When Public Transportation Leads to Gentrification

Transit system in Chicago - The Elevated
Why transit-oriented development projects need to include affordable
housing amid all those luxury condos and cafés.

Concerns about transit-induced gentrification are mounting everywhere that cities are expanding or improving their mass-transportation systems, especially their rail lines. In Maryland’s D.C. suburbs, planners and city officials are currently trying to square one of their original goals for the new Purple Line—dramatically easing lengthy commutes for members of working-class communities—with the sudden appearance of $1.5 million luxury townhomes next to planned stations, developments that excitedly advertise walking distance to trains in their pitches to prospective buyers. Similar tensions are playing out at the moment in ChicagoAtlanta, and Portland.

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