The demographic inversion of the American city AUG 06 2008
In the past three decades, Chicago has undergone changes that are routinely described as gentrification, but are in fact more complicated and more profound than the process that term suggests. A better description would be "demographic inversion." Chicago is gradually coming to resemble a traditional European city -- Vienna or Paris in the nineteenth century, or, for that matter, Paris today. The poor and the newcomers are living on the outskirts. The people who live near the center -- some of them black or Hispanic but most of them white -- are those who can afford to do so.
Update: The WSJ wrote about this issue a couple of weeks ago.