Green gentrification vulnerability index (GGVI): A novel approach for identifying at-risk communities and promoting environmental justice at the census-tract level

Rayan H. Assaad, Yasser Jezzini

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations

Abstract

As resilience planning gains prominence in urban sustainable development, green infrastructures (GIs) are widely recognized as effective solutions to address climate risks and environmental challenges. While urban greening initiatives have multiple benefits, they can also lead to unintended consequences such as environmental injustice, increasing property values, and the displacement and gentrification of vulnerable residents in the affected areas. While gentrification remains a significant concern for urban sustainability initiatives that aim to promote environmental justice, a consensus upon approaches and methods for precisely identifying communities undergoing gentrification is still lacking. While most of the existing research studies focused on examining the relationship between GIs and gentrification, little-to-no research was conducted to quantify the green gentrification vulnerability of different communities. To this end, and to bridge this knowledge gap, this paper proposes and develops a novel index called the green gentrification vulnerability index (GGVI). First, an extensive list of 35 indicators that contribute to green gentrification was identified and grouped into 7 categories: economic, social, housing, household, demographic, amenities, and GIs. Second, data were gathered on the 35 indicators for all the 2325 census tracts across New York City (NYC) in the US. Third, the data were preprocessed to ensure their suitability for implementing Principal Component Analysis (PCA). Fourth, PCA was implemented for each of the 7 categories separately to weight their respective green gentrification indicators and calculate vulnerability scores. Finally, these vulnerability scores were used to develop the GGVI. The research findings provided insights on the importance of the 35 indicators as well as the 7 green gentrification-related vulnerability categories in relation to their contribution to the GGVI. The 7 categories were ranked as follows: amenities, GIs, economic, demographic, social, housing, and households. In addition, proximity to parks, frequency of parks, proximity to GIs, and total area of parks were found to be the most important GIs-related indicators that could lead to green gentrification. Overall, this paper contributes to the growing body of research that addresses green gentrification by being the first study that proposes and develops a GGVI that can be used to identify at-risk communities from green gentrification and ultimately help practitioners, urban planners, decision-makers, and researchers in developing new policies and strategies aimed to mitigate the unintended consequences of green gentrification (i.e., displacement of vulnerable communities) and promote environmental justice and urban sustainability.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number104858
JournalCities
Volume148
DOIs
StatePublished - May 2024

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Development
  • Sociology and Political Science
  • Urban Studies
  • Tourism, Leisure and Hospitality Management

Keywords

  • Green gentrification
  • Green infrastructure
  • Principal Component Analysis (PCA)
  • Urban areas
  • Vulnerability

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