Urban Displacement Southern California Map

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* Additional details of the methodology can be found in the forthcoming ARB report

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Mapping Neighborhood Change & Gentrification in Southern California County

Much like the rest of the nation, Southern California has undergone a widening economic. Income and wealth disparity have, in turned, reshaped the urban landscape. One of the most contentious transformations is the process of gentrification and displacement. Along with growing economic inequality and changing locational preferences of individuals, governmental policies and programs have contributed to this spatial restructuring. A primary example are the massive public investments in the urban rail system and transit-oriented development. A major challenge is ensuring that all segments of society benefit from such actions, not just those who can afford the accompanying increases in land prices and rents. Government has the responsibility to protect the most vulnerable from the negative consequences of gentrification.

In 2016, the UCLA team developed a neighborhood change database to help stakeholders better understand where neighborhood transformations are occurring and to identify areas that are vulnerable to gentrification and displacement in both transit and non-transit neighborhoods. The July 2018 update expands the geographical coverage of the database to include Los Angeles, Orange, and San Diego Counties, and updates the gentrification and sociodemographic indicators with 2015 data from the American Community Survey. While the UCLA, UCB and Portal State teams have worked in tandem, the outcomes and types of maps are not identical because of differences in project funding, project scope, and data availability in the three regions. Additional details of the methodology for the Southern California maps can be found in the 2017 project report to the California Air Resources Board (Contract Number 13-310).

Key Findings

  • In Los Angeles County, the number of gentrified neighborhoods (census tracts) increased by 16% percent between the 1990 and 2015.
  • Of the three counties, San Diego has experienced the greatest increase in the share of gentrified neighborhoods between 1990-2015 (18%).
  • In both decades, Orange County has the greatest share of neighborhoods that are considered “disadvantaged” or susceptible to gentrification (~43%).