An initiative to facilitate conversations and research about growth in our region

Stakeholder Meetings

Communities in Transition: Tools to predict and respond to gentrification

May 8, 2019

On May 8, 2019, CU Denver in collaboration with the Denver Regional Council of Governments hosted the second stakeholder meeting of the Imagine a Great Region initiative.  The meeting, which was also part of DRCOG’s Metro Vision Idea Exchange meeting series, was entitled “Communities in Transition: Tools to predict and respond to gentrification”, focused on the regional issues of housing affordability, displacement, and gentrification. 

Four speakers were brought-in to address these issues and offer potential solutions, insights, and inspiration for future action:

  • Jeremy Nemeth, Associate Professor at CU Denver’s Department of Urban and Regional Planning shared his research findings on gentrification and equity and the importance of community in combatting displacement;  
  • Carrie Makarewicz, Assistant Professor in the same department, presented her research on such topics as daily activity zones, urban versus suburban differences in housing and transportation costs, and how displacement hurts small businesses as well;  
  • Deyanira Zavala, Executive Director at Mile High Connects addressed the concept of community power as a solution to equity issues such as grassroots organizations and highlighted the importance of supporting cultural relevant services that work with immigrant populations and local business that hire local employment; and
  • Irene Aguilar, MD, Director of Denver Neighborhood Equity and Stabilization Team (NEST) ,discussed  the issue of income inequality and suggested a tax policy to confront displacement.

After the speakers had presented, audience table groups collectively addressed what was discussed, each listing some best practices and formulating a question related to those for the speakers to address during a panel discussion. 

Overall, the meeting was inspiring and enabled a diverse cadre of regional stakeholders to engage and collectively explore solutions to an issue that is seemingly impossible to solve.  Thankfully, this meeting proved that there are solutions and  that those solutions need bold decision-makers and regional collaboration.  Working in silos is not an option if Denver and the metro region is going to seriously address the housing crisis and associated issues of gentrification and displacement.  This meeting was one such effort to tear down the silos and get people talking.   


CU Denver

CU Denver Building

1250 14th Street

Rm 1110

Denver, CO 80202

(303) 315-2489

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