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Gentrification

Gentrification

The Best Examples of Gentrification

The Best Examples of Gentrification

Gentrification
New York

New York City strives to maintain a prominent reputation. In order to maintain it, gentrification is necessary. In 2003 alone, 225,000 renters were forced to move out of their neighborhood for financial reasons. Of those 225,000 renters, 96,000 of them were directly displaced either by their landlord or a government official. New York City is an interesting example because its neighborhoods have been experiencing gentrification for over 30 years. Those neighborhoods are now some of the nicest in the city but people are no longer thinking about those that were displaced decades ago. 
Many of the original residents of areas that have become gentrified in New York City have managed to stay. Those residents often seem appreciative of the new environment. They now can raise their family in a nicer, safer neighborhood without having to move. While they may struggle to stay in the area for financial reasons, they feel in the long run their children will benefit from growing up in the gentrified area and will also be able to one day afford living in the gentrified neighborhood.
Detroit

Signs have been described as being “everywhere” in Detroit. These are signs informing others that houses will be for sale, and new improvements will be made to the neighborhood. Detroit has come on hard economic times, and its residents are being forced out of their communities. Residents in Detroit doubt that wealthier families will be looking to buy property in Detroit. 
Despite the signs, the run down neighborhood are still not attractive to potential buyers. The city seems to be resisting gentrification more than other cities. The combination of resistance of the residents from moving out and the lack of investors has substantially slowed down the gentrification process. 

Philadelphia

North Philadelphia has undergone gentrification in recent years. The blighted blocks, one after another, make the gentrified blocks stand out and seem out of place. Locals describe the blocks as “fake nice.” It is known as “fake nice” because the appearance is nice, but the people in the homes as well as the next block over are still just as deprived and suffering economically as their neighbors. Families who are placed in the fixed-up home still have trouble making money and keeping their kids in school.
In the neighborhood surrounding Temple University, for instance, there has been community development resistance. The residents are trying to keep the University from buying their land and creating homes for more students. The neighborhood’s residents do not get along well with the students, and gentrification is met with resistance.

Fighting Gentrification with Community Organization

Fighting Gentrification with Community Organization

Community organizing takes place as a means of fighting gentrification within a neighborhood. When residents from a neighborhood, or even non-residents who often frequent a neighborhood, feel pressure to leave an area, or dislike the changes, such occur due to gentrification. They organize themselves and come up with ways to protest or actually halt the gentrification of that area. These organizations are set on taking back or holding on to the land they feel is theirs. Outsiders who come into the area as a result of gentrification may be met with resistance or even violence in some instances.
In New York City, Fabulous Independent Educated Radicals for Community Empowerment (FIERCE) is a community organizing effort set on preventing gentrification and maintaining the look of their neighborhoods. Families United for Racial and Economic Equality (FUREE) is another community development in the city fighting gentrification. FIERCE organizes to preserve the Christopher Street Pier. The area was a popular hangout for the city’s youth. When the Hudson River Park Trust stepped in and rebuilt the area, a 9 p.m curfew was placed in the area and bathroom facilities were shut down. 
The only way the people who used the area could fight against the gentrification of the area is if they were thought of as residents. The people who hug out there were often residents of other areas. The group is trying to think of ways to be thought of as stake holders in the area. FUREE tries to keep the Fulton mall a popular area to shop for blacks and Latinos. There have been luxury condos built in the area which is changing the landscape of the area. Thanks to the efforts of FUREE, the city plans on preserving the abolitionist history of the Downtown Brooklyn area.
The Chinatown Justice Project is yet another community organization striving to serve Chinese people in Chinatown. They are fighting against the displacement of many residents of Chinatown due to development plans set in place by Mayor Bloomberg. The NYC anti-gentrification has been able to convince the West Village residents that the youth who come into the area are vital to the economy in the area. They have done away with the curfew and bathroom restrictions in the area. 
Community organizing has also helped FUREE protect the Downtown Brooklyn area from total gentrification. While gentrification is still taking place, it is not at the extreme level that had been planned. Community organizing is important for combating gentrification. Those who are not organized will fail to meet their goals. If violence is used as a form of preventing gentrification, it will likely backfire and lead to total gentrification of the area.

What are the Causes of Gentrification

What are the Causes of Gentrification

Production-Side Theory

In the production-side theory of urban gentrification, it is believed that inner cities are being altered so that they appear more like the suburbs just outside of the city. When old buildings are knocked down and replaced with new ones, one after another, the value of the land increases and the property taxes rise. With the rise of property taxes comes new families with higher incomes that can afford the gentrified homes. 
The ‘new and improved’ look of an area will continue to attract more investors who now see an area as prosperous and profitable. The de-industrialization of a neighborhood brings in more corporate and management positions that are difficult for inner city family providers to obtain. The shortage of blue-collar jobs will also gradually force out the remaining members of a gentrified area.

Consumption-Side Theory

The consumption-side theory is based on bringing in a new middle-class, that is seemingly higher than the previous middle-class to occupy an area. The gentrified area will feature more artists, teachers and creative people that will portray a different class image of the young people, through education in the arts, as well as general education. 
This will change the social feeling, turning a once deprived area into a trendy artistic area that young artists seek and older people enjoy. The professional environment is thought to lead to a happier and more friendly lifestyle which is hard to achieve when an area looks blighted and there is no feeling of creativity and enthusiasm.

Zoning Issues in Gentrification

Zoning Issues in Gentrification

Zoning in regard to gentrification typically refers to inclusionary zoning and zoning ordinances. Inclusionary zoning is sometimes referred to as inclusionary housing. Zoning laws require a city experiencing gentrification and new housing development to set aside 10%-30% of all new housing units for the lower class. That is, some of the brand new houses must be set at a low rent rate and sold to low income residents from the neighborhood. 
This is a way to combat total gentrification. Instead of being forced into a new neighborhood but rather one that is likely poor just like the one experiencing gentrification, the poor families are being rewarded with brand new low income housing. This is a way for those acquiring large incomes from the gentrification of a neighborhood to give a little back to the people they are forcing out, directly or indirectly. Inclusionary zoning helped the neighborhood maintain a mixed demographic which has shown to be beneficial for a neighborhood.
There are different zoning laws depending on the jurisdiction. Zoning laws that are specific to certain areas include:
         Mandatory vs voluntary inclusionary zoning. Some jurisdictions may offer bonuses to developers that include low income housing when they are developing an area.
         The percentage of low income housing ranges usually from 10%-30% by jurisdiction.
         Minimum size of a development that must include inclusionary zoning. If a development is small enough,  low income housing may not be necessary.
         Location of low income housing. Some jurisdictions allow the inclusionary housing to be located in a different area of the other houses while other jurisdictions require they be located in the same area.
         Some jurisdictions require the low income units be replicas of the higher income units.
         Duration of time a unit must remain affordable for a low income family.
Zoning ordinances that hurt the original members of a city take place during gentrification. When families move in from the suburbs, the nightlife or businesses that have been established may be attacked. The artists or music festivals that take place in the street are complained about to the police. When enough complaints have been made, zoning ordinances are placed against those that have been acting just as they have been for many years. 
This creates tension between the original residents and the new residents. There are some who are against inclusionary zoning. They say it takes away from the free market. It also detracts development companies from working in areas that will include inclusionary zoning. Financially stable families complain that the value of their property will decrease with the addition of more low income families. The zoning laws prevent home owners form ever selling the home for a significant profit which deters home ownership in the area.

How To Control Gentrification

How To Control Gentrification

Attempts at controlling gentrification take place by those, for, and against it. While many view gentrification as a positive, and it can be, others view it as the destruction of their neighborhood. Residents fighting against gentrification form organizations that fight against gentrification by way of protests as well as the contacting of their local governments. 
These organizations make sure their message does not go unheard. Despite their best efforts, gentrification often wins out and community organizers are forced to leave along with their fellow neighbors. Zoning laws help remaining residents following gentrification. When new housing units are built they often must offer homes to low income residents. This is similar to rent control which prevents rents from increasing based on the landlords needs. Mixed-income housing helps neighborhood maintain a mix of poor, middle class and upper class residents. High concentrations of any class are avoided.