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“Measuring Gentrification in Chicago Latino Neighborhoods: McKinley Park”

Author: Carla Princess Duran

Department: UIC Institute for Policy & Civic Engagement

Advisor:Dr. Joseph K. Hoereth, IPCE

Marcus Daniels, Graduate Mentor, IPCE

Abstract: Latinx communities in Chicago have been subjected to gentrification. Latinx neighborhoods are often viewed as culturally diverse, vibrant, and inexpensive, making them appealing to newcomers who see them as unique and affordable. The city of Chicago’s failure to implement a comprehensive strategy to mitigate gentrification has resulted in unwanted changes caused by rising property values. Predominantly Latino neighborhoods such as Pilsen, Humboldt Park, Hermosa, and Little Villages are currently struggling to combat gentrification. This research aims to analyze the McKinley Park neighborhood, a Latinx community located on the southwest side of Chicago and identify whether Gentrification exists within the neighborhood. By examining the McKinley Park Neighborhood, which has not been studied before for potential gentrification, we aim to determine if patterns exist in comparison to other communities. This project will provide gentrification mitigation strategies to be implemented to slow down or halt gentrification if present within McKinley Park. The research utilizes several methodologies that include analyzing the zoning ordinances of the McKinley Park neighborhood, a literature review of scholarly articles on Latinx neighborhoods in Chicago that have experienced gentrification, and census data on McKinley Park to measure if any significant changes have occurred in the neighborhood that is similar to gentrified Neighborhoods. Studies that measure gentrification in other Latino neighborhoods indicate that gentrification disproportionately affects the most vulnerable groups, such as persons of color, low-income residents, and working-class individuals. Research findings demonstrate that gentrification is occurring slowly in the McKinley Park neighborhood. Policy recommendations to address gentrification in McKinley Park include implementing community-driven zoning ordinances, increasing the number of affordable housing options through real estate property development, and controlling property taxes to avoid displacement and maintain stable rent prices.

Keywords: Gentrification, Latino Neighborhoods, Literature Review, Census Data, Demographic Change