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Gentrification: yes or no

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Gentrification, that process whereby people with a higher socieconomic level, as well as business, move to poorer and degradated areas where the prices are lower. Consequently, these areas are usually regenerated, the economical level increases and get safer, but at what price? the traditional working population can't afford the rise in the prices and taxes and is forced to leave. And with the working class, the traditional business associated to it.


I think one of the most notably, or at least most known, examples of gentrification may be New York City. It regenerated a city sunk in the crack epidemic, with incredibly high crime rates and poverty but many people had to move out of some parts of the city (ie. Manhattan) due to the increase of prices above mentioned. At the same time, the big companies replaced the smaller traditional business. From the testimonies of different original inhabitants, though now is safer, the city has suffered of a process of "Dysney-ification" and lost big part of its soul.


So lately, this question has been in my mind. Would you be in favour or against gentrification?

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I live in a neighborhood that has been going through gentrification for the past handful of years.

We used to be one of the most mixed neighborhoods of the city...and that was well known.


I was one of the 'cool' white people.


Now my neighborhood is all white, and all hip.


The black neighbors are all resentful, because housing costs are going up. Old people have to move because they can't afford the property tax, young [black] people can't rent because all the rents have been adjusted for the more desirable rich white kids.


There is an air of annoyance around the streets. The new white folk think they own this area and don't know (and/or respect) the unwritten ways and things that made this (once) the coolest neighborhood in the city.




A great quote from my long time (white) neighbor across the street.

"I miss the crack days. We had more parking [on the street]".



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The thing is, gentrification is in a large part a natural process. There are things about it that suck and people need protection against in my eyes (rent control, for example) but I can't find any fault in a neighbourhood trying to better itself.


It's a bitter argument here in Vancouver.

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El Dildo

The thing is, gentrification is in a large part a natural process.

quoted for truth.


your biggest obstacle here is the artificial implementation of a system that would otherwise occur organically.

this usually leads to bigger problems than those you're hoping to solve.

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