Urban planning community

+ Reply to thread
Results 1 to 16 of 16

Thread: Oakland Goes Gay - Another Florida Thread

  1. #1
    Cyburbian Cardinal's avatar
    Registered
    Aug 2001
    Location
    The Cheese State
    Posts
    9,981

    Oakland Goes Gay - Another Florida Thread

    IEDC's weekly newsletter contained this article, which I think is the first time I have seen a city putting Florida's ideas to work this way. What do you think?

    http://www.bizjournals.com/industrie...y2.html?page=1
    Anyone want to adopt a dog?

  2. #2

    Registered
    Oct 2001
    Location
    Solano County, California
    Posts
    6,468
    Oakland needs to fix it school system first.

  3. #3
    Cyburbian jordanb's avatar
    Registered
    May 2003
    Location
    City of Low Low Wages!
    Posts
    3,236
    Yeah, 'cause it's impossible to attract gays without good schools.

  4. #4
    Cyburbian GeogPlanner's avatar
    Registered
    Aug 2001
    Location
    Capital Region, NY
    Posts
    1,429
    RANT: This just seems wrong. Do straight people think that gay people have different shopping and houseware needs? Do you have to be gay to enjoy nice bars, coffee shops and theaters? I think it is one thing to attract amenities that certain people desire. It's another to create a GLBT district. If it happens because people group there, then let it happen that way. In our attempts to be more integrated, we still segregate ourselves. It's as if being gay is trendy and a novelty.
    Information necessitating a change of design will be conveyed to the designer after and only after the design is complete. (Often called the 'Now They Tell Us' Law) - Fyfe's First Law of Revision

    We don't believe in planners and deciders making the decisions on behalf of Americans. -- George W. Bush , Scranton, PA -- 09/06/2000

  5. #5
    Cyburbian
    Registered
    Jan 2004
    Location
    montana
    Posts
    336
    Cardinal Seems like your article and this one:

    http://www.headwatersnews.org/todd022704.html

    are saying the same thing...

  6. #6

    Registered
    Oct 2001
    Location
    Solano County, California
    Posts
    6,468
    Quote Originally posted by GeogPlanner
    RANT: This just seems wrong. Do straight people think that gay people have different shopping and houseware needs? Do you have to be gay to enjoy nice bars, coffee shops and theaters?...
    Well, some students of the urban scene argue that gays DID create the concept of the urban "Yuppie" during the 1970s. Keep in mind that outside of a few major cities, the idea of urban living had been pretty well rejected. Gay "pioneers" largely restored many dangerous urban neighbrohoods (partly because schools were not always very important to them).

  7. #7
    Cyburbian GeogPlanner's avatar
    Registered
    Aug 2001
    Location
    Capital Region, NY
    Posts
    1,429
    Quote Originally posted by BKM
    Well, some students of the urban scene argue that gays DID create the concept of the urban "Yuppie" during the 1970s. Keep in mind that outside of a few major cities, the idea of urban living had been pretty well rejected. Gay "pioneers" largely restored many dangerous urban neighbrohoods (partly because schools were not always very important to them).
    The problem I have with the whole idea is that they are planning for sexual preference. Coffee shops and theaters and nice clothing stores are not a homosexual-only interest...I'd like the same amenities in any community, regardless of sexual orientation, race, religion...etc. Let the community decided by what it demands in services in a community. Am I making sense? I don't want this to be construed as anti-gay or anything. I think there is a difference between artist communities and "Little Italy" versus a gay enclave and developing gay enclaves is just going too far.
    Information necessitating a change of design will be conveyed to the designer after and only after the design is complete. (Often called the 'Now They Tell Us' Law) - Fyfe's First Law of Revision

    We don't believe in planners and deciders making the decisions on behalf of Americans. -- George W. Bush , Scranton, PA -- 09/06/2000

  8. #8

    Registered
    Oct 2001
    Location
    Solano County, California
    Posts
    6,468
    Quote Originally posted by GeogPlanner
    The problem I have with the whole idea is that they are planning for sexual preference. Coffee shops and theaters and nice clothing stores are not a homosexual-only interest...I'd like the same amenities in any community, regardless of sexual orientation, race, religion...etc. Let the community decided by what it demands in services in a community. Am I making sense? I don't want this to be construed as anti-gay or anything. I think there is a difference between artist communities and "Little Italy" versus a gay enclave and developing gay enclaves is just going too far.
    Believe me, Oakland has plenty of neighborhood districts which offer such amenities. Generally, if you got money in Oakland, there is a cute little gentrified business district right next door (Montlclair Village (it does actually feel like a village), Rockridge, Piedmont Avenue, even Grand Avenue and Glen Park).

    As for a unique district just for gays, well even the (in)famous Castro serves a wider community than you would expect. One could argue that "gays" have interests more distinct and separate than assimilated Italians, who have little difference other than cuisine from other assimilated (especially European) immigrant neighborhoods. Heck, most Little Italies are fading into tourist trap oblivion for that very reason.

    I still think this interpretation of Florida's basic thesis is suspect. Why should a local government specifically act to create a district that has not naturally evolved? On the other hand, maybe its just a matter of marketing. There are commercial strips near downtown Oakland that have not been gentrified-the hope is that by giving an official government stamp of approval they will attract new money to the area. We'll see what happens.

  9. #9
    Cyburbian jresta's avatar
    Registered
    Apr 2003
    Location
    Philadelphia, PA
    Posts
    1,472
    I've posted about this before in a different thread but Philly's Gayborhood mostly evolved naturally but once it was established the city started marketing the crap out of it. They even sponsor this now http://www.pridefest.org/2004/
    When the whole thing was made official it made for an explosion of gay-oriented businesses. Yes, there are such things.



    it's not that i couldn't go into any of these places - i just don't have any interest in gay literature, gay porn, getting oggled at a gym with a mostly gay clientelle, or picking up guys at a gay bar or club. Likewise they have no interest in oggling straight guys or wasting their time chatting them up at a bar. There's no confusion here. You go to the gayborhood you know what to expect. I still go to the bakery at 12th & Pine b/c it's on my home from work, on tuesdays and thursdays the kid behind the counter still flirts with me. It doesn't bother me but it does bother a lot of other people. I think it's beneficial in a lot of ways for all sides to have this sort of enclave. Granted, the gay community created the place on their own, and were able to do it b/c no one else wanted to live there.

    On the other hand, Collingswood, NJ, the town i used to live in about 4 miles of east of Philly "came out" about 4 years ago. The mayor and council said they welcomed the gay community to invest in Collingswood (even though the community had already been there for 10 years). It's a conservative town in a new jersey sort of way (think old victorians, big parks, soccer, baseball, etc) so the town leaders are trying to attract gay couples, not singles. It shouldn't be difficult b/c it's a dry town so there are no bars, no clubs, and the gay shop owners feel the pressure to not do solo advertising in the Philly Gay News.

    Even still, there's one coffee shop in town that a lot of the local teenagers won't go to b/c it's owned by a gay couple so therefore "it's for gay people" even though the clientelle is nearly half housewives pushing strollers.
    Indeed you can usually tell when the concepts of democracy and citizenship are weakening. There is an increase in the role of charity and in the worship of volunteerism. These represent the élite citizen's imitation of noblesse oblige; that is, of pretending to be aristocrats or oligarchs, as opposed to being citizens.

  10. #10
    Cyburbian GeogPlanner's avatar
    Registered
    Aug 2001
    Location
    Capital Region, NY
    Posts
    1,429
    Quote Originally posted by BKM
    Why should a local government specifically act to create a district that has not naturally evolved? On the other hand, maybe its just a matter of marketing.
    It seems to me that the gayborhood (much better than my "ghaytto" or a part of the city here people sometimes call the "fruit loop") in O-town isn't yet well established. I think we have better things to spend money on than trying to create artificial enclaves, including Little Italy's and Chinatowns that have not naturally developed. What happens when these groups decide to move on to somewhere else? Ethnic/cultural enclaves don't stay forever. I think this is planning and marketing gone awry.

    Also, that map seems very male gay oriented. I lived in a neighborhood that had a gay component and it wasn't a big deal. They neighborhood was one anyone would consider living in. This map feels like a gay theme park. I wonder if anyone gay is offended by this generalization of a culture.
    Information necessitating a change of design will be conveyed to the designer after and only after the design is complete. (Often called the 'Now They Tell Us' Law) - Fyfe's First Law of Revision

    We don't believe in planners and deciders making the decisions on behalf of Americans. -- George W. Bush , Scranton, PA -- 09/06/2000

  11. #11
    Cyburbian jresta's avatar
    Registered
    Apr 2003
    Location
    Philadelphia, PA
    Posts
    1,472
    Quote Originally posted by GeogPlanner
    Ethnic/cultural enclaves don't stay forever. I think this is planning and marketing gone awry.

    Also, that map seems very male gay oriented. I lived in a neighborhood that had a gay component and it wasn't a big deal. They neighborhood was one anyone would consider living in. This map feels like a gay theme park. I wonder if anyone gay is offended by this generalization of a culture.
    I agree completely that enclaves don't stay forever, esp. enclaves that were artificial to begin with. On the other hand i don't see the harm in directing immigrants to sections of the city that are in serious need of investment.

    That map is very male oriented as is the gayborhood. It's the only census tract in the city that has more males than females. It has also long served as the de facto red-light district of the city, which is why a lot of the early gay clubs thrived in the first place. After 1 am the hookers come out on Juniper St. and the Trannies come out on 12th St. and as long as they don't make too much noise, keep moving, and keep their clothes on the cops look the other way.

    But you're right, it is like a gay theme park, but it isn't any different than places like TriBeCa and the West Village in New York, or Provincetown, MA, or N. Halsted in Chicago. It's what happens when you have a large gay population. I guess it's sort of like saying Chapel Hill is a college kid's theme park. It's a student ghetto that few people who aren't students can tolerate living.

    There are a lot of gay guys who don't care for that lifestyle so they move to Collingswood or Haddonfield or they stay in the city and move to West Philly or Queen Village. The lesbian enclave is in the Mt. Airy section of the city, although it doesn't have nearly the gay ghetto vibe of 12th St.
    Indeed you can usually tell when the concepts of democracy and citizenship are weakening. There is an increase in the role of charity and in the worship of volunteerism. These represent the élite citizen's imitation of noblesse oblige; that is, of pretending to be aristocrats or oligarchs, as opposed to being citizens.

  12. #12
    Cyburbian GeogPlanner's avatar
    Registered
    Aug 2001
    Location
    Capital Region, NY
    Posts
    1,429
    Not being a big Florida follower...and unable to find the Governing issue about "Rainbows"...are gayborhoods preferable to lesbiavenues in terms of economic development?
    Information necessitating a change of design will be conveyed to the designer after and only after the design is complete. (Often called the 'Now They Tell Us' Law) - Fyfe's First Law of Revision

    We don't believe in planners and deciders making the decisions on behalf of Americans. -- George W. Bush , Scranton, PA -- 09/06/2000

  13. #13
    Cyburbian jresta's avatar
    Registered
    Apr 2003
    Location
    Philadelphia, PA
    Posts
    1,472
    i don't really know about which is preferrable. I would imagine that any post-grad population that disposes of most of their income from month to month would be beneficial to the city's pocketbook for the short-term.
    Indeed you can usually tell when the concepts of democracy and citizenship are weakening. There is an increase in the role of charity and in the worship of volunteerism. These represent the élite citizen's imitation of noblesse oblige; that is, of pretending to be aristocrats or oligarchs, as opposed to being citizens.

  14. #14
    Cyburbian Cardinal's avatar
    Registered
    Aug 2001
    Location
    The Cheese State
    Posts
    9,981
    Quote Originally posted by GeogPlanner
    Not being a big Florida follower...and unable to find the Governing issue about "Rainbows"...are gayborhoods preferable to lesbiavenues in terms of economic development?
    What Florida and others have found in their research is that there is a correlation to the vitality of the "creative" sector of the economy, and populations of gays. By creative, I do not simply mean artists, but people whose product is generated by brain power, or entrepreneurs. Research on entrepreneurs suggests that they are attracted to places where new ideas are accepted, people are open to risks, and failure is tolerated. The logical conclusion to draw from this is that a city population that is open to accepting and supporting gays is similarly open to accepting and supporting entrepreneurs.

    Unfortunately, some places will see Florida's work and think that all they have to do is create a gay district in the city and economic prosperity will suddenly come their way. It is similar to the places that rename their business park a "technology park" and expect to start landing companies like Microsoft or Rockwell. It isn't about having the superficial "place," but about having the underlying qualities. A true technology park comes about as a result of research institutions, scientists, engineers and other factors in the region. A true creative or entrepreneurial city comes about because of the resources and the attitudes of the government, lenders, and others in the community.
    Anyone want to adopt a dog?

  15. #15

    Registered
    Oct 2001
    Location
    Solano County, California
    Posts
    6,468
    Quote Originally posted by Cardinal
    rename their business park a "technology park" and expect to start landing companies like Microsoft or Rockwell.
    Off Topic Rant: The town where I live is planning for a big pod of sprawl in a valley between my employer and it. To forestall criticism, they are calling their generic office park a "Business Village." Bleh!

  16. #16
    Member japrovo's avatar
    Registered
    Mar 2003
    Location
    Blacksburg, VA
    Posts
    103
    Of course if the only take-away for people from Florida is that building gay-friendly bike paths or whatever is the key to success these places will fail. However, one fascinating thing about this Oakland-SF example (and Florida's notions generally) is that the competion is for people, especially people who've been marginalized (or elsewhere in Florida's exceedingly broad notion of creatives, are perceived as being outside some defintion of the mainstream). You can argue that the 50s/60s suburbs and the tragic efforts through urban renewal to make central cities look like suburbs were planning in competition for people, but they were clearly pursuing a specific perception of "mainstream" culture.

    Quote Originally posted by jresta
    i don't really know about which is preferrable. I would imagine that any post-grad population that disposes of most of their income from month to month would be beneficial to the city's pocketbook for the short-term.
    And speaking of economic stimulus...about half the same-sex marriage licenses issued recently in Portland (which totalled around 4,000 I think) were to couples from out of town. I was waiting for the Visitor's Bureau to put out a brochure but if they did I missed it.

+ Reply to thread

More at Cyburbia

  1. hello from Oakland, CA
    Introduce Yourself
    Replies: 11
    Last post: 15 Aug 2006, 7:28 AM
  2. Oakland-Rockridge I
    Cities and Places
    Replies: 4
    Last post: 20 Sep 2004, 4:21 PM