The case of inclusive gentrification in Casco Viejo : when long-term investment and community interests align
Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Department of Urban Studies and Planning.
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in the near urban future. The case of Casco Antiguo--the historic district of Panama City, Panama--demonstrates an instance in which the aligned interests of the community and real estate developers created an opportunity for shared growth for some of the groups who are excluded in traditional gentrification models. This research advances the state of knowledge within the gentrification discourse by providing a multi-disciplinary perspective and applying it to a thoroughly documented case study in a developing-country context. Through an analysis of urban land markets, the social dynamics of neighborhoods with high concentrations of poverty, and the complexities of tenure informality in Latin American cities, this thesis builds the case that neither the speculative models of gentrification that lead to exclusion nor a resistance to change that perpetuates existing inequalities are desirable outcomes. Instead, when real estate developers take a long-term approach to investing in revitalizing a neighborhood, their interests in maintaining the authentic character of the place can align with the interests of the current residents. An inclusive model of gentrification then becomes possible. Evidence suggests that a subset of the middle-class seeks diversity when choosing a neighborhood. For developers responding to this demand by investing in diverse city centers, the loss of social diversity caused by gentrification-driven displacement can pose a risk to property values. With a long-term investment horizon, mitigating this risk using a range of methods including building affordable housing or investing in employment programs becomes a strategic business need. Transferring part of the value created through this premium on diversity to reducing displacement enables a situation that benefits both developers and the community.
Thesis: M.C.P., Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Department of Urban Studies and Planning, 2016.This electronic version was submitted by the student author. The certified thesis is available in the Institute Archives and Special Collections.Cataloged from student-submitted PDF version of thesis.Includes bibliographical references (pages 117-126).
DepartmentMassachusetts Institute of Technology. Department of Urban Studies and Planning.
Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Urban Studies and Planning.