Here are some resources we have found helpful to forming our theory that Detroit’s gentrification is building on on racist displacement and resegregation. Read with us! Let us know what you think.

1. Bethany Li’s article argues that gentrification is reaching a tipping point in cities like New York and San Francisco, leading to resegregation of American cities via displacement of low income communities of color. Li argues that community organizing is absolutely essential to affect public policy that rationalizes economic policy; she also argues that legal measures are an underutlized tool to prevent the displacement and resegregation that comes with gentrification.

2. New Orleans has increased in segregation since Katrina, with “desirable” majority black neighborhoods turning into majority white neighborhoods and with majority black neighborhoods becoming blacker and less economically advantaged. The news article reports on the findings of the Housing Authority of New Orleans report, which was required by HUD to do a Fair Housing report, attached.

3. Peter Moskowitz outlines a multi-stage process of gentrification creating wealth for the rich at the expense of struggling everyday people (mostly minorities) by taking case studies in four cities: New York, New Orleans, San Francisco, and Detroit. He shows how urban planning is a tool of power for monied interests, and he demonstrates why regular people can’t just make it work when faced with the threat of gentrification.

  • Book: Moskowitz, Peter. How to Kill a City: Gentrification, Inequality, and the Fight for the Neighborhood. Hachette UK, 2017.
  • Book review in the Atlantic

4. Mindy Fullilove defines the public health hazard of ripping people away from their homes; she calls it “root shock.” Fullilove’s book draws from the experience of African American neighborhoods uprooted by Urban Renewal. As W.E.B. Du Bois described the color line as the problem of the 20th Century, Fullilove calls displacement the problem of the 21st Century. Taking place on both personal and communal levels, Root Shock is as relevant to understanding how our cities got shaped in past generations as reckoning with their restructuring today.

  • Book: Fullilove, Mindy. Root shock: How tearing up city neighborhoods hurts America, and what we can do about it. One World/Ballantine, 2009.
  • On the Web:
  • Article: Fullilove, Mindy Thompson. “Root shock: the consequences of African American dispossession.” Journal of Urban Health78.1 (2001): 72-80.

5. A common argument is whether stadiums actually help cities economically. This Brookings article (about a book), from 1997, squarely says NO. Since then, a lot of the conversation has moved to arguing that stadiums should just have community benefits agreements (CBAs). This academic study of LA’s much advertised and hard fought wins from their impressive community coalition argues CBAs do not deliver on their promises either.