A Neighborhood in Transition:
Gentrification's Dull Roar


All year long, NPR has been examining the forces reshaping our country in a series called the The Changing Face of America. Last month, a listener sent this e-mail:

"I am writing to pitch a story for the Changing Face of America. The neighborhood where I live in Portland, Oregon is going through almost daily transition."

Phil Busse goes on to describe the Alberta neighborhood in Portland, a place that was plagued by gangs only a few years ago, that now sports coffehouses and art galleries. It sounds like gentrification, but Busse says the neighborhood is trying to hold on to the same racial and economic mix that makes it special.

We sent NPR reporter Robert Smith to Portland, Oregon to see if a place can achieve "gentle gentrification." Is it possible to clean up the streets without changing the eclectic, edgy chemistry of Alberta? audio button Listen as NPR's Robert Smith takes a look at the process of gentrification on Morning Edition, Thursday, December 28.


  • Phil Busse's newspaper, Portland Mercury:

  • Portland Redevelopment Commission:

    The Changing Face of America is an 18-month long NPR project that tells the stories of regular, everyday Americans and the issues they face at a time of rapid and dramatic change in the U.S. This special series can be heard on NPR's Talk of the Nation, All Things Considered and Morning Edition.

    The Changing Face of America series is sponsored by
    The Pew Charitable Trusts.