Revitalization or displacement: What is gentrification really?

Ask anyone who knew the Short North two decades ago, and you’ll probably hear the word gentrification come up. Although a well-known concept in the streets of Brooklyn and San Francisco — and increasingly in Columbus — gentrification is still a vague, but highly controversial concept even more than half a century after the term was first coined. A CHANGING DEFINITION FOR CHANGING NEIGHBORHOODS

Although many have tried nailing down a formal explanation, the definition for gentrification has evolved nearly as much as the cities and neighborhoods it aims to describe. The term gentrification was introduced in 1964 by Ruth Glass, a London sociologist. She wrote:

“One by one, many of the working class neighbourhoods of London have been invaded by the middle-classes—upper and lower.

These 11 photos show how drastically Columbus neighborhoods are changing

Take a walk in nearly any neighborhood around Columbus and you’ll see “For Sale” signs in front of homes with freshly painted trim and manicured yards. These homes are often scattered amongst older homes, some of which are vacant. The stark contrast in the city’s development is clearly demonstrated when these two very different types of homes sit just feet away from one another. Tucked away from the busiest streets —  where development often looks like a new high-rise complex or a local business being pushed out — signs of development also show up in residential areas. New houses are built, old homes are renovated and neighborhoods are rebranded as “up-and-coming.” In some neighborhoods, deemed “revitalized” by cities and developers alike, new mixed-use developments and flipped homes force the prices of nearby homes to increase.