Urban planning community

+ Reply to thread
Results 1 to 14 of 14

Thread: Studies: Gentrification a boost for everyone

  1. #1
    Cyburbian Plus
    Registered
    Jun 2003
    Location
    De Noc
    Posts
    17,844

    Studies: Gentrification a boost for everyone

    Headline and Article from USA TODAY:
    http://www.usatoday.com/printedition...rify20.art.htm

    Subheadline:
    Researchers say changes to poor neighborhoods encourage people to stay

    By Rick Hampson; April 20, 2005; pg 13A

    Highlight: The printed article takes up almost a full page.
    "Everyone knows gentrification uproots the urban poor with higher rents, higher taxes and $4 lattes. It's the lament of community organizers, the theme of the 2004 filmBarbershop 2 and the guilty assumption of the yuppies moving in.

    But everyone may be wrong, according to Lance Freeman, an assistant professor of urban planning at Columbia University.

    In an article last month in Urban Affairs Review, Freeman reports the results of his national study of gentrification the movement of upscale (mostly white) settlers into rundown (mostly minority) neighborhoods.

    His conclusion: Gentrification drives comparatively few low-income residents from their homes. Although some are forced to move by rising costs, there isn't much more displacement in gentrifying neighborhoods than in non-gentrifying ones."
    Oddball
    Why don't you knock it off with them negative waves?
    Why don't you dig how beautiful it is out here?
    Why don't you say something righteous and hopeful for a change?
    From Kelly's Heroes (1970)


    Are you sure you're not hurt ?
    No. Just some parts wake up faster than others.
    Broke parts take a little longer, though.
    From Electric Horseman (1979)

  2. #2
    Cyburbian chasqui's avatar
    Registered
    Feb 2003
    Location
    DFW Metroplex, TX
    Posts
    87

    coping mechanism

    Researchers say changes to poor neighborhoods encourage people to stay
    The coping mechanisms included prayer... says it all... I don't know if the strategies the long term residents were cited as using (doubling up, providing labour to their land-lord, etc) were from the journalist or from the study. The fact is that redevelopment which raises property values burdens low long-time income residents. Having to choose between doubling up or of leaving the area means the lesser of two evils.

  3. #3
    Cyburbian the north omaha star's avatar
    Registered
    Nov 2003
    Location
    at Babies R Us or Home Depot
    Posts
    1,260
    I am working with the improvement council for my neighborhood on developing some affordable housing strategies. There's a tremendous divide between the newcomers and the long-time residents on housing and other issues. I tell you one thing; it's not easy.
    I am recognizing that the voice inside my head
    is urging me to be myself but never follow someone else
    Because opinions are like voices we all have a different kind". --Q-Tip

  4. #4
    Cyburbian iamme's avatar
    Registered
    May 2003
    Location
    Milwaukee
    Posts
    484
    Quote Originally posted by chasqui
    [I] The fact is that redevelopment which raises property values burdens low long-time income residents. Having to choose between doubling up or of leaving the area means the lesser of two evils.
    What happens is that the poorer people that have lived there since it was a crappy neighborhood see that it is becoming a good place to live. Obviously they don't want to move and try to stay as long as they can by doubling-up or putting work into the property themselves. If the area stayed a crappy place to live, these residents would have probobly moved on already. Outside the largest cities, there isn't an affordable housing crunch. It is better for these cities to encourage gentrification because the poorer displaced literally do have somewhere else to go. Unless you are going to enact market distorting affordable housing requirements or begin adequate housing voucer allocation, this is what you got.

  5. #5

    Registered
    Nov 2004
    Location
    Kansas City
    Posts
    35
    I would have disagree with this completly. I just did my senior thesis on how gentrification affects residnets living in gentrifying neighborhoods. While many residents would like to stay in thier communities and rep the benifits associated with gentrification, they simply cannot afford to and it is unfortunate. While gentrification has many good aspects this is one of the negative sides to it.

  6. #6
    Cyburbian jmello's avatar
    Registered
    Mar 2005
    Location
    Clayobyrne, CB
    Posts
    2,581
    Quote Originally posted by kc_roo
    I would have disagree with this completly. I just did my senior thesis on how gentrification affects residnets living in gentrifying neighborhoods. While many residents would like to stay in thier communities and rep the benifits associated with gentrification, they simply cannot afford to and it is unfortunate. While gentrification has many good aspects this is one of the negative sides to it.
    The problem is NOT gentrification, the problem is unequal public services, that are distributed based on the economic composition of a neighborhood.

  7. #7
    Cyburbian Luca's avatar
    Registered
    Mar 2005
    Location
    London, UK
    Posts
    1,150

    As an economist by training...

    ....I can onmly conceive of #'gentrification' as an overall success story. Specifically wiythin teh context of urban planning, revitalization of 'boirwnfield sites' and down-at-heel neighborhoods it is especially positive.

    The issue of displacement is real, on an individualk basis, but bear this in mind:
    1) If teh total proportion of poor to well-off is unchanged, the tranbsfer of well-off to poorer areas must result in middle-class moving into areas formerly only accessible to teh well-off and thereby access to foremerly middle-class only areas by the relatively poor.
    2) if teh total proportion of people that arre objectiely deprived 9as oppsoed to relatively deprived) is shrinkign that's no bad thing, though by definition it ameks the rmeaining 'po folk' even more marginalized

    Most importantly: the concept of gentrification/displacement is ontologically a pseudo-fact. The undlerying issue is un equal distribution of resources which, depending on your outlook, is either a very bad thing or a very antural thing or somewhere in between.
    It would be distortive and impractical for anyone to specifically try to avert dispalcement. the way you reduce the imba;lnce of power is at source (if that's what you want to do) tax the heck out of rich people and give money to poor people.


    Lastly: in London, due to government housing policies, you can sometimes hae islands of 'poverty' within what have now become very well-off neighborhoods.The middle class is priced out and what you get is toffs and oiks. Not a nice mix. In Chelsea, for isntance, you have about 1/10 pubs as purely 'council estate' palces and the remaining 9/10 charge rich-folk prices. The 'poor' are aprticularly maginalized because the chasm between them and the next step up is huge: 1M/year investment bankers and people on the dole. There are effectively separate grocery stores (Somerfield within three-hudnred yards of a very chic Conran grocery store, Safeay practically across the street from a place where a bag of coffee is 1/10 of a basic state pension. Absurd.

    I found the continental cities in europe to be generally more finely graded; though there are some excptions in temr sof consigning poor people to the outer ring of cities kinda the opposite of the US).

    Apologies for the awful typing, might edit alter.
    Life and death of great pattern languages

  8. #8
    Cyburbian jread's avatar
    Registered
    Nov 2004
    Location
    Austin, TX
    Posts
    739
    But isn't gentrification basically bringing the middle class back to where they used to live? All of these inner-city neighborhoods were occupied by the middle class at one time and only became ghettos when these people moved out into the newer subdivisions. Now the trend is reversing, which I feel is a good thing. The people in these neighborhoods can either get it together and remain there, or they can leave. Things change and people must adapt. The middle class has just as much of a right to live downtown as the rich and the poor. What's wrong with cleaning up some of these ugly, trashy neighborhoods and making them into pleasant, thriving communities? Nothing.

    I hope the gentrification trend continues and more people look for homes that are in the central city instead of in the sprawl.

  9. #9
    Quote Originally posted by jread
    But isn't gentrification basically bringing the middle class back to where they used to live? All of these inner-city neighborhoods were occupied by the middle class at one time and only became ghettos when these people moved out into the newer subdivisions. Now the trend is reversing, which I feel is a good thing. The people in these neighborhoods can either get it together and remain there, or they can leave. Things change and people must adapt. The middle class has just as much of a right to live downtown as the rich and the poor.
    I think you're oversimplifying a bit. Are gentrifiers middle class? Or are they rich? Social class today is different than it was when these gentrifying neighborhoods were originally being built. The US once had a large and solid working class. These were folks who didn't have college degrees but had stable jobs working in factories and shipyards and foundaries and mines. Much of American cities were built to house these people. While suburbanism accounted for a lot of urban abandonment, the decline of these neighborhoods were also largely a product of the deindustrialization of America and the loss of steady employment for the uneducated. You can't tell me that Williamsburg, Brooklyn being reconfigured into a bedroom community for the office towers in Manhattan is simply the middle class moving back to where they once were? That's a nice sentiment, but tell it to a Hispanic electrician who's lived in Greenpoint all his life and sees more and more 20-something "artists" with trustfunds move into his neighborhood. It's a lot more complex than "middle class" vs. "poor." Gentrifiers are typically young, hypereducated, high wage, small household, white people. They're not a cross-section of the American middle class as a whole. The soccer moms with six kids aren't gentrifying. If anything they keep moving further out. As cities like DC gentrify, rich whites move further east across the city, but things are just as stratified as ever.

  10. #10
    Cyburbian chasqui's avatar
    Registered
    Feb 2003
    Location
    DFW Metroplex, TX
    Posts
    87

    Complications

    passdoubt

    You hit the nail on the head. Further, the even if your generalization of "the gentrifiers" is not 100% accurate, it is perception that matters in political discourse. These perceptions feeds the two sides of a political debate.

    One the one hand:
    What is wrong with increasing property values? A rising tide lifts all ships. Etc.

    On the other hand:
    Aunt B. on fixed income has lived in neighbourhood X all her life. Her property tax has risen to the point to where she is being forced out of the home she has lived in since she was 5. News at 11

    I'm not saying gentrification is necessarily a "bad thing". I happen to think that if there is an adequate supply of affordable (not deteriorated!) housing, then blighted areas should be redeveloped. Unfortunately City run redevelopment efforts can get stymied by the "Aunt B." scenario.

  11. #11
    Unfrozen Caveman Planner mendelman's avatar
    Registered
    May 2003
    Location
    Staff meeting
    Posts
    8,208
    Quote Originally posted by chasqui
    On the other hand:
    Aunt B. on fixed income has lived in neighbourhood X all her life. Her property tax has risen to the point to where she is being forced out of the home she has lived in since she was 5. News at 11

    I'm not saying gentrification is necessarily a "bad thing". I happen to think that if there is an adequate supply of affordable (not deteriorated!) housing, then blighted areas should be redeveloped. Unfortunately City run redevelopment efforts can get stymied by the "Aunt B." scenario.
    The Aunt B scenario is a more direct by-product of a potentially outdated tax assessment system, therefore it should not be used as a reason for poeple to prevent a new population from access to a desireable area.

    This exact situation is/was occurring in many Chicago neighborhoods recently, so the City worked with the County to put tax increase caps on long-time homeowners. This doesn't try to stop "gentrifiers", but rather tries to mitigate one of the only major problems with this phenomenon.
    I'm sorry. Is my bias showing?

    Let's not be didactic in this profession, because that is a path to disillusion and irrelevancy.

    Six seasons and a movie!

  12. #12
    Cyburbian jordanb's avatar
    Registered
    May 2003
    Location
    City of Low Low Wages!
    Posts
    3,236
    ^-- What about renters? Ablarc might not have a very high opinion of them but there are a lot of them in this city (myself included).

    I think it's true that the end result of gentrification is wealthy or upper-middle-class people taking up a whole neighborhood almost exclusively. I also think it's wrong to think of non-yuppie neighborhoods to be declining. That's certainly not the case of the Mexican neighborhoods in this city.

    My point isn't to rail against gentrification per se. I think that definitions of it also vary too widely (is all new construction gentrification?) But I think the people here are being way too flippant about it when in fact it is a very serious issue, one that demands real analysis.

  13. #13
    Unfrozen Caveman Planner mendelman's avatar
    Registered
    May 2003
    Location
    Staff meeting
    Posts
    8,208
    Quote Originally posted by jordanb
    ^-- What about renters?
    I wasn't denying the impact on renters.

    From what I conclude, the squeeze of renters (commercial and residential) and long-time homeowners are the only substantive problems with this phenomenon.

    But at least the homeowners gain a financial benefit (if they choose to act on it), but renters just get screwed no matter what.

    All other arguments against are spurious and loaded with subjectivity.
    I'm sorry. Is my bias showing?

    Let's not be didactic in this profession, because that is a path to disillusion and irrelevancy.

    Six seasons and a movie!

  14. #14
    Cyburbian Luca's avatar
    Registered
    Mar 2005
    Location
    London, UK
    Posts
    1,150

    As has been pointed out....

    ...taxation may be a source of distortion/problems in gentrification.

    But i go back to my claim, what opponents of gentirfication effectively say is: it's not fair that richer people can get somethign desirable (a newly improived neighborhood) over poorer people...ehmmm, that IS what a private-property econoym is based on. I would guess that affordabiliyt/4USd lattes issues arise specifically and msot acutely not in cases where there are small differencdes between previous occupiers and newcomners but in cases where quite poor people 'meet' with funky rich people who want to go urban. that is effectively a revitalization scenario and I don't see, without massive wealth transfers, how that can be prevented withpout giving up any hope of revitalization.

    And please, no more 'death of the working class' stuff, it's utterly ahistorical. there is no category of people with an era-appropriate level of education and a full-time job that is not substanbtially better in the US over the average economic cycle. people without those characteristics have always been up the proverbial creek. SOME industrial jobs for a brief period of time, extracted 'excess' wages. they 'paid' for it by losing thsoe jobs in relatively short order. Same thing is happening in finance and other white-collar jobs in the West.
    Life and death of great pattern languages

+ Reply to thread

More at Cyburbia

  1. Replies: 32
    Last post: 05 Jul 2010, 1:26 PM
  2. Replies: 3
    Last post: 25 Jul 2009, 10:25 PM
  3. Banning big-boxes gets a big boost
    Design, Space, and Place
    Replies: 1
    Last post: 07 Jun 2007, 8:25 PM
  4. Replies: 8
    Last post: 25 Jan 2007, 8:57 AM
  5. Replies: 6
    Last post: 10 Oct 2006, 12:17 PM