From Los Angeles to New York, gentrification and displacement are slamming working- and middle-class people. To better understand what’s happening, the well-regarded Urban Displacement Project has produced two explainer videos for residents and activists.
The Urban Displacement Project is a research and action initiative based at UC-Berkeley in the Bay Area. It partners with researchers at UCLA and Portland State University, and rolls out studies, maps, and policy tools so we can more effectively combat gentrification and displacement.
Explaining the need for the displacement video, the project states, “Displacement is a misunderstood crisis, and there are a few key things often missing when we talk about it…
“For starters, displacement happens in many different ways – we can’t effectively fight it until we learn to recognize it in all its forms. Displacement is not just evictions, but also many other pressures that force people to move. And displacement is not just a one-time unfortunate event – it has long-lasting impacts for families and their communities, with low-income people and people of color often being hardest hit.
“We need to help ensure that as new investments take shape across our cities and regions, these investments generate healthy and equitable opportunities for everyone.”
With the gentrification video, the project aims to unpack “what gentrification really means, getting beyond the buzzword. The video addresses what led to gentrification, what gentrification looks like on the ground, and the impact of gentrification on communities, including displacement.”
In Los Angeles, residents and activists can utilize the city’s Index of Neighborhood Change and Index of Displacement Pressure.
These little-known tools help us to see where gentrification and displacement threaten our neighborhoods — and to use data-driven arguments when pressing politicians for interventions, such as improved renters’ protections and land-use policies that don’t only favor developers.