I pass the intersection of Greenmount and East 35th at least twice a week when running to the track at Hopkins East Baltimore campus. I’ve been traveling the border between Charles Village and Waverly for nearly three years, yet I rarely process the stark contrast between these two neighborhoods, merely separated by a street. Gentrification is prevalent throughout Baltimore and across the country. We pass through gentrified neighborhoods every day—to the point where we become immune to stark contrasts. This phenomenon in Baltimore is dubbed the “white L” and “black butterfly,” and the intersection of Greenmount and 35th is just one example. Constituents in disenfranchised areas experience higher rates of diabetes, heart disease, and COVID. Buildings also tend to fall into disrepair and abandon, lending to higher rates of infrastructure violations, including lead paint infractions. As a result, dilapidated homes in East and West Baltimore are linked to higher levels of learning disabilities in such communities, perpetuated by lead exposure. Furthermore, gentrification heightens racial inequalities, and negatively impacts public health in disenfranchised areas. Unfortunately, these images are only one example of thousands in Baltimore that display gentrification and racial discrimination. Raising our awareness of inequalities and their environmental and public health impacts is the first step to institute change.
One thought on “Environmental Impacts Perpetrated by Gentrification”
This point is so important especially in Baltimore where there is so much gentrification. there is quite literally a wall separating the Waverly community and 35th street. the impacts that these intentional separations can have both on both social and environmental issues are significant and not being addressed to the level that it should.