NEIGHBORHOOD REGENERATION IN A DECLINING CITY: THE CASE OF DETROIT
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Gentrification and neighborhood regeneration tends to occur in cities with tight housing markets, where the demand for housing by middle-income residents generates investments into older deteriorating neighborhood (2001, p.1; Kirk & Laub, 2010, p. 461). This tight housing market is typical for growing cities (Glaeser e.a., 2006), not for declining cities. Structural decline provides a context where most neighborhoods are declining (unable to regenerate) and any new demand will re-concentrate into specific neighborhoods(Beauregard, 2013, p. 187). So if gentrification and neighborhood regeneration occur in a city that experiences severe decline, then the assumption can be made that these neighborhoods must have managed to alleviate the problems that constrain neighborhood regeneration. The aim of this research is to understand how regenerating neighborhoods in Detroit (a city experiencing severe structural decline) alleviate the problems posed by the structural decline. In order to understand how regenerating neighborhoods in Detroit alleviate the problems posed by severe structural decline, two questions require answering, namely: where does the neighborhood regeneration occur and how do the regenerating neighborhoods alleviate the constraining problems posed by the structural decline of the city? This study will use a mixed method, two-step analysis. A citywide analysis with spatial data at census tract level will be conducted with the goal of mapping neighborhood dynamics. Hereafter the focus is on how regenerating neighborhood alleviate the constraining problems that are associated with structural population decline. Data from official statistics will be used and data will be collected through interviews with residents, private sector officials.