SPARCC was designed to explore the ways we can change the systems that currently shape the built environment – systems of policy-making, investment, and power which have produced and continue to exacerbate race- and place-based disparities in health risks and climate vulnerability. SPARCC seeks to boost the ability of local leaders to dramatically alter these patterns so that health, resilience, and prosperity is shared by all.
Over the past 2 years, as the six SPARCC sites worked together to share challenges and solutions in their work to create more equitable policy, practice, and investment, what became clear is that, despite their unique dynamics, the sites share a common backdrop to all their work: displacement pressure. In some of the SPARCC sites, displacement pressures are manifesting as rising and overheated housing markets that are forcing low-income communities of color out of their neighborhoods. In other sites, extreme disinvestment is the driver of displacement, prompting residents to leave rather than risk ongoing exposure to health and safety hazards and lack of economic opportunity. Overall, investments that are aiming to build regional health and resilience – transit-oriented, mixed-use development, pedestrian- and bike-friendly greenways – are compounding the uneven patterns of public and private development and investment that have systematically benefitted some while burdening others.
On December 4, 2018, we convened more than 350 professionals, advocates, practioners, policy-makers, researchers, and investors for Investment Without Displacement. The day-long convening explored strategies that can help cities and regions around the country achieve equitable, inclusive growth informed by the voices, needs, and interests of those communities most threatened by growing displacement pressures. Attendees left equipped with ideas they can implement, and a network of peers they can call on when the going gets tough.
SPARCC is engaging in additional field-building on this body of work through its partnerships with the Urban Displacement Project and Tiffany Manuel, of Enterprise Community Partners, and Race Forward. These partnerships are aimed at building nuance into the national narrative on displacement, strengthening data-informed approaches to decision-making, and developing powerful messages that can mobilize action in support of anti-displacement policy and practice.
It will take a lot more than bold words to create a new paradigm of development where displacement is no longer a reality. We know this. During Investment Without Displacement, SPARCC unveiled its We Believe statement. While the statement is a series of words, our pledge is to actively embody the words in all of the work we do, who we do the work with, and how we do the work. We invited all participants to pledge with us.
Displacement is not a not a new issue. People have been wrestling and writing about these issues for years. In this section, we’d like to highlight some of those writings as a resources to aid us in our new approach: Inclusive Investment. This list is not comprehensive. So much of the work happening around displacement is localized and the story is still unfolding. Here we’ve highlighted a few local cases that we think stand out. If you have other resources you’d like to see spotlighted here, please share with us.
Gentrification Explained and Pushed Out are two short videos produced by the Urban Displacement Project that serve as a primer to the issue of displacement.
Strategic CaseMaking is a webinar highlights the critical aspects of language and how we talk about things as being central to building public will and support. Dr. Tiffany Manuel makes the case that the way we approach talking about displacement is one of the most fundamental aspects to shifting the trajectory of displacement.
What brought us to this moment and how can we move forward? is a candid conversation between Dr. Manuel Pastor, Director of the Program for Environmental and Regional Equity (PERE) at USC, and Dr. john a. powell, Director of the Haas Institute for a Fair and Inclusive Society, taken from Investment Without Displacement.
Gentrification, Displacement and the Role of Public Investment (Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco)
Gentrification, Displacement and the Role of Public Investment: A Literature Review by scholars at the University of California – Berkeley (August 2015). Paper examines the new wave of scholarship examines gentrification, primarily in strong market cities, and its relationship to public investment, particularly in transit.
Climate Change is Reshaping Communities (Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco)
Visiting scholar with the San Francisco Fed’s Community Development department, Jesse M. Keenan examines the ways that climate gentrification is disrupting markets and communities.
Primer developed by Maureen Kennedy and Paul Leonard for The Brookings Institution Center on Urban and Metropolitan Policy and PolicyLink (April 2001). Offers background on how to view the complex issue of gentrification, and suggests policies and strategies that can be pursued to advance equitable development by optimizing the benefits of neighborhood change while minimizing or eliminating the downsides of such change.
Health Investment Without Displacement (Prevention Institute)
Report that lifts up the connection between public health and displacement, with a set of recommendations for how to mitigate negative impacts and elevate the public health benefits of more inclusive investment.
Revitalization Without Gentrification (Kirwan Institute)
This paper by Jason Reece of the Kirwan Institute (Technical Memorandum on Gentrification Issues July 28, 2004) provides a useful definition of gentrification and how it relates to revitalization. A set of principles for equitable development and suggested policy interventions are offered.
The Criminalization of Gentrifying Neighborhoods (The Atlantic)
This article in The Atlantic by Abdallah Fayyad that shows how areas that are changing economically often draw more police—creating conditions for more surveillance and more potential misconduct.
The report provides an Equitable Development Framework for elected officials, policy makers and community advocates that is centered on equity drivers and outcomes.
Development Without Displacement: Resisting Gentrification in the Bay Area (Causa Justa :: Just Cause)
This comprehensive report examines gentrification and displacement from the perspective of a frontline organization working in neighborhoods most impacted by the housing crisis unfolding in the Bay Area. It provides a vision of community development that centralizes the interest and needs of working-class communities of color.
Addressing Displacement Pressures from Public Investment in Chicago’s Communities (Sarah Duda, Deputy Director at the Institute for Housing Studies)
This article profiles recent research from the Institute for Housing Studies (IHS or the Institute)1 on the topic of displacement, gentrification, and the role of public investment in driving neighborhood change. It discusses a specific public investment in Chicago and its role in accelerating gentrification, and highlights a new data tool created by IHS to help community development practitioners develop affordable housing strategies in advance of planned public investments.
LocalHousingSolutions.org provides resources to help cities, towns, and counties develop comprehensive and balanced local housing strategies that enhance affordability, protect low-income residents from displacement, and foster inclusive neighborhoods. The non-partisan site was developed through the National Community of Practice on Local Housing Policy.
The Urban Displacement Project (UDP) is a research and action initiative of UC Berkeley. UDP conducts community-centered, data-driven, applied research toward more equitable and inclusive futures for cities. Our research aims to understand and describe the nature of gentrification and displacement, and also to generate knowledge on how policy interventions and investment can respond and support more equitable development.
The goal of UDP is to produce rigorous research and create tools to empower advocates and policymakers, to reframe conversations, and to train and inspire the next generation of leaders in equitable development.
All In Cities Toolkit (Policy Link)
The All-In Cities initiative at PolicyLink assists local leaders who are ready to take up this challenge. Forging new models of equitable growth and development requires transforming policies and systems that have long perpetuated racial inequities and uneven growth. Too many low-income people, especially people of color, who lived in cities through their long decline still struggle to get by in neighborhoods that put their health and livelihoods at risk, or face displacement as their rents rise and their wages stagnate.