Pittsburgh City Paper: Pittsburgh is one of the most gentrified cities in the U.S.

Pittsburgh City Paper, April 4th, 2019: Pittsburgh is one of the most gentrified cities in the U.S.

According to a new study from the National Community Reinvestment Coalition, Pittsburgh is the eighth most gentrified city in America.

With 20 percent of its eligible census tracts being gentrified between 2000-2013, Pittsburgh was more gentrified than cities like San Francisco, Austin and Denver. Gentrification is when redevelopment brings in more affluent residents, typically at the cost of displacing low-income people.

The national average for gentrification among eligible census tracts is about nine percent, according to NCRC. The most gentrified city in the country is Washington, D.C., where 40 percent of census tracts were gentrified from 2000-2013.

Pittsburgh’s gentrification might surprise some observers. To be on par with fast-growing cities like Portland, Ore., and Seattle could look unsettling considering Pittsburgh isn’t experiencing the same level of economic growth. And the exact Pittsburgh neighborhoods that experienced gentrification according to NCRC don’t match popular perceptions.

In Pittsburgh, those areas include Lawrenceville, Bloomfield, Garfield, Polish Hill, Downtown, and sections of the North Side and Mount Washington. According to NCRC, Pittsburgh experienced three neighborhoods with Black displacement: Downtown, the Mexican War Streets in North Side, and St. Clair.

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Redlining and Neighborhood Health

Before the pandemic devastated minority communities, banks and government officials starved them of capital.

Lower-income and minority neighborhoods that were intentionally cut off from lending and investment decades ago today suffer not only from reduced wealth and greater poverty, but from lower life expectancy and higher prevalence of chronic diseases that are risk factors for poor outcomes from COVID-19, a new study shows.

The new study, from the National Community Reinvestment Coalition (NCRC) with researchers from the University of Wisconsin–Milwaukee Joseph J. Zilber School of Public Health and the University of Richmond’s Digital Scholarship Lab, compared 1930’s maps of government-sanctioned lending discrimination zones with current census and public health data.

Table of Content

  • Executive Summary
  • Introduction
  • Redlining, the HOLC Maps and Segregation
  • Segregation, Public Health and COVID-19
  • Methods
  • Results
  • Discussion
  • Conclusion and Policy Recommendations
  • Citations
  • Appendix

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