Assessing and predicting green gentrification susceptibility using an integrated machine learning approach

Rayan H. Assaad, Yasser Jezzini

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Greenery initiatives, such as green infrastructures (GIs), create sustainable and climate-resilient environments. However, they can also have unintended consequences, such as displacement and gentrification in low-income areas. This paper proposes an integrated machine learning (ML) approach that combines both unsupervised and supervised ML algorithms. First, 35 indicators that contribute to green gentrification were identified and categorised into 7 categories: social, economic, demographic, housing, household, amenities, and GIs. Second, data was collected for all census tracts in New York City. Third, the green gentrification susceptibility was modelled into 6 levels using k-means clustering analysis, which is an unsupervised ML model. Fourth, the Technique for Order of Preference by Similarity to the Ideal Solution (TOPSIS) was used to map the census tracts to their green gentrification susceptibility level. Finally, different supervised ML algorithms were trained and tested to predict the green gentrification susceptibility. The results showed that the artificial neural network (ANN) model is the most accurate in classifying and predicting the green gentrification susceptibility with an overall accuracy of 96%. Moreover, the outcomes showed that the Normal Difference Vegetation Index (NDVI), the proximity to GIs, the GIs frequency, and the total area of GIs were identified as the most important indicators to predict green gentrification susceptibility. Ultimately, the proposed approach allows practitioners and researchers to perform micro-level (i.e. on the census-tracts level) predictions and inferences about green gentrification susceptibility. This allows more focused and targeted mitigation actions to be designed and implemented in the most affected communities, thus promoting environmental justice.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalLocal Environment
DOIs
StateAccepted/In press - 2024

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Geography, Planning and Development
  • Management, Monitoring, Policy and Law

Keywords

  • Green gentrification
  • Green infrastructure
  • Predictive models
  • Supervised machine learning
  • Unsupervised machine learning
  • Urban areas

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