Sara Stevens

Associate Professor

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Graduate Student Supervision

Master's Student Supervision (2010 - 2021)
Designed to displace: how The 606 trail, a large green infrastructure project in the city of Chicago, has displaced low-income residents due to rising housing costs (2021)

The research in this thesis aims to understand the direct impact of The 606 trail, a large green infrastructure project in the city of Chicago, on rising housing costs in the blocks directly adjacent to the project. The research is conducted by analyzing the current policies in place to protect affordable housing, conducting a comparative block study of four blocks to identify issues with current policies that are not working to limit gentrification, and finally delivering policy guidelines to help mitigate future gentrification and displacement. This approach was selected to understand how housing typologies are changing and to identify the loopholes being used to avoid providing affordable units in new construction developments. By focusing on the block by block impacts, patterns that would otherwise be missed were revealed as trends in gentrification. The resulting guidelines aim to provide more protections for multi-family 2 to 4 flats, eliminate loopholes in providing affordable units in new construction developments, and make adjustments to the new accessory dwelling unit policy for its pilot program to be more equitable.

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