Gentrification. It’s complicated and controversial—an interplay of urban planning, housing, transportation, inequality, and the movement of people. It drives heated discussions in townhalls, community board meetings, and legislative bodies in New York City and urban areas around the world. The media often debates what—if any—policy responses or interventions we should implement.

As cities around the world continue to undergo significant change, we ask: How serious of a problem is gentrification? Should the government intervene and stop it from happening? If so, how? And to what degree?

Arguing that the government has a responsibility to stop gentrification in its tracks is author and columnist Michael Greenberg. Debating him is Dr. Lance Freeman, Columbia University Professor of Urban Planning, who will highlight the various misconceptions about gentrification and why government intervention may not be the silver bullet solution. Moderating this debate will be Alana Semuels, a staff writer at The Atlantic whose reporting has focused on issues such as housing affordability, neighborhood segregation, income and wealth disparities, and gentrification.

The Century Foundation and NYU Wagner are proud to present Debates of the Century @NYU Wagner, a public debate series showcasing thoughtful, informed dialogue from experts.

This Debate Features:

  • For the Motion: Michael Greenberg, Author and Columnist
  • Against the Motion: Dr. Lance Freeman, Professor of Urban Planning, Columbia University
  • Moderator: Alana Semuels, Staff Writer, The Atlantic