Abstract

Using 1970 and 1980 census block data for Washington, D.C., we test several hypotheses about the racial residential consequences of neighborhood revitalization. Areas located in the revitalizing core of the city have a) become whiter in both absolute and proportional terms, consistent with the displacement hypothesis, and b) experienced substantial though difficult to interpret shifts in segregation. The types of racial changes occurring in the core are not apparent elsewhere in Washington, and tract data for 1940–1980 show the core changes to be temporally as well as spatially specific. Because different racial residential trends have accompanied revitalization in other cities, we treat Washington as an exceptional case that helps specify the conditions under which conventional wisdom about neighborhood change is least applicable.

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