Promoting Self-Determination, Minimizing Green Gentrification, and Maximizing Community Benefits in Urban Forestry Expansion: A Systematic Review

Posted on by Stephen Gee

The purpose of this systematic review is to investigate how urban forest expansion processes can most equitably be carried out to improve environmental conditions in U.S. cities. In hopes of informing future environmental planning efforts that center racial and socioeconomic justice, this study examines existing literature in two ways. First, this study gathers existing research looking at associations between urban forest coverage and indicators of gentrification and residential displacement to better understand eco-gentrification risks. Second, this study assesses how participatory planning has been carried out in urban forest expansion projects and compiles descriptive findings and best practices noted in the literature. Findings show a need for further research looking specifically at associations between urban forest expansion and diverse indicators of gentrification and residential displacement, such as demographic shifts in neighborhood populations over time, and temporal changes in rental prices depending on a neighborhood’s proximity to different forms and magnitudes of urban forest expansion. Publications related to participatory urban forestry planning point to the importance of: (a) prioritizing the needs and goals of community members to best utilize local knowledge, rebuild trust in government, and repair historic harm; and (b) creating opportunities for community members to participate in planning processes that are accessible logistically, economically, and socially.

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