The Spatial Analysis of Gentrification: Formalizing Geography in Models of a Multidimensional Urban Process


This chapter examines predominant and emerging approaches for conducting spatial analyses of gentrification; It begins with a brief review of relevant theoretical literature to describe why spatial analyses require formalizing gentrification studies in ways that unavoidably simplify a complex social, economic, political, and geographic process. It proceeds to make the case that, while there are many ways to define and quantify ``gentrification,’’ spatial structure remains a fundamental presence in both the theoretical underpinnings and empirical findings throughout. Following, it provides an overview of contemporary strategies for modeling the phenomenon, drawn from across the social sciences, and describes the assumptions and intentions of each modeling framework, the questions each is designed to answer, and the tradeoffs each approach embodies. The chapter concludes with a discussion of the promising avenues offered by new data sources and urban computation, as well as the potential pitfalls they offer for ethics and inference alike.

Handbook of Spatial Analysis in the Social Sciences
Elijah Knaap
Elijah Knaap
Associate Director & Senior Research Scientist

My research interests include urban inequality, neighborhood dynamics, spatial data science, regional analysis, and housing & land policy.