2018 National Planning Conference

Harnessing Gentrification’s Momentum Towards Social Impact

Sunday, April 22, 2018 from 2:45 p.m. - 4 p.m. CDT

Location: R02

CM | 1.25

Cost: Included in Registration

Activity Type: Educational Sessions

Activity ID: NPC188102


  • What the “faces” of gentrification and displacement look like, along with definitions and metrics of both
  • Benefits of gentrification and how they can be leveraged to empower low-income families through social-impact projects and policies
  • What social-impact projects and policies entail beyond affordable housing


Renewal of urban American neighborhoods has been glibly labeled as gentrification — connoting transforming established poor neighborhoods into conforming middle-class enclaves catering to middle-class tastes. But one resident’s gentrification is another’s much-awaited positive change. In Philadelphia, symptoms of gentrification have manifested in culture clashes in neighborhoods such as Brewerytown — with heated arguments both on the ground and online. In Pittsburgh, the Larimer neighborhood (through HUD’s Choice Neighborhoods program) is determined to set its own destiny as it anxiously witnessed the recent transformation of the East Liberty neighborhood next door. In Oakland, California, where housing costs have become unsustainable for even middle-class residents, issues of gentrification/displacement are now more pronounced than ever. In Atlanta, the long-awaited Beltline project is under way, but questions still persist as to who is served by this public investment as market-rate developments sprout along newly completed segments of the trail. This dynamic panel presentation and discussion of public- and private-sector experts will take a balanced view of gentrification from the perspectives of multiple fast-growing cities. How is each municipality harnessing positive attributes of new investments in established neighborhoods to benefit low-income families? How can we compare/contrast multiple approaches by policy and project outcomes?

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Session Speakers

Woo S. Kim, AICP
Wallace Roberts & Todd
Philadelphia, PA

Jessica Smith-Perry
Pittsburgh, PA

Gregory Heller
Philadelphia Redevelopment Authority
Philadelphia, PA

John Gibbs
San Francisco, CA

Sara Patenaude
Decatur, GA

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