This paper examines two periods of renewal in Washington, DC, USA’s southwest quadrant and their relationship with displacement. The paper situates this discussion within both the local historical continuum and globally-recognized paradigms, such as “the right to the city”. This article primarily serves as an overview of urban planning consequences in Southwest Washington DC based on extant academic literature and policy briefs. Compared with the abrupt physical displacement in the 1950s and 1960s precipitated by a large-scale federally funded urban raze and rebuild project, urban planning in present-day DC includes mechanisms for public engagement and provisions for housing security. However, countervailing economic incentives and rapid demographic changes have introduced anxieties about involuntary mobility that the literature suggests may be born out of forced or responsive displacement. Two potential case studies in the area warrant future study to understand present-day mobilities in the context of the economic and socio-cultural factors shaping the actions of present and prospective residents and decision-makers.
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