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Faculty & Staff Honors

Faculty & Staff Honors

CUNY: SPH Professor Awarded Grant to Investigate Environmental Gentrification

CUNY Graduate School of Public Health and Health Policy faculty Dr. Glen Johnson, in collaboration with CUNY Queens College faculty Dr. Melissa Checker, has been awarded a grant through the CUNY Interdisciplinary Research Grant Program to evaluate the association between certain land use changes and gentrification.

While greenspace and other environmental improvements are typically welcome in urban environments, they can also stimulate socio-economic and demographic changes, leading to the concept of “environmental gentrification.” Scholars working across multiple disciplines have theorized the fundamental role of environmental gentrification in generating socio-spatial inequalities, but these analyses are largely descriptive and anecdotal. Drs. Johnson and Checker will formally assess effects of these changes in New York City with the longer-term goal of replicability in other cities.

As a mixed methods approach, gentrification within census tracts will initially be quantified through development of an index based on multiple community-level variables. Qualitative observation of local conditions will help identify critical community variables and also help to interpret quantitative results.  Further, the influence of re-zoning and other land use changes, such as brownfield development, on gentrification will be evaluated through both qualitative geo-visualization and quantitative hypothesis testing through spatio-temporal statistical modeling.

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