Exploration of the relationship between gentrification and resident health

Ian Gordon and Andy Pratt, London School of Economics and Political Science

[Project number 30059]

The objective of this research is to quantify the effect that the gentrification of Greater London boroughs has on the wellbeing of local people of lower socio-economic class. The phenomenon of gentrification is defined here as the increasing representation over time of people in professional occupations in areas typically inhabited by unskilled or skilled-manual occupations. Specifically, the research seeks to explore whether the health of unskilled or skilled-manual workers is negatively affected by the decrease in their spatial concentration and their spatial displacement.

The research proposes to use ONS Longitudinal Study variables as proxies for the trends of gentrification, health and displacement; specifically to use changes in the share of residents belonging to certain socio-economic groups to define changing degrees of gentrification. Long-term illness and self-assessed health reports will be used to measure the wellbeing of different populations and variables reporting the distance of recent moves will quantify spatial displacement.

Regression analyses will be carried out on the data in order to assess what effect changes over time in population structure and rates of dispersion have on the wellbeing of lower income people. The results of these regressions will then be used to create graphical illustrations of the changing health of local populations across London. If possible, results of the regressions for specific boroughs, or groups of boroughs if the sample size is too small, will also be compared to data on the numbers recent planning approvals in the area to see whether the change in the services provided to local populations are manifest in changes in the physical environment.