When does a public good become harmful? And who does it harm? To tackle these questions I take a detailed look at how public transportation affects housing prices. Public transportation is a common good utilized by people of all different socioeconomic levels, but scholars have found that the presence of a new public transportation stop can be a catalyst for gentrification, raising housing prices and displacing previous residents. While this positive relationship between housing prices and public transportation is well documented, there is a lack of literature on how gentrification, caused by public transportation, affects neighborhood-housing prices across race. In order to understand this relationship I looked at three poor white neighborhoods. One in Atlanta, GA, one in Chicago, IL and one in Philadelphia, PA that had a new transportation site extended to it. Using census data, housing prices, and transportation ratings I looked at how these poor white neighborhoods experienced gentrification in comparison to surrounding black neighborhoods. Using these three cases studies, I find that neighborhoods that are 35 percent white or more will gentrify faster than neighborhoods with majority black residents. When neighborhoods around a city center begin to gentrify affluent home buyers feel safer purchasing urban housing in neighborhoods where the residency is majority white.
Shipman, Rosina, "Who Wins and Who Loses? How Gentrification Caused by Public Transportation is Felt Differently Across Race" (2018). Politics Summer Fellows. 5.
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