Gentrifying the Magic City: A Spatial Analysis of Birmingham, AL 1980 -2010

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2019-01-01
Authors
Fowlkes, Antionette
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Ted Grevstad-Nordbrock
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Community and Regional Planning

Community and regional planning is a professional field of study aimed at assessing the ever-changing socioeconomic and physical environments of our communities and planning for their future. Planners evaluate and seize opportunities to understand and solve problems. Most planners work at the local level, but they are concerned with issues that affect the world: the preservation and enhancement of the quality of life in a community, the protection of the environment, the promotion of equitable economic opportunity; and the management of growth and change of all kinds.

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The Department of Community and Regional Planning was established in 1978 when it was split from the Department of Landscape Architecture and Community Planning.

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1978–present

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Abstract

Birmingham, Alabama, once among the most segregated cities in the nation, is now experiencing an economic revival driven by capital reinvestment into the physical fabric of neighborhoods and an influx of educated, higher-income residents. While positive in some respects, research suggests that urban revival is often accompanied by less positive change, including the displacement of low-income groups, many of them minority. This physical and social restructuring suggests the process of gentrification is at work within Alabama's largest city. The goal of this study is to explore the complex demographic dimensions of this change. Using geographic information system (GIS) technology and a case study approach, it analyzes Birmingham’s census tracts over the thirty-year period from 1980 to 2010 in order to: ascertain the nature of the change in demographic and socioeconomic characteristics; determine which neighborhoods showed signs of gentrification during the study period; and provide recommendations on ways to mitigate gentrification's negative impacts on vulnerable populations.

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Tue Jan 01 00:00:00 UTC 2019