Study: Gentrification Connected to Increases in City Gun Violence

A study by a team of researchers at Harvard Medical School with Brigham and Women’s hospital found that the firearm injury incidence rate was 62 percent higher in neighborhoods that had gentrified between 2014 and 2019 than in non-gentrifying neighborhoods with similar sociodemographic characteristics, Cecilia Nowell reports for The Guardian. The gunshot injury rate was also an additional 26 percent higher in neighborhoods that were actively gentrifying.

One of the study’s co-authors says that the social disruption and residential displacement associated with gentrification might explain the findings. The researchers say that strategies to curb gun violence in the US must address both the availability of guns and the social dynamics of poverty. They hope their research might support policies to reduce the displacement of longtime residents when neighborhoods gentrify or the introduction of violence intervention programs in areas expected to gentrify or ones that are currently gentrifying.

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