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Gentrification is the process of changing the character of a neighborhood through the influx of more affluent residents and businesses. It is a common and controversial topic in urban politics and planning. Gentrification often increases the economic value of a neighborhood, but the resulting demographic displacement may itself become a major social issue. Gentrification often shifts a neighborhood’s racial or ethnic composition and average household income by developing new, more expensive housing and businesses in a gentrified architectural style and extending as well as improving resources that had not been previously accessible (Timberlake & Johns-Wolfe, 2017).

Effects of Gentrification

The gentrification process is typically the result of increasing attraction to an area by people with higher incomes spilling over from neighboring cities, towns, or neighborhoods. Benefits are increased investments in a community and the related infrastructure by real estate development businesses, local government, or community activists, resulting in economic development, increased attraction of business, and lower crime rates (Melstrom & Mohammadi, 2022). In addition to these potential benefits, gentrification can lead to population migration and displacement. However, some view the fear of displacement, which dominates the debate about gentrification, as hindering discussion about genuine progressive approaches to distributing the benefits of urban redevelopment strategies. In Chicago, in 2020, there is an estimated 39.3MMTCO2e as a measure of its footprint.

The majority of Chicago’s carbon emissions come from the areas, the consumption of electricity, transportation, and natural gas. This can be said to be consistent with emission sources around the country. Ideally, Chicago’s carbon footprint is growing rapidly, which hinders sustainable development. Climate scientists suggest that there is a need to reduce emissions by 50-85% by 2050 (Melstrom & Mohammadi, 2022). However, this calls for immediate action through implementing strategies that will, in turn, assist in achieving sustainable development.


Melstrom, R. T., & Mohammadi, R. (2022). Residential Mobility, Brownfield Remediation, and Environmental Gentrification in Chicago. Land Economics98(1), 62-77. , doi: 10.3368/le.98.1.060520-0077R1

Timberlake, J. M., & Johns-Wolfe, E. (2017). Neighborhood ethnoracial composition and gentrification in Chicago and New York, 1980 to 2010. Urban Affairs Review53(2), 236-272.


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Please choose one of the following questions:
1. The reading discusses urbanization and the efforts to revitalize city areas that have historically been less affluent, the process of gentrification. What are the potential effects of gentrification on the economy and current residents of the neighborhood? The reading also addresses sustainable development. Visit the EPA site to examine your carbon footprint. Reflect on the findings of the carbon footprint calculator (examining the U.S. average values or your results), addressing the connection to sustainable development and the course materials.



2. Consider what you have learned about collective behavior, social movements, and social change this week. How is the global expansion of social media likely to affect how people pursue social change? How has it done so already? Use specific examples from the media (including a link to information about a recent social movement) as you analyze social movements, social change, technology, and the media. A full citation/reference is not required for the link.

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