA Weekly:
Areas in red became gentrified throughout the entire two-decade-plus span. Those neighborhoods include parts of Mid-City, Koreatown and Echo Park as well as Angelino Heights and the Arts District.
Most of downtown (in blue) is shown as being gentrified in the last decade or so; the same goes for parts of Venice, Playa Vista, Arlington Heights, Westlake, Highland Park and more.
Paul Ong, director of UCLA Luskin’s Center for Neighborhood Knowledge and a professor of urban planning, says there's been a strong interest lately in neighborhoods near subway and light-rail stops. "These locations have the potential for extensive private investments because transit gives people an alternative to using cars. This is particularly attractive to today’s young professionals," he said.
One of Ong’s major findings was that areas around transit stations are transforming, and that these transformations are often, "in the direction of neighborhood upscaling and gentrification." These changes bring in more white, college-educated people and higher rents, and often result in the displacement of "disadvantaged populations," which includes residents with low-incomes and less than a high-school diploma.
That can have serious consequences for low-income residents, who may no longer be able to afford the rising rents that come from sudden interest in a neighborhood.
The findings are troubling, but Ong isn’t proposing neighborhood change be halted altogether. Instead, Ong suggests: "The challenge is ensuring that progress is fair and just."
Researchers want their new map to shine a light on the "the pressures associated with development" and nudge both communities and policymakers in the direction of taking "more effective action" in ensuring new construction doesn’t become synonymous with displacement.
The full interactive map of LA County is here.
- Mapping Neighborhood Change in Los Angeles County [UCLA]
- Here's a Map of L.A.'s Most Gentrified Neighborhoods [LA Weekly]
- Mapping the Great LA Gentrification Wave of the 2000s [Curbed LA]