NEIGHBORHOOD CHANGE IN OLDER SUBURBS: A CASE STUDY OF SUBURBAN NEIGHBORHOODS IN SOUTHERN WESTCHESTER COUNTY (URBAN STUDIES; NEW YORK)

MICHAEL JOSEPH DUFFY, Fordham University

Abstract

Changes in the social and economic characteristics of neighborhood populations through time has been tied to the aging of the housing stock of older American central city neighborhoods by numerous urban sociologists. The demographic literature on population changes in suburban areas contains ambiguities regarding the nature and extent of neighborhood change. Shifts in the socioeconomic status and/or ethnic group of the resident population have not been evaluated in connection with the aging of the existing housing stock. While some researchers have documented processes of filtering producing a change from higher to lower socioeconomic status groups, others have furnished data supportive of socioeconomic status stability or permanence.^ This case study of the housing stock and the resident population of a selected sample of older suburban neighborhoods in southern Westchester County from 1950 to 1970 has analyzed the specialized origins of and changes in particular older residential suburbs and documented that historically established patterns of socioeconomic and ethnic group population distribution have been maintained. Further, this investigation suggests that population distribution is closely tied to housing stock characteristics, specifically to the size, type and economic value of the residential structures. The specialized historical origins of the housing stock and the analysis of processes of filling in of older middle socioeconomic status neighborhoods is related to the social and economic characteristics of the resident population. In addition to documenting that little change in socioeconomic status has occurred in this sample of older suburban neighborhoods, this case study describes the initial residential development and population growth over time in some post World War II neighborhoods and suggests a relationship between the structural features of their housing stock and resident population. This investigation contributes to clarifying the ambiguity in the literature regarding the type and extent of neighborhood change which occurs in older suburbs. ^

Subject Area

Demography

Recommended Citation

DUFFY, MICHAEL JOSEPH, "NEIGHBORHOOD CHANGE IN OLDER SUBURBS: A CASE STUDY OF SUBURBAN NEIGHBORHOODS IN SOUTHERN WESTCHESTER COUNTY (URBAN STUDIES; NEW YORK)" (1984). ETD Collection for Fordham University. AAI8506324.
http://fordham.bepress.com/dissertations/AAI8506324

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