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Thread: What can city governments do to target GLBT market segments?

  1. #1
    Cyburbian
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    What can city governments do to target GLBT market segments?

    A discussion in another urban-issues forum prompted me to ask this question since L.G.B.T. can be so instrumental to economic development, gentrification, and urban revitalization.

    Certain cities do a great job of proactively making homosexual and bisexual men and women feel welcome, and I'm interested in the methods they use, as well as in any ideas you may have, yourself.

  2. #2
    Cyburbian Otis's avatar
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    Lincoln City, Oregon promotes GLBT events and its visitor bureau actively courts the trade: http://www.oregoncoast.org/glbt/index.php
    Seldom right, never in doubt

  3. #3
    Cyburbian Emeritus Chet's avatar
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    Well, I can't speak for the "greater community". Around here, it amounts to this, as far as I can tell:

    1) Police tolerance and promotion of public safety in "those" neighborhoods. There are still days around here that I will not go to a club unless I can park close enough to see the door from my car. And this is a *safe* city.
    2) Political good will. If the Mayor or politicians at large won't ride on a parade float once a year, kiss it good bye.
    3) Philanthropy. The community needs to be self-supporting to a great degree. Not just in $ giving, but in volunteerism.
    4) A solid public health program. The public health community needs to be active, and the places where we congregate need to be supportive. i.e. free and anonymous STD and HIV testing, even in the bars.
    5) Businesses such as hotels and restaurants need to have outreach as "friendly". A good example is Orbitz.com and its supply chain of places that are LGBT friendly. Every year Milwaukee hosts a LGBT bowling tournament called the Holiday Invitational Tournament. The economic impact is HUGE. Then, last year, the city hosted the North American Gay Amateur Athletic Alliance's International Softball World Series. These were BOTH volunteer run events, but without the business and political support, never would happen.
    6) DON'T EXPECT CRITICAL MASS. Not every place can be Boystown (Chicago), or Provincetown (MA).

    In my short time on this earth, Milwaukee has had two "gay" retail / entertainment neighborhoods (well 3, but the first I won't discuss). The second, the "Third Ward" is now a vibrant warehouse district of lofts, high end retail, and fine dining. The LGBT community got gentrified right out of there, ironically. It moved south to the "Fifth Ward / Walkers Point" area. It's happening all over again. There are several gay residential enclaves around the city that used to be called gay ghettos. They are now starting to see the retail and entertainment venues move in. I should write a book.

  4. #4
    Cyburbian
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    Gayborhoods such as Boystown, Provincetown, West Hollywood, Chelsea, Castro, have gentrified over the past decade or so. As more and more metropolitan areas come to accept, tolerate, and promote the GLBT populations, these neighborhoods are no longer viewed as ghettoes, separated from the other neighborhoods.

    As chet mentioned, this can sometimes lead to gentrification. The New York Times? wrote an interesting article about young heterosexual couples moving into the Castro, one of several gayborhoods, if not the most famous one, in San Francisco. Although some members of the community welcomed it, others viewed it an encroachment on their turf, especially when these young straight couples, some with families, were attempting to "straighten" out these neighborhoods.

    Chet brings up a number of good tools, although I have some difference of opinion with #2. I would also add:

    1. Promoting a wide variety of businesses, whether it is GLBT owned/maintained companies, restaurants, cafes, sports teams, clothing stores, music groups, artist colonies, etc. In larger cities, there might be a gay chamber of commerce (usually found in more liberal-leaning communities). This a continutation of #5.
    2. Gay pride events. MANY people come in from out of town to attend these events, usually ranging from just a weekend to over a week. GLBT usually have a lot of expendable income and this is good for both GLBT and non-GLBT businesses. An active municipality will promote these events, especially throgh the tourism bureau, local media, and gay media (especially in other cities).
    3. Promote a variety of housing and locales at various price levels. In smaller cities, there might be a small "hub" of GLBT businesses: a bar or two, a restuarant, and some shops. In other towns, EVERYTHING is centered in one location, still in others everything is spread out. Not every GLBT person wants to live near the bars: some are homebodies, some people are pretty much straight except for what goes on beyond clothes doors. There are plenty of GLBT who are not young or wealthy and efforts should be made to meet their needs as well (probably, moreso than gay marriage).
    4. Ensure the same level of service is afforded to GLBTs who live in non-urban, suburban, exurban, rural, and other areas.
    5. Shelters, clinics for homeless, transgendered youth.

    Keep in mind several of these are not going to easily happen in more conservative towns. Although GLBT are everywhere, many, but not all of them, usually move to communities/metro areas that are more accepting of their lifestyles, especially if they have the financial means/flexibility/lack of other issues that would otherwise keep them anchored where they are.

    Hope this helps-
    "This is great, honey. What's the crunchy stuff?"
    "M&Ms. I ran out of paprika."

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  5. #5
    Cyburbian Emeritus Chet's avatar
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    NR's #5 is something I neglected. My bad. Your good!

  6. #6
    Cyburbian Plus PlannerGirl's avatar
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    Yes #5 is the last one folks seem to think of and that is so very sad. DC has a wonderful GLBT community but the youth and trans community are still struggling.

    Many cities have really picked up on the gay wedding/honeymoon/travel bandwagon. Perhaps if you do not have your own home grown community invite others to your fair city and you might pick up some new residents.

    I can not stress the police angle enough. DC had a wonderful Gay and Lesbian Liaison Unit (GLLU) that helped educate and support diverse populations (gay, lesbian, trans and leather are all represented and supported) and the new police chief really did the GLLU and the community a disservice when much funding/support were pulled away. The unit still exists but not as fantastic as it was a few years ago. www.gllu.org
    "They who can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety, deserve neither liberty nor safety." Ben Franklin

    Remember this motto to live by: "Life should NOT be a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in an attractive well preserved body, but rather to skid in sideways, chocolate in one hand, martini in the other, body thoroughly used up, totally worn out and screaming 'WOO- HOO what a ride!'"

  7. #7
    Cyburbian Emeritus Chet's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by PlannerGirl View post
    I can not stress the police angle enough.
    Milwaukee has a liaison officer too. After DECADES with a notoriously racist and homophobic police chief, its taken as many decades to recover trust from the LGBT community. (Think of the Jeffrey Dahmer debacle when 2 white cops "returned" a drugged up naked asian boy in the streets to Dahmer and then OPENLY JOKED about it on the radio.

  8. #8
    The city has to generally welcome LGBT people. I don't just mean government. The people on the street have to be kind and welcoming, persons out on a saturday night have to not care. Official pronouncements only get you so far.

  9. #9
    Cyburbian
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    Many thanks... I'm glad to see such thoughtful responses. I suppose I should give you some background and context because my case is very unusual. The city I'm addressing is San Bernardino, which has undertaken a process to re-establish itself as southern California's third urban core, after Los Angeles and San Diego. The strategy was conceived and is being directed by Vaughan Davies from AECOM's Los Angeles offices. Vaughan, himself, is a well-known member of the local G.L.B.T. community, and, at present, there is not a clear center of G.L.B.T. culture in the Inland Empire, although the nearby Riverside is, in many ways, vying for the title with a few prominent G.L.B.T. establishments, the first L.G.B.T. Resource Center in the University of California system, and an implicit outreach by City government to demographic segments that are sometimes marginalized. While San Bernardino has a neighborhood watering hole that is the first gay bar in the State of California, several other G.L.B.T. establishments in the city have come and gone over the years without making much of an impression.

    It should be noted that the San Bernardino Valley, encompassing Redlands, Highland, and Loma Linda, as well as San Bernardino, is projected over the next 10-20 years to add one million residents to the four million who already live in the Inland Empire. And, the region is surrounded by several gay-friendly but more expensive cities, including: West Hollywood; Silverlake (Los Angeles); Laguna Beach; Palm Springs; etc. The region is also currently struggling with relatively-low education levels and employment densities that tend to create traditional suburban attitudes and values that are offset by a few university towns that offer more open and affirming atmospheres.

    With approximately 250,000 citizens, San Bernardino is the densest and, potentially, most urban city in the region, but, to give you some sense of the prevailing culture, "No on Prop. 8" signs were virtually nowhere to be seen on single-family residential parcels in the city but were, instead, relegated to the United Church of Christ's property and to students from San Bernardino State University demonstrating on street corners in 2008. Still, several G.L.B.T. and G.L.B.T.-friendly people live in the city, however, and in the surrounding communities.

    The ultimate goal of the repositioning strategy is to take the model of tech. firm E.S.R.I., which is based in Redlands, and to draw more employers of that sort by attracting well-educated residents through the offering of a highly-differentiated and superior urban lifestyle in a resort-town-cum-metropolis. The revitalization of the city center is providing the major thrust for this effort, and the residential densities there are expected to increase significantly, as well as along the various transit corridors, which will extend through the city and transform existing activity centers and traditional neighborhoods into self-contained urban villages.

    One of the biggest assets San Bernardino has in this process is the number of universities that exist within and around the municipality, so targeting students is a significant part of the overall strategy to reinvigorate the city center. And, targeting G.L.B.T. students, in particular, probably has the most potential for creating a greater sense of urban vibrancy. Many of these issues, I'm sure, will be addressed as the city starts its major re-branding efforts in the coming months and as the city establishes a beachhead at the proposed Theatre Square, which has already asserted itself as the cultural heart of the city with touring productions of musical theatre and a great variety of other top-notch performances.

  10. #10
    Cyburbian Emeritus Chet's avatar
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    Seeing your CA context... I would add that it's not just what CITIES can do, but STATES. I have 2 close friends with HIV. They get alot of health benefits through a local (but State funded) non-profit. Both have been advised to check before moving out of state. Moving to CA, for example, would result in a loss of almost all health benefits.

  11. #11
    Cyburbian
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    The ultimate goal of the repositioning strategy is to take the model of tech. firm E.S.R.I., which is based in Redlands, and to draw more employers of that sort by attracting well-educated residents through the offering of a highly-differentiated and superior urban lifestyle in a resort-town-cum-metropolis.

    And, targeting G.L.B.T. students, in particular, probably has the most potential for creating a greater sense of urban vibrancy. Many of these issues, I'm sure, will be addressed as the city starts its major re-branding efforts in the coming months and as the city establishes a beachhead at the proposed Theatre Square, which has already asserted itself as the cultural heart of the city with touring productions of musical theatre and a great variety of other top-notch performances.


    Are you trying to "build" a more prominent GLBT community or are you trying to target GLBT students to attend the college? Students are students are students: they are usually broke and have little spending power and many of them will graduate school and relocate somewhere else, even the next town over. If you want to target students, you could do it through sponsorship of student organizations or even a faculty/office on campus for GLBT issues.
    "This is great, honey. What's the crunchy stuff?"
    "M&Ms. I ran out of paprika."

    Family Guy

  12. #12
    Cyburbian
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    Quote Originally posted by nrschmid View post
    The ultimate goal of the repositioning strategy is to take the model of tech. firm E.S.R.I., which is based in Redlands, and to draw more employers of that sort by attracting well-educated residents through the offering of a highly-differentiated and superior urban lifestyle in a resort-town-cum-metropolis.

    And, targeting G.L.B.T. students, in particular, probably has the most potential for creating a greater sense of urban vibrancy. Many of these issues, I'm sure, will be addressed as the city starts its major re-branding efforts in the coming months and as the city establishes a beachhead at the proposed Theatre Square, which has already asserted itself as the cultural heart of the city with touring productions of musical theatre and a great variety of other top-notch performances.


    Are you trying to "build" a more prominent GLBT community or are you trying to target GLBT students to attend the college? Students are students are students: they are usually broke and have little spending power and many of them will graduate school and relocate somewhere else, even the next town over. If you want to target students, you could do it through sponsorship of student organizations or even a faculty/office on campus for GLBT issues.
    San Bernardino State University already has its own version of U.C. Riverside's L.G.B.T. Resource Center, so they both have fairly good outreach to the gay and Lesbian students on the campuses. The private University of Redlands is a question mark, and Loma Linda University, while being a prominent medical institution, is affiliated with the Seventh-Day Adventist church, which may or may not have views on homosexual and bisexual orientations. I really don't know much about the G.L.B.T. situation at those two schools. All of these institutions will soon be connected, however, to San Bernardino's city center by light-rail and B.R.T., so a "superuniversity" campus has been proposed for the central district as a way to provide interdisciplinary lecture and laboratory space, as well as student and faculty housing and student-life facilities.

    I suppose I'm really trying to build a more prominent G.L.B.T. community by targeting G.L.B.T. students at these institutions first and by letting those students draw others. In a region of four to five million people, there's really no excuse for these individuals to have to drive 45-60 minutes to find a decent number of places to be themselves.

  13. #13
    Cyburbian
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    I suppose I'm really trying to build a more prominent G.L.B.T. community by targeting G.L.B.T. students at these institutions first and by letting those students draw others. In a region of four to five million people, there's really no excuse for these individuals to have to drive 45-60 minutes to find a decent number of places to be themselves.

    Again, I think there is a difference between the GLBT commuity-at-large and the GLBT student population. Plenty of men/women/etc. are in the closet throughout college and come out years after school. Many of them would have already had a career that affords a higher level of living. Since most of them do not or choose not to raise families, they are more likely to have more spending power. Students, regardless of sexual orientation, usually do not spending power. Some of the suggestions that Chet and myself provided would work best to promote a gay community-at-large.

    Again, do you want to provide GLBT outlets for students? Extracurriculars, coffee shops, sports leagues, a clinic, or maybe some rallies/events, might do the trick. Establishing civic orgnizations, a GLBT board of commerce, providing a variety of housing in gayborhoods might appeal to a much broader demographic than a specific segment of an already specific segment of the population.

    Hope this helps-
    "This is great, honey. What's the crunchy stuff?"
    "M&Ms. I ran out of paprika."

    Family Guy

  14. #14
    Cyburbian
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    http://www.ieweekly.com/cms/story/de...ty_check/3143/

    Reality Check
    An anti-gay attack against UCR students mobilizes the LGBT community off campus

    By: Lynn Lieu

    The lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community has faced some of the toughest battles in California, most notably the passing of the anti-same-sex marriage Proposition 8 in 2008, which resulted in one of the most debated and expensive political campaigns in the nation—aside from the presidential contest. And while some California cities have accepted all members of their community, it seems Riverside may have not.


    Students and faculty of one university are working to bring this to the attention of city officials.


    Recently, two male UC Riverside students were assaulted off-campus, the apparent targets of anti-gay hate. While the crime was not a first in Riverside, for many students and those across the university community, it was a reality check.


    “Incidents of this nature bring our community together,” says UCR Vice Chancellor of Student Affairs Jim Sandoval. “One of the things students fear is that it could happen to them. As the community and our staff began working with them, we all just came to recognize that it is something well beyond the University’s control. It just dawned upon the students that where it would be beneficial is to try to get some response out of the city.”


    “Because the students were assaulted by non-UCR students, we realized that this was a Riverside community issue,” says Virginia Millacci, co-president of Queer People Of Color (QPOC), a student organization at UCR.


    Sandoval and Millacci, along with two other LGBT students, met to discuss the incident and what actions to take to provide a safer community for everyone. What began as a brainstorm led to the potential drafting of a letter to Riverside Mayor Ron Loveridge.


    “The letter actually turned into a phone call with the mayor,” Sandoval says. And, according to Sandoval, a meeting is in the works with the mayor for sometime this month at UCR’s LGBT Resource Center. The meeting will be open to the public to address community concerns relating to anti-LGBT hate crimes and how to create a safer city.


    “I think on campus it’s safe. I think UCR does a really amazing job of creating this really safe bubble: they’ve got a good community center, gender-neutral housing, training programs for professors and police on campus, [etc.],” says Cadyn Cathers, a former UCR student studying to be a LGBT therapist. “But, then you walk off campus, it’s a whole other world and the bubble just bursts. I’ve never felt safe in Riverside and I’ve been there since 2006.”


    While Cathers no longer attends UCR, the same sentiment appears to echo throughout the community.


    “The LGBT community feels safer on campus and they recognized that once they moved off-site things changed,” Sandoval says. “I actually can’t remember dealing with a hate crime like this and I’ve been on campus as the Vice Chancellor since 2001. But, I recognize there may have been incidents in the broader Riverside community.”


    While some hate crimes amount to name-calling and heckling, others have resulted in hospitalization and even death as the infamous 2002 homicide case of Jeffery Owens, formerly of Moreno Valley, that took place downtown (An LGBT community center was named for him). Then there’s the psychological damage.


    “I don’t have tangible advice like, ‘Do this and you’ll be safe,’ because I don’t think that such a thing exists,” Cathers says. “But being aware of your surroundings and staying in groups does help.” (Lynn Lieu)

  15. #15
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    "There Goes The Gayborhood"

    Obit magazine just printed an interesting article about the decline of gay neighborhoods. It's not analytical - more wistful than anything - but it does deal with the costs and benefits of integrating gay enclaves, as well some of the trends that have led to this process:

    In a digital world, physical entities are less critical to community identity. So with more straights in Dupont and more gay people outside Dupont, maybe the gayborhood has grown passe. Why go to the gay bar in the gayborhood every night when you can hold hands at any old corner pub without risking your life? For that matter, why stay in a city at all when the suburban PTAs are now open for two mommies? The demise of the gayborhood indicates that America is more mixed - ethnically, economically, sexually -- than ever before.

  16. #16
    Cyburbian
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    It occurred to me that developing relationships with L.G.B.T. real-estate agents and placing real-estate advertising in L.G.B.T. establishments may be among the best courses of action to take.

  17. #17
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    Marketing

    what market segment do you think are targeted by st james power station, Zouk , and ministry of sound?

  18. #18
    Cyburbian TerraSapient's avatar
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    As a member of the LGBT community, I cannot tell you how to attract an LGBT population to a specific area of a city; however, I can tell you what my partner and I look for (which is quite typical of any couple in their early 30s).

    Something that offers urban amenities, yet without all the noise. This means a neighborhood that has access to the vibrant urban core, via mass transit, bike paths, etc., yet is far enough away that the neighborhood is peaceful and quiet.

    We typically avoid neighborhoods with a high density of churches. No offense to any religiously affiliated planners on this site, but people constantly knocking on our door and judging us gets old fast. We have solved this problem in our current neighborhood (surrounded by extremely right-winged anti-gay churches in every direction) by hanging a nice rainbow flag on our door (which means an area that allows flags). Not all LGBT people feel comfortable doing this. Sometimes, this simple act is like putting a target on your house, and those among the human population who are more inclined to be violent, intolerant, and just plan stupid, will use this as an excuse to constantly torment and threaten you. We resolve this problem by owning 2 130+lb dogs (which means needing a dog park nearby). We would much prefer to trade in the flag for a peaceful neighborhood not inundated by self-righteous folks looking to find someone to be superior to.

    A place with a nice elementary school within walking distance.

    It really isn't difficult to attract LGBT folks, and quite honestly I'm not sure I understand what all the hype is about. I've read articles about how "gayborhoods" can revitalize a suffering neighborhood. Though, none of my gay friends move to a neighborhood simple because there are other gay people there. We move to specific neighborhoods because we know we will be surrounded by people who will treat us kindly. It has less to do with being gay than just seeking an area where we can fall asleep feeling safe and can talk to our neighbors while in the front yard without getting comments like, "hey I had a gay friend in college".
    We know we can walk down the street as a family and not have random idiots ask us which one "is the man".

    Think about all the reasons you move to a neighborhood. Safety. Amenities.

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