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PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — Pittsburgh is the eighth most gentrifying city in the United States, according to a new study.
A study published by the National Community Reinvestment Coalition (NCRC) found that 20 percent of Pittsburgh’s eligible census tracts (neighborhoods) were gentrified from 2000 to 2013. Researchers found gentrification was more intense in Pittsburgh than it was in cities including San Francisco (17 percent), Austin (15 percent) and Boston (15 percent).
Nationally, about 9 percent of eligible urban census tracts were gentrified within the same period.
Gentrification is a term typically used to describe the effect high levels of new investment have on lower-income neighborhoods.
To determine the intensity of gentrification across the U.S., NCRC researchers analyzed U.S. Census Bureau and economic data. “Neighborhoods were considered to be eligible to gentrify if in 2000 they were in the lower 40 percent of home values and family incomes in that metropolitan area,” the study explains.
At 40 percent, Washington, D.C. had the highest percentage of gentrifying neighborhoods.
In Pittsburgh, areas that have experienced the most intense gentrification include Downtown, Mount Oliver, Mt. Washington, Lawrenceville, Polish Hill, Bloomfield, Garfield, and parts of the North Side, according to the study’s interactive map.
The study’s authors note that their research was limited to data from 2000 to 2010, which is the most recent U.S. Census data available. Also, the researchers acknowledge that “using census tracts as a proxy for neighborhoods could disguise neighborhood changes taking place at smaller community sizes.”
In the case of Pittsburgh, this lack of current data could explain the discrepancies between the neighborhoods the study found to have been gentrified and the neighborhoods some Pittsburgh residents feel are being gentrified.
NCRC writes that the limitations of the study mean “it cannot capture the full-lived reality of residents in gentrifying neighborhoods.”