This thesis is a case study of the Marketview Heights neighborhood in the city of Rochester, NY, the main target of the City’s Urban Renewal District Plan (2014). Citizens of Marketview provided input for this plan that used participatory strategies in its creation. The citizens of this neighborhood are primarily people of color who experience relatively high rates of poverty. The Marketview Heights Collective Action Project (CAP) is a community-based organization that has organized and empowered the community with initiatives and programs, like the creation of community gardens and participation in planning of policies that affect their community. CAP is a reflection of the strong sense of place citizens of this community value and maintain. The Urban Renewal District Plan (URD) aims to revitalize the neighborhood by investing in infrastructure and affordable housing, using mixed income housing to attract new residents. Mixed income housing has been shown to induce gentrification, which in turn causes different forms of displacement of original residents. Displacement causes loss of sense of place, detrimental to all spheres within the community. Using a qualitative approach, this study looks at how much the URD reflects the needs and desires of the community as determined by their sense of place. This research explores the use of sense of place as a policy frame or tool that may result in positive neighborhood change that is based on the inclusion and integration of the community’s vision and sense of place in policy.
Science, Technology and Public Policy (MS)
Department, Program, or Center
Public Policy (CLA)
Alfonso, Aya, "Sense of Place in Urban Transformation, Gentrification and Preventing Displacement: a Case Study of the Marketview Heights" (2016). Thesis. Rochester Institute of Technology. Accessed from
RIT – Main Campus