John W. Iwanski/Flickr
Portland economist Joe Cortright co-authored a new report (pdf) on gentrification and poverty that looks at these topics in new way. The “Lost in Place” report, produced by the new think tank City Observatory, looked at neighborhoods in 51 urban areas around the country, from the 1970s to the present.
Unlike many conversations in recent years, both locally and nationally, about how gentrification negatively impacts poor and minority communities, the report argues that it’s not gentrification that’s the most pernicious problem. Instead, the authors say, it’s the spread and concentration of poverty that needs to be addressed.
Cortright says the negative effects for people in poverty are intensified when they live in poor neighborhoods and, he says, that the number of people who live in poor neighborhoods nationwide went from two million in the 1970s to four million today.