Gentrification in Nashville


Today on our Priced Out podcast, Andru and Cornelius talk about the Black Panther premiere, Luke Cage, and an upcoming screening in Nashville of our first gentrification documentary, NorthEast Passage: The Inner City and the American Dream.

Students at Tennessee State University, an historically black college/university, chose to host a screening of NorthEast Passage on February 20 as part of their Black History Month celebrations. 

Despite being a sequel to Priced Out, NorthEast Passage is a very different film, taking a deep look into what it's like living in poor urban neighborhoods, and how gentrification can seem like a solution to persistent issues of crime and disinvestment.

We'll talk with student organizer Marie Baugh about what resonated with her about NorthEast Passage and why she thinks it's relevant to gentrification in Nashville today.

Nashville has been described as the South's New Metropolis and an "it" city by the New York Times.

In 2016, 100 people a day moved to this city known as the capital of the country music industry.

 Tifinie Capehart, Nashville realtor and former city planner. 

Tifinie Capehart, Nashville realtor and former city planner. 

Nashville's growth roughly parallels what has happened in Portland, Oregon, a formerly sleepy, mid-sized town on the West Coast now congested with new development, residents, and diversified industries.

As we see with other cities around the country, Nashville's growth has been directed into central city and historically black neighborhoods that are close to downtown and have walkable scale development.

In 2016, there were over 1,000 residential demolition permits in Nashville. That's roughly three homes demolished each day. Some central neighborhoods saw between 200 and 300 demolitions, with one or more units going in to replace each destroyed home.

Black neighborhoods have seen a massive amount of displacement already, with some neighborhoods seeing anywhere from 20 to 50 percent declines in their black population.

We'll also talk with realtor and former city planner Tifinie Capehart about what is propelling the growth and who these new residents are. Tifinie will discuss how the sense of community is holding up under the strain of such tremendous growth pressure.


For more information about gentrification in Nashville, we recommend the Tennessean's laudable and ambitious series called "Costs of Growth and Change." [SEE BELOW]


Of special interest are the following articles on the impact of growth on the black population and the strain growth puts on neighborhoods.