Revington, N., Zwick, A., Hartt, M. et Schlosser, J. (2021). Universities and urban social structure: Gentrification, studentification, and youthification in five United States legacy cities. Urban Geography.
Anchor institutions, including universities, are often instrumentalized to spur revitalization in shrinking or declining cities. Yet universities’ implications for the social geographies of legacy cities remain under-studied. We examine links between universities and gentrification, alongside « studentification » resulting from the concentration of students and « youthification » due to the concentration of young adults, in five legacy city Metropolitan Statistical Areas in the United States in 1980 and 2016 using data from the Census and American Community Survey. We identify differences in the relationships between these processes across the MSAs, reflecting to varying degrees patterns previously observed in strong-market cities. Proximity to universities is more closely associated with studentification and youthification over time, with the latter emerging after 1980, rather than conventional gentrification. We also identify racial dimensions of studentification and youthification processes. We highlight the broader social implications of urban universities, and the salience of studentification and youthification in new contexts.