|Virginia Beach, VA||46.2%||6||7||86||99|
|New York, NY||29.8%||128||301||1723||2152|
|San Diego, CA||27.5%||22||58||202||282|
|Long Beach, CA||22.4%||11||38||62||111|
|Fort Worth, TX||21.5%||17||62||71||150|
|San Francisco, CA||18.8%||3||13||180||196|
|Colorado Springs, CO||17.6%||6||28||61||95|
|Los Angeles, CA||15.1%||51||287||661||999|
|Oklahoma City, OK||13.2%||9||59||128||196|
|Kansas City, MO||12.8%||10||68||70||148|
|San Antonio, TX||11.7%||14||106||165||285|
|San Jose, CA||10%||7||63||125||195|
|Las Vegas, NV||2%||1||48||100||149|
|El Paso, TX||0%||0||27||104||131|
Gentrification in My Community—Seattle
Gentrification is a hot button issue in Seattle right now. The booming tech industry downtown has caused to an influx of young, high-income residents to move close to their workplace. Increasing development in traditionally ethnic neighborhoods like the Central District.
Paul Allen’s development company recently purchased a large plot of land in the Central District to be developed into new apartments. “Do you think anyone from my neighborhood could afford to live there?” questions Zinda Foster, a resident of the CD for over 30 years. When I interviewed her for this project she recounted how recently her retired black neighbor had to sell her house and move because property taxes were getting too high. Black-owned businesses are disappearing and black residents are being forced to move outside the city to the suburbs. In their place white families are moving in, often employees in the tech industry. “Not long ago every household on my block was black folks. Now all the houses except for three are white,” reports Foster.
The data backs her up. A report from the Seattle Times reveals that since 1970 the Central District’s black population has fallen from 73% to less than 20%, while the white population has nearly quadrupled to 60%.
Tensions are high. The neighborhood’s changes seems to have taken on an Us vs. Them mentality. In September, two Central District artists gave out “gentrification citations” to new businesses condoning them for “being unapologetic gentrifier[s].”
Since 2000, 50% of Seattle’s land tracts which could’ve undergone gentrification underwent gentrification (read methodology here). The Seattle City Council is currently in the contentious process of determining how to accommodate the steroidal growth of the city and the opportunity—and challenges—growth brings.