The role of green space in Chicago's gentrification

Michelle Stuhlmacher, Yushim Kim, Ji Eun Kim

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    2 Scopus citations


    Investment in park green space can improve the quality of life for urban residents but has also been linked to green gentrification. Investments in informal green space have been proposed as means for improving green access while minimizing the risk of displacement. Very little empirical research, however, has examined the differential impacts of park and non-park green space investments in the broader context of neighborhood greening. To further this understanding, we examine the association between park and non-park green space increases and the likelihood of gentrification in Chicago using satellite imagery, land use, and census data during two periods—1990–2000 and 2000–2010. We found that green space of any type did not have a statistically significant role in increasing the odds of gentrification, but the importance of green space variables in predicting gentrification increased with time. Neighborhood characteristics like the distance to downtown or the presence of gentrifying neighbors were most predictive, suggesting that green investment efforts should consider the pre-existing risk factors for gentrification. Our results do not dispute that green space has the potential to play a role in gentrification, simply that green gentrification may be strongly contingent upon timing and neighborhood characteristics.

    Original languageEnglish (US)
    Article number127569
    JournalUrban Forestry and Urban Greening
    StatePublished - May 2022


    • Earth observation
    • Gentrification
    • Green gentrification
    • Green space
    • Satellite imagery

    ASJC Scopus subject areas

    • Forestry
    • Ecology
    • Soil Science


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