Gentrification and Neighborhood Decline in a Legacy City: Looking at Milwaukee 2000-2012

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“Gentrification is the subject of extensive, often intense, discussion and controversy. The extent to which gentrification is affecting American cities and neighborhoods, and its significance in the larger context of the ebb and flux of urban neighborhoods often remain unclear. It is particularly important to ask this question about cities outside the handful of ‘magnet’ cities like New York or San Francisco, but where some degree of revival- often reflected in the in-migration of young, well-educated, so-called ‘millennials’- may be taking place. These include many of the nation’s legacy cities, older industrial cities in the northeast and Midwest such as Pittsburgh, Baltimore, St. Louis or Milwaukee. Since the national discourse on gentrification has been dominated by what is taking place in cities like San Francisco or New York, cities which are not necessarily representative of the majority of American cities, there has been far less thoughtful analysis of conditions on the ground in legacy cities, and their implications for those cities’ future.”