Learn how gentrification is affecting DeKalb at speaker event this weekend

Credit: Alyssa Pointer/alyssa.pointer@ajc.com

Credit: Alyssa Pointer/alyssa.pointer@ajc.com

DeKalb County residents have the chance this weekend to learn how gentrification is affecting one area city.

The event, scheduled for 11 a.m. Saturday, will focus on Clarkston, a small city in central DeKalb County. Jean-Paul Addie, a professor in Georgia State University's Urban Studies Institute, will lead a talk about gentrification. It will be hosted at the Clarkston library, located at 951 N. Indian Creek Dr.

“Gentrification is an increasingly contentious topic in Clarkston, an Atlanta suburb that is known for its large refugee population and eclectic cultural landscape,” the library said in a statement.

Credit: Alyssa Pointer

Credit: Alyssa Pointer

Gentrification occurs when new investments and other changes to communities lifts property values, but also lifts property taxes and other costs to live there. The changes can force long-time residents out of neighborhoods.

Clarkston is known for its high refugee and immigrant population and lower cost of living. City officials and residents alike have said they are wary of gentrification and the possibility of driving residents out of Clarkston.

But the community is still grappling with the issue as officials come up with ways to promote economic development in the downtown area, and possibly increase density in Clarkston.

Addie’s talk will detail how communities can embrace growth while “maintaining their unique character in the face of economic and demographic change,” the library said.

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