First Advisor

Moriah McSharry McGrath

Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts (B.A.) in Community Development and University Honors


Community Development




Albina (Portland Or.) -- Gentrification -- Oregon -- Portland, Portland (Or.) -- Race relations, Sustainable design -- Social aspects, African American neighborhoods -- Oregon -- Portland




The Albina District in North Portland, Oregon has experienced a tumultuous cycle of disinvestment, decline, and now reinvestment that has caused a shift in its racial and socio-economic composition . As new sources of investment and capital have been introduced into this historically black neighborhood, a new housing redevelopment trend has emerged that reflects consideration to sustainable design and "eco-conscious" lifestyles. This style of redevelopment in N. Williams Avenue caters to those with higher incomes that desire an "urban" and "sustainable" lifestyle through their housing choices. In this paper I argue that this new housing trend is a gentrifying phenomenon that establishes a pretext of environmentalism and sustainability to sell market rate housing that is largely unaffordable to the neighborhood's original residents and contributes to an ongoing pattern of displacement .

Sharon Zukin's sensitizing concepts of gentrification and the marketplace, and Karen Gibson's "Bleeding Albina" form the theoretical foundation of my inquiry on this type of housing redevelopment. Discussion on how low income communities face the paradox of desiring to ameliorate their local environment but fearing the risk of gentrification and displacement following rising land value is a key consideration to this paper (Bouzarovski, S., Frankowski, J., & Herrero, S. T. (2018), Checker, M. (2011), and Kern, L., & Kovesi, C. (2018)). Literature on how sustainable design is overlooked in its potential to lower costs associated with affordable housing is incorporated as well (Gan, X., Zuo, J., Wu, P., Wang, J., Chang, R., & Wen, T. (2017)).


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