Gentrification is a process that transforms declining urban neighborhoods into stable, desirable communities. Mid-size cities are experiencing gentrification as they look to revitalize the urban realm and there is concern of indirect displacement pressures through this process on existing lower-income residents. This research is a case study of the South Wedge neighborhood in Rochester, New York. The research explores the nature of gentrification in mid-size cities and the experiences of residents through the transformation, looking for policy implications as other cities and neighborhoods navigate this process.

The following is a mixed-methods approach of thirteen resident interviews along with data analysis of the census, housing sale prices, crime and assessment data and businesses over approximately ten to fifteen-year timeframe. Resident interviews were gathered through a snowball sampling method and every effort was made to achieve a spectrum of demographics. Unfortunately, due to limiting factors during the research phase, the low-income population is missing from this study.

The South Wedge neighborhood has experienced a high demand for residential housing, a spike in residential sale prices over a two-year period, and demographic shifts in income class, racial make-up, and total population indicating gentrification. The resident interviews showed a strong sense of community and place attachment as well as active participation in the community organizations. There appears to be some exclusionary displacement exhibited. The longevity and success of the community organizations can offer strong examples of approaches and future policies that may prove beneficial in other neighborhoods.

Library of Congress Subject Headings

South Wedge (Rochester, N.Y.)--Social conditions; South Wedge (Rochester, N.Y.)--Economic conditions; Gentrification--New York (State)--Rochester; City dwellers--New York (State)--Rochester--Interviews

Publication Date


Document Type


Student Type


Degree Name

Science, Technology and Public Policy (MS)

Department, Program, or Center

Public Policy (CLA)


Ann Howard

Advisor/Committee Member

Mary Scipioni

Advisor/Committee Member

Franz Foltz


Physical copy available from RIT's Wallace Library at F129.R76 S684 2016


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