Gentrification, Displacement, and Neighborhood Revitalization

By J. John Palen; Bruce London | Go to book overview

CHAPTER SIX
Renovators Two Years Later: New Orleans

DAPHNE SPAIN AND SHIRLEY BRADWAY LASKA

We know that central cities are undergoing a net decline in population and that renovators are not primarily returnees from the suburbs ( U.S. Bureau of the Census 1978; Gale 1980; Nelson 1981), but the term "back to the city" may be an accurate description of a renewed interest in city living. A small but influential group of home buyers has redefined inner-city neighborhoods as having desirable qualities, and the question now is whether those people plan to stay. Is renovation a fad, a social movement ( London 1980) that will fade when "urban pioneers" are faced with the arrival of children or with crime in the streets ( Fegan 1979; Gans 1979)? Or is a small segment of the population engaging in behavior that challenges traditional urban ecological theory by choosing the central city and remaining there? It is the purpose of this research to consider such questions by examining the neighborhood satisfaction and intentions to move of a panel of renovators in one city that has undergone extensive gentrification.

____________________
Daphne Spain is a demographic consultant in Charlottsville, VA. Shirley Bradway Laska is Associate Professor of Sociology, University of New Orleans. Presented at the annual meeting of the American Sociolical Association, Toronto, Canada, August 1981. Woody Valls, Melissa Bowman, and Lynn Callery conducted the interviews. Pat Creppel assisted in data analysis, funds for which were provided by the University of New Orleans. The first author was on leave from the Census Bureau, teaching at the University of Virginia, while the research was conducted.

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