Examining impacts of gentrification

Book editors

From left: Erualdo González Romero, Rodolfo Torres, Michelle Zuñiga and Ashley Hernandez. Photo by Christine Parales Porciuncula.

Rodolfo Torres and former students edit book on displacement

In their new book, Gentrification, Displacement, and Alternative Futures, Rodolfo Torres, emeritus professor of urban planning and public policy, and three of his former students — Erualdo González Romero (’06 Ph.D. urban and regional planning, ’02 M.A. social ecology), professor of Chicana and Chicano studies at Cal State Fullerton; Michelle Zuñiga (’21 Ph.D. urban and environmental planning and policy), assistant professor of urban and community planning at the University of North Carolina at Charlotte; and Ashley Hernandez, Ph.D. candidate in urban and environmental planning and policy — examine the impacts of gentrification on marginalized communities.

In the introduction, Torres and González Romero write: “Urban studies scholars throughout the United States and beyond have largely failed to properly study the enduring and changing relationship between race and class in the urban context. Few scholars agree on how to define it or whether it is boon or curse for cities.”

The four editors and some of the book’s authors recently gathered on campus to talk about Gentrification, Displacement, and Alternative Futures and about their research on how people cope with gentrification.

Torres said the book’s authors wrote about the communities affected by gentrification by speaking with community activists as well as planners, policymakers and others. “Our contributors were out there, on the ground. They know, they felt it, they lived it. That’s why we wrote this book.”

The 10-chapter book includes:

  • “Neighborhood Change in Near-Transit Latinx Communities: Challenges and Opportunities for Sustainable Development” by Zuñiga and Douglas Houston, associate professor of urban planning and public policy;
  • “Downtown Revitalization in Tucson, Arizona: A Historical Case Study of the Menlo Park Barrio — A Case for New Realities” by Deyanira Nevárez Martínez (’21 Ph.D. urban and environmental planning and policy);
  • “Houses for Living, Not Profit” by Ernesto López-Morales and Ignacia Saona;
  • “Displacing Los Angeles Chinatown: Racialization and Development in an Asian American Space” by Laureen D. Hom (’18 Ph.D. urban and environmental planning and policy);
  • “Gentrification and Resistance in the U.S. South: The Case of the Historic Third Ward Neighborhood in Houston, Texas” by Jeffrey S. Lowe;
  • “Commercial Gentrification in a Downtown ‘Made in Mexico’: The Case of Santa Ana in Southern California, 1980-2011” by González Romero and Tiffany Seeley;
  • “Teaching, Learning, and Relationships to Space: Toward a Spatially Engaged Pedagogy” by Nina M. Flores
  • “Artists as ‘Shock Troops’ of Gentrification?” by David Trend, professor of studio art; and
  • “Gentrification in New Orleans: Global Discourses and Material Effects” by Luis Mirón and Mickey Lauria.

Mimi Ko Cruz
Director of Communciations