Revitalization in Mixed-income Communities
Over the past twenty-five years, the transformation of low-income neighborhoods in cities across the U.S. has increasingly been framed through mixed-income neighborhood ideology which links concentrated poverty to urban social ills. While in its most basic conception the central tenet of mixed-income development is to create diverse neighborhoods, some urban geographers have questioned whether mixed-income is just rhetoric employed to deflect the pejorative connotations and perceptions that are typically associated with gentrification processes. Our research team is examining the ways in which mixed-income neighborhood development in the Over-The-Rhine of Cincinnati, Ohio, relies on, and legitimates, different forms of displacement of low-income populations in the name of revitalization.
I argue that displacement needs to be viewed not only as a singular event whereby different social groups are evicted from absolute space, but rather as everyday experiences associated with the transformation of the social relations that constitute neighborhood space. Our study finds that the use of mixed-income strategies for neighborhood redevelopment extend beyond the production of housing as pro-growth stakeholders also engage in spatial practices aimed at regulating the habituations, affectations, and forms-of-life of those in poverty. In response, the People's Movement, an alliance of low-income residents and nonprofit agencies in the neighborhood, has mobilized to contest these practices that have made it more difficult for some neighborhood residents to maintain a sense of place.