Daniel Halliday
Jun 11, 2018 · Last update 5 mo. ago.
What should be done about gentrification?
Is gentrification a natural part of the urban improvement process, something to be left to progress freely, or is it an unfair factor of urban renewal, displacing and disenfranchising lower income communities?
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Gentrification is a misnomer
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Working class communities need protecting
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Gentrification is a natural result of maintaining an urban environment
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Is it a possibility that megacities are too big and fast moving to foster any kind of community?
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The real cause of gentrification is the lack of affordable housing
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Gentrification is a misnomer

Generally thought to represent the raising of house prices in combination with the displacement of lower income and predominantly minority demographics, gentrification is an overused term, often appearing in the media and a common talking point in redeveloped urban areas. However, the term doesn’t go far enough to accurately describe the reality of what is actually a much more complex issue than housing price versus displacement. Therefore while gentrification seems like a blatant disregard for poor urban communities on the surface, it is actually statistically a rare pattern that is being wrongly used to describe a much more shocking widespread trend, the growth of extreme urban poverty.

slate.com/news-and-politics/2015/01/the-gentrification-myth-its-rare-and-not-as-bad-for-the-poor-as-people-think.html

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Working class communities need protecting

Gentrification is unfair for low income communities and only suits wealthier people and businesses. As wealthy people move in to “reclaim” an urban area, the general cost of living increases, and the people that used to live there are priced out. This practice is exploitative, disruptive and weakens ties within communities, ultimately causing more displacement than revitalisation.

Investors and development companies need to recognise the importance of community and the positive effect on the urban environment it has. If an area has a strong sense of togetherness and community spirit is high then all residents of that area will take pride and respect their environment and the community and urban area can flourish together. The longevity of any benefits gained from large scale urban redevelopment will be positively affected by the presence of a strong community.

Projects that are inclusive of community will obviously suit and fit the community’s needs best, community land trusts are one example of a housing development model that is sustainable, produces affordable housing and could help combat gentrification. A community land trust is a not-for-profit group that is formed of people living in the area, which develops urban areas on behalf of a community with maintaining affordability being the main aim; they maintain a strictly community centred approach to urban redevelopment. Any large scale renovation to an urban area should include and be proposed to the affected urban community first; their insights could help in the development of urban spaces as they know the area and how it is used better than anyone.

seattlemedium.com/how-healthy-is-gentrification

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Daniel Halliday
Feb 5
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DH edited this paragraph
https://seattlemedium.com/how-healthy-is-gentrification/
Gentrification is a natural result of maintaining an urban environment

Improving urban areas is part and parcel of the maintenance of a city landscape. Bringing new businesses, improving buildings and infrastructure is good for local people, helping to reduce poverty, crime and the general quality of life in the area. As affluent people will naturally seek a good quality of life and have to finances to move, they will seek out rejuvenated areas. This movement also encourages social mixing, as people from diverse backgrounds will be neighbours as a result. This is all part of city life.

This restorative process has far too many far reaching positives and many positives will reach the longer term tenants of these improved areas. Trying to control this process artificially won’t achieve anything other than allowing the urban environment to fall into disrepair and further complicate housing supply and cause the housing market to gain in value further. Allowing money into the area will only help the long term residents of that area, bringing greater investment, more jobs, and ultimately more opportunities to the area.

In 2016 the NYU Furman Centre (a university housing and urban policy research organisation) issued an investigative report in which they had evaluated certain measures put in place in New York City to address tenant displacement problems, gentrification. The report found that although there were some effective methods in use, creating or preserving affordable housing for existing low income families, it didn’t address the problem of new affordable housing for low-income families. Furthermore they found that such policies do have major downsides, with strict urban zoning or community segregation reinforcing and intensifying existing racial or economic segregation, while also reducing revenues for landlords, discouraging investment in maintenance and new housing.

furmancenter.org/news/press-release/report-surveys-local-government-responses-to-gentrification nextcity.org/daily/entry/gentrification-solutions-affordable-housing-ideas

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Daniel Halliday
Feb 5
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DH edited this paragraph
http://furmancenter.org/news/press-release/report-surveys-local-government-responses-to-gentrification https://nextcity.org/daily/entry/gentrification-solutions-affordable-housing-ideas
Is it a possibility that megacities are too big and fast moving to foster any kind of community?

Megacities that house populations over 10 million people, such as Tokyo, Shanghai, Jakarta, Delhi, Seoul, Sao Paulo, Lagos, London, New York, are in a constant state of flux. People, businesses and trends come and go at an astonishing rate. It could be argued, based on homo-sapiens inclination to form small communities in the wild natural world, that these populations are just too large to foster any meaningful feeling of community spirit.

Arguably nothing can be done to artificially foster this feeling in these massive urban environments. With this in mind, people that complain about gentrification are the people that are being left behind and seeing their once more quiet, slightly more isolated area, being swallowed up by the urban landscape. This development is far more complex and bigger than some individuals can cope with financially or socially, as the situation really becomes a question of the urban landscape changing to a degree more than what most individuals are comfortable with.

Tokyo, the world’s largest and most heavily populated urban area, is a good example. Here the urban areas go through 30 year redevelopment cycles, buildings usually being removed and completely rebuilt rather than regenerated or preserved in any way. However, this often takes the form of top down regeneration that comes from more of an urban redevelopment approach, but as a result areas are constantly changing. This coupled with a great transport infrastructure means that the area you live in is less of a problem, and individuals choose to live is less of an issue, making moving also less of an issue, and meaning any community is too short lived to really take hold in an area. The result of all this is that the city stays modern on the whole and people are happy to move around and cope with change a lot more effectively.

orlandosentinel.com/opinion/affordable-housing/os-ed-california-housing-density-near-transit-tokyo-example-20180321-story.html panmore.com/tokyo-urban-development-successes-challenges

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Daniel Halliday
Feb 5
Approved
DH edited this paragraph
https://www.orlandosentinel.com/opinion/affordable-housing/os-ed-california-housing-density-near-transit-tokyo-example-20180321-story.html http://panmore.com/tokyo-urban-development-successes-challenges
The real cause of gentrification is the lack of affordable housing

If there is a housing shortage, as population increases residents will have to either pay more or travel to under-developed areas in the hope of finding somewhere affordable to live. This naturally causes prices to rise and the community to change over time as a result. These effects have become so pronounced in some major urban areas that lower income residents have been priced out of their neighbourhood, and house prices have become unaffordable in many major cities.

Controlling the housing price artificially can actually make the problem worse. For example if prices are kept affordable, older people will be less inclined to move on from family homes, even after their children become adults and move away, as rent will be kept cheaper than normal market values. While this would be fine with an abundance of housing, in a market with a housing shortage a single person occupying a large house for many years, that could be of better use to a younger family, can be a real problem.

Artificial control of the housing market could also serve as off-putting to potential construction companies that are considering large affordable housing projects. If prices are artificially controlled, developers may achieve diminishing returns for their investment and therefore overlook any affordable housing projects in favour of alternative construction projects that are more profitable, luxury housing for example. As the problem of gentrification is a problem of available housing, anything that threatens the rate houses are supplied to the market, threatens to complicate this problem further.

The solution is to free up construction projects to allow new housing for growing populations, any other policy will not fully address the problem and could exacerbate other urban social issues. If red tape were removed from the construction industry and new affordable housing projects were encouraged or even government funded in these urban areas the market would be flooded with affordable housing. This would bring the average house price down, allowing new buyers and renters to seek other places to live, not having to just move to lower income neighbourhoods. usatoday30.usatoday.com/news/nation/2005-04-19-gentrification_x.htm

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Daniel Halliday
Feb 5
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DH edited this paragraph
The solution is to free up construction projects to allow new housing for growing populations, any other policy will not fully address the problem and could exacerbate other urban social issues. If red tape were removed from the construction industry and new affordable housing projects were encouraged or even government funded in these urban areas the market would be flooded with affordable housing. This would bring the average house price down, allowing new buyers and renters to seek other places to live, not having to just move to lower income neighbourhoods. http://usatoday30.usatoday.com/news/nation/2005-04-19-gentrification_x.htm
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