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Taking the Pulse of Indianapolis

Is Indianapolis feeling the strains of gentrification and displacement? LISC Indy wanted to find out, so they commissioned a study from the Center for Community Progress. The results were mixed, some surprising, some not: only five of 200 Census tracts have experienced displacement while many more have lost significant population, income and jobs. Areas that are home to artists have been epicenters of revitalization, and are key to LISC’s Great Places 2020 initiative to transform five Indy neighborhoods in the next four years.

The excerpt below is from:
Are Indy neighborhoods gentrifying?

By Emily Taylor, NUVO

Walking from the Circle to Fountain Square just six years ago was a dramatically different experience than it is today. The trip trailed alongside Virginia Ave. and passed parking lots and abandoned buildings that checkered the urban desert between the nucleus of the city and what's now known as the arts hub of Indy.

Today, the walk hosts apartments with one-bedrooms priced at over a grand a month, James Beard-honored restaurateurs and a Cultural Trail — which are all reasons why Indy was named one of the most desirable cities for millennials. We spoke with a variety of place-makers, developers, artists and community organizers to examine the complex issues of gentrification and displacement from different lenses.

The word "gentrification" has morphed into an organism of its own with entirely subjective understandings. Its exact meaning is hard to pin down. Like a prescription drug, it's seen by some as a cure to ailing neighborhoods, while others see the overwhelming side effects.

Effects like the displacement of longtime homeowners from a community where they have lived for years. Things like racial, class and economic oppression — especially on those who are underprivileged.

National examples of gentrification include New York's Harlem and Chicago's Wicker Park, where the makeup of these areas has dramatically shifted from diverse population to predominantly white middle-to-upper-class residents in the last two decades. The result has forced long-term residents to more affordable spaces. They are often priced out of their homes and unable find comparable living conditions and usually pushed even further into poverty.

Over the last few years, some residents of Indy have felt similar warning signs.

Those murmurs led Local Initiatives Support Corporation (LISC) to commission the Center for Community Progress to research if and where gentrification is happening in Indy.

What they found was startling. Continue Reading[+]...