Environmental Justice, Gentrification, and Leisure: A Systematic Review and Opportunities for the Future

Lauren E. Mullenbach, Birgitta L. Baker

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

25 Scopus citations


The concept of gentrification, which has recently been expanded beyond residential displacement to address issues of equitable access to public spaces, is deemed an environmental justice issue. Environmental gentrification presents a new threat to economically vulnerable areas looking to add parks, recreation, or green space to their neighborhoods because gentrification may attract newcomers who displace existing residents from public spaces as well as from housing. Consequently, park, recreation, and leisure scholars should study this phenomenon. A systematic review was conducted to assess current knowledge regarding relationships among gentrification and park, recreation, and leisure spaces. A search of three databases uncovered 27 articles. Little leisure scholarship was found, representing an opportunity for leisure scholars to promote environmental justice. Six themes derived from the articles described how policy can negatively impact residents, how strategies can prevent gentrification, and how research methods to study gentrification can impact how results are interpreted.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)430-447
Number of pages18
JournalLeisure Sciences
Issue number5-6
StatePublished - 2020

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Environmental Science (miscellaneous)
  • Sociology and Political Science
  • Tourism, Leisure and Hospitality Management


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