Measuring gentrification and displacement in greater London

  • Atkinson R
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The use of aggregate data to understand the linkages between gentrification and displacement has been considered problematic because of a lack of refinement or closeness to the nature of these processes as well as lacking the ability to 'track' displacees. This paper presents the results of pioneering work designed to overcome these problems by combining cross-sectional census data with spatially re-aggregated longitudinal census data (the Longitudinal Study). Using established approaches to measure gentrification, via proxy measures, and devising others for its potential displacees, the work demonstrates a displacement effect clustered around gentrified wards. Attempts are made to quantify flows of displacement relative to city-wide changes over the decade. The paper concludes that, although replacement and displacement are difficult to distinguish, displacement appears prevalent for certain groups and this requires further research initiatives to explore a process that is socially and psychologically harmful.

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