A capstone project by NYU CUSP graduate students is featured by Patch.
NEW YORK — A walk around a neighborhood can reveal some surface-level signs of gentrification, such as a pricey new coffee shop or the skeleton of a high-rise apartment building. But a new map shows where the gears of displacement are grinding the hardest in New York City — and which neighborhoods could be next.
While some of the city’s low-income areas are stable, about one in five neighborhoods in the 31-county New York metropolitan area is experiencing gentrification or displacement, according to the Urban Displacement Project map released April 10.
And more than a third of the city’s low-income residents in 2016 lived in places that were at risk for those pressures or already being plagued by them, researchers found.
“Our work shows that the housing affordability crisis is displacing low-income families throughout the New York region, a pattern that is being replicated in other high-cost regions around the country,” Karen Chapple, a city and regional planning professor at the University of California, Berkeley, said in a news release.
Graduate students at New York University’s Center for Urban Science and Progress developed the map using a methodology adapted from the Urban Displacement Project, a UC Berkeley research initiative. The project got help from the New York City office of the Local Initiatives Support Corporation.
Researchers used U.S. Census Bureau data from 1990, 2000 and 2016 to examine each census tract in the New York City area based on certain characteristics. The results give a sense of just how many neighborhoods are undergoing gentrification, meaning they’re seeing increased rents or housing values and a rush of highly educated, affluent residents.
More than 12% of the region’s neighborhoods are either gentrifying or in “an advanced state of gentrification,” according to Berkeley’s news release. Advanced gentrification has hit portions of areas such as Williamsburg, Long Island City and Bed-Stuy, the map shows.
The region is also home to 314 exclusive or “super-gentrified” neighborhoods, including some in the suburbs as well as the city, the university says. Among them are Tribeca, DUMBO and parts of the Upper East Side, according to the map.
Scattered throughout the city are neighborhoods where low-income households are being displaced even if gentrification is not occurring, such as Ridgewood, Queens or places south of Prospect Park in Brooklyn, the map shows. That’s the case for almost 9 percent of the region’s neighborhoods, Berkeley says.
The map also shows lots of tracts at risk of gentrification, including parts of of East Harlem and the Lower East Side.
The map’s release came as advocates and state lawmakers push for reforms to New York’s rent regulations before they come up for renewal in June. Policymakers can use the map as a tool to better protect vulnerable tenants, Berkeley says, but solutions will likely need to stretch beyond the city.
“Even if New York City can protect its low-income renters in gentrifying neighborhoods, that won’t necessarily ease the displacement pressures on the other communities throughout the region which are experiencing similar issues of rising rents and fewer housing choices,” Moses Gates, the Regional Plan Association’s vice president for housing and neighborhood planning, said in the news release.