The economics of displacement

NE 2nd Ave Corridor, Little Haiti | Photo Credit: Steven F. via yelp.com

 
As the impacts of sea-level rise intensify and developers look to higher ground to build new projects, Miami’s low-income communities of color are at risk of displacement, particularly to climate-vulnerable neighborhoods.
— A Snapshot of Potential Environmental and Social Costs of the Proposed Little Haiti Development, Earth Economics
 

Potential Environmental and Social costs
of the Magic City innovation district

Fact Sheet | Technical Report

Little Haiti Neighborhood | Miami, Florida  Click to Enlarge

Little Haiti Neighborhood | Miami, Florida
Click to Enlarge

The Magic City Innovation District (“Magic City”) is a seventeen-acre development slated to be built in the Little Haiti neighborhood of Miami. While the development may attract additional investment and benefits for new residents and businesses that move to the area, there is growing concern about the potential negative environmental and social impacts of the project, including economic displacement of residents who have historically resided and worked in Little Haiti, the majority of whom are low-income families of color. Without taking the time to establish a complete picture of the project’s environmental and social costs and benefits, Magic City Innovation District runs the risk of perpetuating economic and racial inequities across Miami communities and contributing to unsustainable development practices that threaten Miami’s long-term resilience.

Using the Magic City Innovation District and Little Haiti as a case study, this project examines and raises awareness of the potential environmental and social costs of land use and economic changes associated with re-zoning and urban development. While gentrification of neighborhoods like Little Haiti generate economic benefits for developers and many homeowners and businesses, the costs incurred by low-income communities of color in the form of relocation, increased exposure to climate hazards, and disrupted social networks, are significant and measurable.

 

Linking development
with Economic, social, and environmental costs 

Large, mixed-use development projects such as the Magic City project can generate significant changes to land use and local economic conditions. Land-use changes, such as converting existing trees and lawn to sidewalks and parking lots, replacing one- or two- story buildings with multi-floor buildings, and increasing residential density, all generate a range of environmental impacts. Economic changes such as rising property costs can lead to economic displacement of lower-income households, which can result in long-lasting financial costs for households. As the impacts of sea-level rise intensify and developers look to higher ground to build projects, Miami’s low-income communities of color are at risk of displacement, particularly to climate-vulnerable neighborhoods.

 

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Page, R., Madsen, T., Mojica, J., Kerr, N., Armistead, C. 2019. Potential Environmental and Social Costs of the Magic City Innovation District: Technical Summary.

Prepared for Community Justice Project, Prepared by Earth Economics. Funding provided by the Kresge Foundation.

Key Words: Community Based Organizations, Displacement, Economic Analysis, Miami, Little Haiti, Magic City, Florida, Rebecca Page