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Redevelopment and Equity: Examining the Impacts of Revitalization in a Resurgent Detroit

November 30, 2020 @ 4:00 pm - 5:00 pm

As shrinking cities try to recover from years of decline, planners have been struggling with how to promote equitable development. While an influx of newcomers is required to increase the property tax base and redevelopment is needed to upgrade a deteriorating housing stock and built environment, recovery strategies also need to consider the racial and class implications. When revitalization efforts are successful in generating reinvestment and growth, they may also result in unintended negative consequences such as housing unaffordability and precarity, particularly for low-income residents.

This webinar examined the impacts of regeneration initiatives on housing affordability in Detroit. It analyzed how property tax abatements, housing subsidies and demand-side incentives can help to stabilize neighbourhoods and spur redevelopment activity, but also contribute to gentrification pressures and potential displacement. It discussed how planners can be more proactive in anticipating these negative impacts to ensure that the benefits of the resurgence are equally distributed.

Julie Mah is the 2020-2021 IMFG Post-Doctoral Fellow. She holds a Ph.D. in Planning from the University of Toronto and her research focuses on affordable housing issues, evictions, gentrification and displacement, and equitable development approaches. Her dissertation research employed a mixed methods approach to examine the social and housing impacts of regeneration initiatives in a resurgent Detroit. Her current research explores the role of evictions in urban displacement processes in Toronto. Her next project will examine the effectiveness of value capture tools to generate new affordable housing in Toronto. Julie has also worked as a planning consultant on several community improvement plans, cultural plans and economic development strategies.

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November 30, 2020
4:00 pm - 5:00 pm


Institute on Municipal Finance and Governance