Dimensions of Gentrification in a Tourist City

Regina M. Bures, University of Florida
Colleen Cain, University of Florida

An ongoing debate among urban researchers is whether renewal processes such as historic preservation and gentrification strengthen or disrupt communities. We examine the relationship between gentrification, tourism and community change in Charleston, SC, from 1970 to 2000. We use data from the U.S. Census to document multiple dimensions of gentrification. Our findings suggest that an accessible, census-based measure for identifying the changing character of a neighborhood may be the proportion of “native” residents (in this case, those born in South Carolina). We use the case of Charleston to illustrate the challenges inherent in maintaining community in tourism communities. Understanding patterns of growth and change in Charleston can help urban scholars better anticipate the consequences of tourism and gentrification for the social environment.

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Presented in Poster Session 6