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Precursors to neighborhood revitalization? Immigrant growth and urban neighborhood change in new and traditional immigrant settlement areas in the United States

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Many urban neighborhoods in the United States experienced population and economic declines during the 1970s and 1980s, with some exhibiting subsequent reversals. While urban renewal is a subject of considerable research interest, few studies investigate the impact of increased immigrant concentration on neighborhood revitalization. This paper examines the contemporary immigrant/neighborhood revitalization nexus, broadening the literature in three ways. First, we use post-2000 data to reflect the recent growth in immigrant diversity and socioeconomic characteristics. Second, we disaggregate immigrants by race to better establish the contribution of racial discrimination on neighborhood change. Finally, we determine whether the relationship between immigrant in-migration and neighborhood revitalization – defined as increases in population, socioeconomic, and housing characteristics – varies across immigrant gateway types. We find that neighborhood immigrant growth does not lead to consistent growth. These findings shed new light on theories related to neighborhood change, as well as the utility of public policy related to neighborhood revitalization.
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Keywords: Development; immigration; neighborhood; population; race

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 1: Department of Sociology, Temple University, Philadelphia, USA 2: Department of Urban and Public Affairs, University of Louisville, Louisville, USA 3: Department of Sociology, University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, USA

Publication date: February 7, 2020

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