Year of Graduation


Level of Access

Open Access Thesis

Embargo Period


Department or Program

Environmental Studies

First Advisor

Jill Pearlman


This thesis explores the gentrification of Munjoy Hill, a neighborhood on the northeast end of Portland, Maine from 1990-2024. Once the industrial hub of the city filled with factories and an industrial shipping port in the late 1800s and early 1900s, Munjoy Hill is now the most desirable neighborhood in the city with expensive, high-end condos, water views, ocean access, and hip restaurants and breweries. I argue that Munjoy Hill’s industrial past and strong connection to the local environment has made it unique, however the recent gentrification also makes Munjoy Hill a place that resembles, gentrified neighborhoods in cities around the country. This thesis studies Munjoy Hill’s change through three lenses: environment, housing, and food and drink. In the environment chapter I argue that the Hill’s natural beauty and connection to Maine’s scenic coastline primed it for gentrification once the area deindustrialized in the 1990s. In the housing chapter I explore the dramatic increase in housing prices and three ways residents are attempting to control the changes: affordable housing development, zoning, and historic designation. In my final chapter I analyze the role of new food establishments in transforming the Hill’s culture and cementing it as a neighborhood that feels, in part, like gentrified neighborhoods around the country.