Munich Personal RePEc Archive

Gentrification and Transit in Northwest Chicago

Lin, Jeffrey (2002): Gentrification and Transit in Northwest Chicago. Published in: Transportation Quarterly , Vol. 56, No. 4 (October 2002): pp. 175-191.

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LeRoy and Sonstelie (1983) propose that the presence of transit, in combination with declining automobile costs, leads to the gentrification of inner-city, transit-served neighborhoods. This paper attempts to empirically demonstrate whether the existence of transit spurred phenomena consistent with gentrification, utilizing data from northwest Chicago between 1975 and 1991. Using changes in residential property values as an indicator of gentrification, evidence is found that properties closest to transit stations increased in value much quicker than those farther away, especially in the period 1985-1991. Properties adjacent to transit stations had a 20% higher increase in value compared with those located a half-mile away, supporting the hypothesis that transit access was a spur to gentrification. The data also supports the notion that gentrification has spread like a “wave" over time, moving away from the lakefront and downtown.

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