Gentrification. In the past several years alone, it’s a word that’s gained considerable buzzword traction, and for good reason: gentrification displaces families, and it certainly isn’t sustainable in a city’s long-term vision. Yet, tons of municipalities continue engaging in this hot-button housing issue. Why? This complicated trade-off can boost home and business values, creating jobs and funding better schools in the process. But, at what cost? Literally. Below are some of the guiltiest, most rapidly gentrifying cities in the united states. Take a look, and make the call for yourself.
Atlanta, Georgia: 46.2%
Atlanta, Georgia— birthplace of coca-cola, love song to the history of hip-hop, and steadfast entity to lay claim on “eyesore” areas just waiting to be converted into cosmopolitan food markets and boutique shopping plazas. While “The City Too Busy to Hate” was the first in the country to ever construct public housing, affordable housing now rings as a cry for help in the Southern metropolis, which saw a gentrification rate expand from 16.7% between 1990 and 2000, to 46.2% between 2000 and now.
Seattle, Washington: 50%
What’s one of the defining elements you think of when you think of Seattle? Perhaps the Space Needle? The Pike Place Market sign? Maybe Starbucks, or coffee in general? If the theme of coffee entered your mind at any point at all, you may be onto something. While a lot more is to blame for Seattle’s growing trend of displacement than a trendy nook to purchase your joe (or a mocha latte with almond milk), hipster coffee shops moving into neighborhoods are often a telltale sign of a place that’s about to get revitalized. Seattle is no exception.
Minneapolis, Minnesota: 50.6%
While possibly a bit unexpected in comparison with the other burgeoning, hipster-clad cities on the list, Minneapolis saw more than 39 neighborhoods experience gentrification within the past decade alone.
Washington, D.C.: 51.9%
It’s no secret that the District of Columbia is already one of the most expensive places to live within the United States. That cost of living isn’t getting any cheaper either, with local retailers getting pushed out of their longtime homes at a gentrification rate of 51.9% since 2000.
Portland, Oregon: 58.1%
Coming in at the top of the list is Portland, Oregon with a whopping gentrification rate of 58.1%. Despite proclamations from Portland residents to “keep Portland weird”, Portland’s neighborhoods are suffering from a Tale of Two Cities duality as many of its lower-income municipals succumb to the high-rise hegemony of gentrification.