Two Philadelphia zip codes are ranked among the nation's most gentrified, according to a recent study on gentrification.
Researchers noted that the 19123 and 19146 zip codes place fourth and eighth in the nation’s ranking of gentrified zip codes, the Philadelphia Inquirer reported.
Gentrification is defined as the renovation of deteriorated urban neighborhoods by the influx of more affluent residents. This process tends to increase the property value but often displaces low-income families and small businesses.
A real estate website, RENTCafe, calculated this ranking by examining 11,000 zip codes around the nation, calculating “median home values, median household incomes, and levels of higher education." The researchers analyzed the average of all three categories, compiling the national list from the data collected through the 2000 census.
The 19123 zip code covers the Northern Liberties, West Poplar, and Callowhill neighborhoods, which recently experienced a surge in home values, household income, and college-educated residents, according to the researchers.
The 19146 area includes the Southwest Center City, Graduate Hospital, and Point Breeze neighborhoods, which have also experienced similar growth.
Emily Dowdell, a community and economic development analyst, said to Philly Voice that a major force driving gentrification is proximity to Center City.
Northern Liberties and Point Breeze have experienced targeted vandalism inspired by opposition to the recent gentrification of those neighborhoods, Philly Voice reported.
Gentrification has become a major issue in West Philadelphia, where demand from Penn students has been displacing low-income families who can't afford the rising rent prices.
Spruce Hill has become a desirable neighborhood in a large part because of its proximity to Penn. Student renting housing in the area has contributed to gentrification, resulting in increased median home sale prices.
In the face of ongoing gentrification, students at Penn have attempted to raise awareness of the issue. Certain protests have criticized how the university has caused gentrification in West Philadelphia, and students have used art as a way to express the effects of gentrification.