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Gentrification and Racial Change in Washington D.C: A Mixed-methods Comparison of Neighborhood Investment and Disinvestment within Four Census Tracts


A nationwide real estate boom and government expansion has introduced millions of dollars of capital into previously disinvested neighborhoods in Washington, DC. Many neighborhoods have experienced both economic expansion and displacement. Gentrification does not look the same in all neighborhoods; therefore, it is important to examine the relation between both class-based and racial demographic changes of neighborhoods and their association with specific levels of investment and disinvestment. This article explores types of investment and their influence on neighborhood change within four different types of neighborhoods - Navy Yard (Tract 72), Brightwood Park (Tract 21.02), Central Avenue (Tract 99.03), and Barry Farm (Tract 74.01). I analyze two datasets - quantitative tract-level census data for these four census tracts for years 2000 through 2018 and observational qualitative data for these same four census tract neighborhood blocks, for available years of 2007-2018(9) to assess changes within them. Results suggest race and class composition of a neighborhood independently affect the levels of investment and disinvestment experienced within.

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