College campuses impact neighborhoods in various ways. This website delves into a series of issues, questions, and changes that have been brought to light concerning New York University (NYU) and Columbia in New York City. Some questions that are answered throughout the website:

  • What is gentrification, and does an ever growing college campus inherently mean gentrification will occur within in a community?
  • Is a changing community reflective of the changing college campus within the neighborhood? Or vice versa?
  • What issues are caused by college campuses within communities?
  • …and much much more

Understanding the locations of the campuses and communities are important in analyzing the effects of the colleges within their respective neighborhoods. Greenwich Village and Morningside Heights are both located in Manhattan, yet Greenwich Village is downtown while Morningside Heights is uptown. The map below shows the distance between the two neighborhoods.

Greenwich Village and Morningside Heights

Columbia is located in Morningside Heights and NYU is located in Greenwich Village.

Gentrification vs Changing Neighborhoods

Gentrification is more than simply an issue of affluent people moving into and dominating an area. Gentrification is a complex issue that ties into countless other aspects of New York City and cities as a whole. Gentrification is an issue that arises when relatively wealthy newcomers move into an area and drive up the prices of said area. In doing so, the newcomers force the original neighborhood residents to either deal with the increasing prices or move out of the neighborhood. Minorities are oftentimes the people who are forced out of their communities because of financial issues. 

A changing neighborhood is not equivalent to one undergoing gentrification. A neighborhood can change its demographics or change the types of businesses within the area, but this does not equate to the prices of everything in the community increasing. One may believe that change inherently leads to gentrification, but this is not the case.  If the original community members are not displaced and can still afford the area, the area may simply be growing more diverse.