Gentrification and Displacement are real concerns. As are the effects of underdevelopment on lower-income residents in inner cities.In many cases opponents of development projects misunderstand gentrification and displacement and misstate the evidence to support their opposition. Likewise there is a misunderstanding about the positive impacts of development in these communities.
Professor Lance Freeman, who was a city planner at NYCHA and a local who literally wrote the book about gentrification in Harlem, is now a nationally recognized expert on these matters. Professor Raj Chetty likewise has completed extensive studies on mobility and displacement in neighborhood like Harlem.
Lance Freeman is a Professor in the Urban Planning program at Columbia GSAPP. His research focuses on affordable housing, gentrification, ethnic and racial stratification in housing markets, and the relationship between the built environment and well being. Professor Freeman teaches courses on community development, housing policy and research methods.
Dr. Freeman has published several articles in refereed journals on issues related to neighborhood change, urban poverty, housing policy, urban sprawl and residential segregation. Dr. Freeman is also the author of the book There Goes the Hood: Views of Gentrification from the Ground Up (Temple University Press). He also obtained extensive experience working with community development groups while working as a Community Development coordinator for the North Carolina Institute of Minority Economic Development and as a Research Associate at the Center for Urban and Regional Studies in Chapel Hill, North Carolina. Dr. Freeman also has professional experience working as a City Planner for the New York City Housing Authority, and as a budget analyst for the New York City Department of Environmental Protection.
Raj Chetty is the William A. Ackman Professor of Economics at Harvard University. He is also the Director of Opportunity Insights (formerly the Equality of Opportunity Project), which uses “big data” to understand how we can give children from disadvantaged backgrounds better chances of succeeding.
Chetty's research combines empirical evidence and economic theory to help design more effective government policies. His work on topics ranging from tax policy and unemployment insurance to education and affordable housing has been widely cited in academia, media outlets, and Congressional testimony.