Is revitalization detectable? Evidence from five nashville neighborhoods

Barrett A. Lee, Paula M. Mergenhagen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

17 Scopus citations


Models of revitalization contend that variations in population, housing, and real estate indicators can be used to detect this new form of neighborhood change. Drawing upon census block, city directory, and property sales data for five Nashville residential areas with revitalizing reputations, we test two sets of predictions made by the models, the first about trends in neighborhood characteristics after the perceived onset of revitalization and the second about reversals of prior trends. In general, the first set receives support but the second does not: While demographic and housing market changes during the 1970s are consistent with expectations, they often represent continuations rather than “turnarounds” of patterns evident in the 1960s. On the basis of these findings, an imbalance would appear to exist between the revitalizing images and objective experiences of the five areas. We conclude by suggesting that more research attention be devoted to the labeling process through which neighborhood images are transformed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)511-538
Number of pages28
JournalUrban Affairs Review
Issue number4
StatePublished - Jun 1984

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Sociology and Political Science
  • Urban Studies


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