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Transit-oriented development and gentrification: a systematic review

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The last two decades have witnessed a growing trend towards transit-oriented development (TOD) as a critical approach for achieving sustainable mobility. However, some analysts and community activists have expressed concerns that TOD could induce gentrification and potential concomitant low-income group displacements. This paper presents a systematic review of 35 quantitative research-based studies presenting evidence on gentrification outcomes resulting from transit-based interventions, published between 2000 and 2018. To our knowledge, this is the first systematic review on this topic and thus provides a useful synthesis of current empirical evidence on transit-induced gentrification. Although there is some evidence supporting the transit-induced gentrification hypothesis, methodological flaws render many of the studies’ conclusions highly questionable. The findings suggest that gentrification is more closely associated with existing local dynamics, built environment attributes, and accompanying policies than transit-oriented development. In its critical analysis of research approaches, this paper warns that the incorporation of several sources of bias into study designs may engender a number of misinterpretations, thus ultimately leading to misguided conclusions and policies.
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Keywords: Public transportation; displacement; gentrification; sustainable mobility; transit-oriented development

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 1: Centre of Studies on Geography and Spatial Planning (CEGOT) and Department of Geography and Tourism, Faculty of Arts and Humanities, Colégio de São Jerónimo, University of Coimbra, Coimbra, 3004-530, Portugal 2: Instituto de Geografia e Ordenamento do Território (IGOT), Universidade de Lisboa, Rua Branca Edmée Marques, Lisbon, 1600-274, Portugal

Publication date: November 2, 2019

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