13 N.Y.U. Rev. L. & Soc. Change 931 (1984-1985)
To Control Gentrification: Anti-Displacement Zoning and Planning for Stable Residential Districts

handle is hein.journals/nyuls13 and id is 941 raw text is: TO CONTROL GENTRIFICATION: ANTI-
DISPLACEMENT ZONING AND PLANNING
FOR STABLE RESIDENTIAL DISTRICTS
PETER MARCUSE*
INTRODUCTION
Displacement from home and neighborhood can be a shattering experi-
ence. At worst it leads to homelessness, at best it impairs a sense of commu-
nity. Public policy should, by general agreement, minimize displacement. Yet
a variety of public policies, particularly those concerned with gentrification,
seem to foster it.
Section I of this paper provides a very brief account of the nature and
causes of gentrification and displacement including their relationship to aban-
donment.' This section also examines public decision making and illustrates
the range of public decisions that are made in the absence of any comprehen-
sive and explicit policy for dealing with displacement.
Section II argues the need for a comprehensive and planned approach to
the problem. Section III proposes one broad way to implement a policy to
combat displacement: Residential Stability or Anti-displacement Zoning, in
the form of a set of floating zones, which may be used in various areas
threatened by displacement in accordance with their specific local needs but
which are part of a city-wide policy to minimize displacement. Section IV
catalogues a variety of other measures that might be used, separately or to-
gether, to implement an anti-displacement goal. The focus throughout is on
the possibilities for municipal action, an unfortunate limitation, perhaps, but
one consistent with current political realities.
A Model Anti-displacement Residential Stability Zoning Ordinance is set
forth in the Appendix.
I
THE PROBLEM
The problem of displacement in New York City is severe. Displacement
occurs at both ends of the spectrum of spatial change in the city: abandon-
ment and gentrification. There is reason to believe that as many as 140,000
Copyright © 1985 by Peter Marcuse.
* Professor of Urban Planning, Columbia University. B.A., Harvard College, 1948; .D.,
Yale Law School, 1952; M.A., Columbia College, 1963; MJ.S., Yale University, 1969; Ph.D.,
University of California at Berkeley, 1973.
1. A more theoretical discussion may be found in Marcuse, Gentrification, Abandonment,
and Displacement: Their Linkages in New York City, 28 Wash. UJ. Urb. & Contemp. L 195
(1985).
931

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