May 3, 2016; Washington Post
The Local Initiatives Support Corporation (LISC) hopes to prevent gentrification of the African American community east of the Anacostia River in D.C. when the new 11th Street Bridge Park connects the area to Capitol Hill. LISC seems to be placing a bet that the gentrification that’s expected to follow the new bridge doesn’t have to mean displacement of low-income households.
And there’s some academic support for that position. Richard Florida, writing in CityLab, cites Lance Freeman in arguing that, against expectations, gentrification reduces low-income displacement: “While some residents were displaced from 1970-2000, gentrifying neighborhoods were generally more diverse when it came to income, race, and education as opposed to non-gentrifying neighborhoods.” In a similar vein, Dr. Florida argues that public spending can shape the impacts of gentrification.
HUD wrestled with some of these issues in an April symposium that focused, in part, on the distinction between gentrification leading