Green Roofs - Living Architecture Monitor - Winter 2019 - 27

gentrification is almost inevitable around such a desirable amenity," said Rigolon.
Officials in Los Angeles are also grappling with green gentrification issues. On one side are advocates for parks, health equity and
eco-justice and on the other are developers who want to maximize
their profits. Three proposals under consideration in L.A. to help
keep neighborhoods intact while greening them are:
* Rent control or incentives for developers, such as inclusionary
zoning or density bonuses or allowing "granny flats" in existing properties to ensure affordable and social housing units are
in fact built;
* Capturing the value of the improvements - as housing prices
go up, so does the city's revenue through property taxes.
Creating a mechanism such as an Enhanced Infrastructure Finance District to ensure the rising tax revenues are re-directed
to increase affordable housing is underway. Of course, the
definition of infrastructure must include greening measures;
* Collaborative development - all parties need to be at the table,
to ensure cohesive, friendly, affordable neighborhoods are
built around desirable green space.
The type of park or green space built does have an impact on
the degree of gentrification. In the previously mentioned study,
Alessandro Rigolon points to some interesting statistics. "Accord-

ing to the study, being located
within a half-mile of a new
greenway park increases the
odds that a neighborhood will
gentrify by more than 200 per
cent. Five of seven new greenway parks in the study spurred
significant gentrification in
their surrounding neighborhoods, including New York's
High Line, Chicago's 606 trail,
and Houston's Buffalo Bayou
Park."
The study is notable because
it characterizes different kinds
of parks to reveal nuances in
gentrification effect. The study
distinguished parks based on
"size, overall quality, whether
they are new, proximity to
downtown, and whether or
not they are linear "greenway
parks," longer than a mile, that
include an active transportation

component like bike lanes,"
explains commentator Richard
Florida, Director of Cities at
the Martin Prosperity Institute
at the University of Toronto's
Rotman School of Management. The study concludes that
the establishment of smaller
parks near affordable housing
can also help reduce associated
gentrification.
As cities evolve, so must our
efforts to ensure that policies
to support greening urban
areas be harmonious with
social, cultural and financial
equity issues being proposed
by advocates for lower income
people. Green infrastructure
investment does not have to
lead to gentrification.
Joyce McLean is a freelance
journalist.

GREEN ROOFS & LIVING WALLS
www.sempergreen.com | 540-399-5055
LIVINGARCHITECTUREMONITOR.COM

LIVING ARCHITECTURE MONITOR / WINTER 2019 / 27


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Green Roofs - Living Architecture Monitor - Winter 2019

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