To develop our policy toolkit
, we first developed a theory of how gentrification changes neighborhoods. This "logic model" helped us identify all the places policy can intervene: changing the playing field
(neighborhood variables), changing the rules of the game
(market transactions and other interactions between all the players in a city) and targeting the players
themselves (especially vulnerable populations).
We spent a great deal of time brainstorming population and neighborhood variables that could be important to the process of gentrification. Our case study cities
offered many clues about what these variables could be. Access to transit, community organizing capacity, and neighborhood history came up again and again. Then, we thought about challenges and opportunities that could affect policy responses in each city, including state-level restrictions, funding, and political climate. We also recognized that gentrification occurs in stages; policies that might be effective early-on could be useless or even counterproductive in the late stage of gentrification.