Suzanne Lanyi Charles: Suburban Transformation: A Typology of Residential Redevelopment

Suzanne Lanyi Charles: Suburban Transformation: A Typology of Residential Redevelopment

Morton Grove, Illinois. photo / Katherine Lanyi

Suzanne Lanyi Charles's teaching and research examine physical, social, and economic changes in neighborhoods. In particular, she studies redevelopment and gentrification in postwar suburban neighborhoods. Charles has lectured on the topic of suburban gentrification and suburban teardown redevelopment nationally and internationally. Her current research examines how recent immigrants' redevelopment of single-family housing affects the formation and evolution of suburban ethnic communities. Her research has received grants from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, the Real Estate Academic Initiative at Harvard University, Harvard University's Joint Center for Housing Studies, and the Institute for the Social Sciences at Cornell. Charles worked as an architect at the Renzo Piano Building Workshop in Paris and as a vice president at Booth Hansen Architects in Chicago, and also as a real estate consultant at the Weitzman Group in New York City. She holds undergraduate and graduate degrees in architecture. She received her doctorate in urban planning from Harvard University (2011).

Abstract:

Teardowns — the redevelopment process in which an older single-family house is demolished and replaced with a larger single-family house — are a conspicuous form of residential redevelopment with the potential to transform the physical, economic, and social character of American suburbs. Teardowns are a widespread and highly visible form of residential redevelopment in suburban neighborhoods, but they are not ubiquitous. This lecture examines differentiation among inner-ring suburban neighborhoods that have experienced reinvestment in the single-family housing stock through teardowns between 2000 and 2010. Using a unique database of address-level data of redeveloped single-family housing within 128 inner-ring suburbs of Chicago, Charles uses principal components analysis followed by cluster analysis to identify the different types of suburban neighborhoods in which housing redevelopment took place — "affluent," "ethnoburb," "middle-class," and "diverse." Findings reveal the diversity and characteristics of suburban municipalities that experienced redevelopment in terms of socio-economic characteristics, housing stock, and public policy.