Date of Award


Document Type

Open Access

Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts


Environmental Science and Policy

First Advisor

Andrew Morris


environment, gentrification, inequality, climate change, environmental policy, sustainability, natural disasters


This thesis aims to illustrate the concept of natural disaster-induced environmental gentrification. There is a heightened vulnerability to unmitigated forced displacement by socioeconomically disadvantaged residents following a natural disaster. Environmental gentrification is a variant of green gentrification. Green gentrification occurs when providing green amenities to a city increases local property values and attracts wealthier residents to a previously polluted or disenfranchised neighborhood, which displaces the low-income residents. Similarly, environmental gentrification is a process that occurs after a natural disaster and rapidly accelerates the process of traditional urban gentrification or green gentrification. As a result, environmental gentrification magnifies and facilitates further the underlying socioeconomic and environmental inequality already in place at the time of disaster.

This thesis presents two case studies in which exemplify environmental gentrification post-natural disaster. The two case studies are New Orleans in the wake of Hurricane Katrina and New York City in the wake of Hurricane Sandy. The overall objective of combating the effects and continued occurrence of environmental gentrification post-natural disasters is the materialization of a more complete democratic vision of climate change resiliency planning and policymaking. Resiliency planning requires that the concerns of all potentially affected residents are addressed through the cooperation of all government levels and the private market to ensure egalitarian opportunities for participation in planning and policymaking process. Through mutual responsibility and transparent presentation of policies the outcome is the creation of an equitable environment for all potentially affected people and property.