Associations between Greenspace and Gentrification-Related Sociodemographic and Housing Cost Changes in Major Metropolitan Areas across the United States

Leah H Schinasi, Helen V S Cole, Jana A Hirsch, Ghassan B Hamra, Pedro Gullon, Felicia Bayer, Steven J Melly, Kathryn M Neckerman, Jane E Clougherty, Gina S Lovasi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

Abstract

Neighborhood greenspace may attract new residents and lead to sociodemographic or housing cost changes. We estimated relationships between greenspace and gentrification-related changes in the 43 largest metropolitan statistical areas (MSAs) of the United States (US). We used the US National Land Cover and Brown University Longitudinal Tracts databases, as well as spatial lag models, to estimate census tract-level associations between percentage greenspace (years 1990, 2000) and subsequent changes (1990-2000, 2000-2010) in percentage college-educated, percentage working professional jobs, race/ethnic composition, household income, percentage living in poverty, household rent, and home value. We also investigated effect modification by racial/ethnic composition. We ran models for each MSA and time period and used random-effects meta-analyses to derive summary estimates for each period. Estimates were modest in magnitude and heterogeneous across MSAs. After adjusting for census-tract level population density in 1990, compared to tracts with low percentage greenspace in 1992 (defined as ≤50th percentile of the MSA-specific distribution in 1992), those with high percentage greenspace (defined as >75th percentile of the MSA-specific distribution) experienced higher 1990-2000 increases in percentage of the employed civilian aged 16+ population working professional jobs (β: 0.18, 95% confidence interval (CI): 0.11, 0.26) and in median household income (β: 0.23, 95% CI: 0.15, 0.31). Adjusted estimates for the 2000-2010 period were near the null. We did not observe evidence of effect modification by race/ethnic composition. We observed evidence of modest associations between greenspace and gentrification trends. Further research is needed to explore reasons for heterogeneity and to quantify health implications.

Original languageEnglish
JournalInternational Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health
Volume18
Issue number6
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 23 Mar 2021

Keywords

  • Adolescent
  • Ethnicity
  • Housing
  • Humans
  • Parks, Recreational
  • Population Density
  • Residence Characteristics
  • United States

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