Redevelopment and the Rust Belt: Understanding Cultural Influences on Residential Preferences

Michael D Bader, University of Michigan

Although redevelopment and gentrification is obvious in many once distressed U.S. cities, very little is known about the perceptions of these neighborhoods among the metropolitan community. This is largely due to the fact that most studies of gentrification or redevelopment tend to occur in redeveloped neighborhoods or consider redevelopment in absence of other influences on residential mobility. I use the cultural insights gleaned from community studies of gentrifying neighborhoods as well as those from the existing literature on residential mobility to examine who in the metropolitan area would consider moving to a redeveloped neighborhood and why they would consider moving there. Racial differences as well as age, when mediated through education, have a strong effect on who considers a redeveloped neighborhood while reasons vary by education, income and age. Implications for understanding the class impacts of redevelopment as well as insights into residential perceptions more generally are examined.

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Presented in Session 7: Migration, Race-Ethnicity and Community Change