Northwestern Events Calendar


NUTC Seminar - Marlon G. Boarnet, USC


When: Thursday, February 6, 2020
3:30 PM - 5:00 PM Central

Where: Chambers Hall, Lower Level, 600 Foster St, Evanston, IL 60208 map it

Audience: Faculty/Staff - Student - Public - Post Docs/Docs - Graduate Students

Cost: open to the public / networking & refreshments begin at 3:30pm in the lower level of Chambers Hall

Contact: Joan Pinnell   847.491.7287

Group: Northwestern University Transportation Center

Category: Academic


Northwestern University Transportation Center presents...

"Gentrification and Displacement Near Los Angeles Rail Transit Stations: 
New Evidence from Micro-Data"


Marlon G. Boarnet
Professor and Chair, Department of Urban Planning and Spatial Analysis, Sol Price School of Public Policy, University of Southern California


Join by computer or phone…
Meeting ID: 847 491 7287

Meeting ID: 847 491 7287
+1.408.740.7256 (US (San Jose))
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ABSTRACT: The Los Angeles rail transit system has gone from zero to almost 100 stations since 1990. In this research, we use detailed data on income and location, from anonymized income tax records, to study how that rail transit build-out has influenced nearby neighborhoods. Specifically, has the L.A. rail system contributed to gentrification or displacement? We find that, on average, from approximately 10% to more than 20% of all households living in rail transit neighborhoods move each year. 

Yet household move rates were high before the LA Metro rail system expanded to its current size and remain high, both in neighborhoods near and far from rail stations. We implemented experimental-control regressions (including differences-in-differences) to test the effect of rail station openings on residential move rates. We find at best weak evidence that a station opening increases low-income “move-out” rates. That said, the rail system has perhaps increased low-income move-out rates in a few neighborhoods, particularly along the Red-Purple and Gold Lines. We close with evidence that large portions of the L.A. rail network are being under-used as sites for new residential development. Our overall conclusion is that concerns about rail-induced displacement cannot be dismissed, but are not the root or even the largest cause of the housing crisis that is evident in near-rail neighborhoods in L.A.


SPEAKER BIO: Marlon Boarnet is Professor of Public Policy and Chair of the Department of Urban Planning and Spatial Analysis in the Sol Price School of Public Policy at the University of Southern California. The department’s degree programs include one of the nation’s oldest and largest Master of Urban Planning degrees, a new online Executive Master of Urban Planning degree, the undergraduate B.S. in Urban Studies and Planning, and the department participates in the school’s Ph.D. degrees in Urban Planning and Development and in Public Policy and Management. Boarnet is also president of the Association of Collegiate Schools of Planning, the scholarly association of university planning departments and faculty members in the United States. Prior to becoming department chair in 2016, he served as Vice Dean for Academic Affairs in USC’s Price School from 2014 through 2015. Boarnet served as Director of Graduate Programs in Urban Planning and Development at USC Price from 2012 through 2015, and was chair of the Department of Policy, Planning, and Design at UC-Irvine from 2003 through 2006.


Boarnet’s research focuses on land use and transportation, links between land use and travel behavior and associated implications for public health and greenhouse gas emissions, urban growth patterns, and the economic impacts of transportation infrastructure.  He is a fellow of the Weimer School of the Homer Hoyt Institute for Real Estate, and he is a fellow of the Regional Science Association International.  Boarnet has advised California state agencies on greenhouse gas emission reduction in the transport sector, the World Bank on transportation access as a poverty reduction tool, and numerous public and private entities.  He has been principal investigator on over three million dollars of funded research, supported by agencies that include the U.S. and California Departments of Transportation, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, the California Policy Research Center, the California Air Resources Board, and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation. Boarnet’s academic web page is:



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