Vol. 14 No. 1 (2023):
Research Article

Quantifying displacement: Using turnover data to measure physical and psychological neighborhood change

Susannah Cramer-Greenbaum
University of Warwick, UK

Published 2023-03-31


  • Population turnover,
  • Displacement,
  • Housing,
  • Redevelopment,
  • Zurich,
  • neighborhoods,
  • gentrification
  • ...More

How to Cite

Cramer-Greenbaum, Susannah. 2023. “Quantifying Displacement: Using Turnover Data to Measure Physical and Psychological Neighborhood Change”. European Journal of Geography 14 (1):35-46. https://doi.org/10.48088/ejg.s.cra.
Received 2022-12-05
Accepted 2023-03-31
Published 2023-03-31


Population displacement is difficult to measure, but quantifying its presence is critical to delineating the scope, scale and potential causes of displacement’s effect in urban areas. This paper considers whether the widely available data used to measure turnover can be effectively used to measure other forms of population change. The article presents two new metrics, the Fresh Faces Ratio and the Replacement Index, that better capture some of the nuances of physical and psycholog-ical displacement. It then applies these metrics to city quarters within the city of Zurich, Switzerland, correlates them with turnover and new construction statistics, and assesses their accuracy against residents’ perceptions of change. The research finds that both metrics offer suitable proxies to identify areas where exceptional population changes are taking place, and where residents have a strong sense of these changes. The new metrics can help assess what physical or psychological displacement may or may not result from urban development and new housing construction. Since the new metrics use turnover data already widely available, they are easily adaptable to less data-rich contexts than Zurich.


  • Refashioning turnover data for new metrics measuring displacement
  • Evaluating new metrics against resident perceptions of change
  • Potential applicability for comparison across varied data contexts



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