Investments in downtown St. Paul and downtown Minneapolis bring prosperity, but not for everyone.
According to a recent University of Minnesota study, gentrification is accelerating in Minneapolis and St. Paul. The university's Center for Urban and Regional Affairs found that rents are rapidly increasing, driving low-income individuals out.
Gentrification is when an influx of high-income residents to an urban area pushes up property values and displaces low-income residents.
Large public investments — including multi-million-dollar light rail lines, U.S. Bank Stadium and public infrastructure projects like the Midtown Greenway — have caused uneven economic growth in both downtowns. Often these investments have led to increased housing costs and the displacement of existing low-wealth communities of color.
Researcher Neeraj Mehta, the center's director of community programs, discussed the economic impact of downtown developments with MPR News host Tom Weber.