Theses Master's

There Goes the Barrio: Measuring Gentefication in Boyle Heights, Los Angeles

Escalante, Ubaldo

This thesis develops a methodological approach to gentrification that reveals the extent to which gentrification of Latinos by Latinos--otherwise known as gentefication-- has occurred in the neighborhood of Boyle Heights in downtown Los Angeles, California. It posits that gentefication is a “distinctive process of urban transformation driven by patterns of [ethnic] and class stratification” and suggests that overlooked forms of gentrification are not captured by contemporary quantitative methods that spatially identify gentrified census tracts (Moore, 2009, p. 119). This thesis adapts existing quantitative methodological frameworks in order to confirm through spatial analysis that middle class, educated Latinos are a gentrifying force in Boyle Heights. It does so by arguing that in order to identify self-gentrifying communities, socio-economic indicators used to determine gentrification must be racially relative. By exploring gentefication as a process through four methods each comparing Latino-specific data at the census tract and city level in different ways, this thesis concludes that Boyle Heights is being gentefied by Latinos with varying capacities to gentefy. Finally, the thesis explores the implications that this type of gentrification has for urban planning and economic development in Latino communities like Boyle Heights.


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More About This Work

Academic Units
Urban Planning
Thesis Advisors
Meisterlin, Leah M.
M.S., Columbia University
Published Here
May 12, 2017