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Old 01-01-2011, 12:15 PM
 
Location: Polish Hill, Pittsburgh, PA
26,450 posts, read 46,879,438 times
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BrianTH, myself, and others seem to love to scout around various local media outlets for any and all newsworthy subjects related to local economic development, revitalization, redevelopment, etc., so I figured having one main thread to check to as a reference on our sub-forum might be useful to help keep things somewhat decluttered.

This morning I read with great interest a story in the Post-Gazette about a renewed initiative to increase the percentage of residents of the long-struggling Garfield neighborhood in the city who self-identify as artists or other creative types to 6%, which has been determined to be the threshold when a true neighborhood revitalization can begin in earnest. I drive along the Penn Avenue Corridor frequently when making deliveries between our East Liberty store and the Childrens' Hospital, and I see the "bones" of a great neighborhood. The business district along Penn Avenue in Garfield appears to be blighted yet reparable.

Project tries to lure artists to Garfield

What are the opinions of others on Garfield?
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Old 01-01-2011, 06:21 PM
 
Location: City of McKeesport
3,933 posts, read 4,011,727 times
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It's only a matter of time before Garfield becomes the next East Liberty, Lawrenceville, etc.

That said, I don't think bringing "artists" in is going to make any difference, except in neighborhood perception, perhaps ("ooh, it's artsy and bohemian!"). Artists often are too poor to do the major rehabs that a neighborhood like Garfield needs (I hope I don't get trampled for that comment!).
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Old 01-01-2011, 06:38 PM
 
20,274 posts, read 18,712,700 times
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CityLAB is an interesting group--the idea is to do real world experiments and see if they actually work. In that spirit, I am willing to wait and see what happens.

That said, I also tend to think that whether or not this conscious effort works, at least the flats in Garfield will be absorbed into the Borg (aka growing East End redevelopment zone).
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Old 01-01-2011, 06:53 PM
 
Location: Portland, OR
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I think Garfield needs more than artsy type stuff. It needs smaller type shops (antique and fashio/gift shops) and restaraunts. Maybe more doctors and dentist offices too.
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Old 01-01-2011, 07:08 PM
 
Location: Chicago
36,415 posts, read 57,359,773 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by alleghenyangel View Post
It's only a matter of time before Garfield becomes the next East Liberty, Lawrenceville, etc.

That said, I don't think bringing "artists" in is going to make any difference, except in neighborhood perception, perhaps ("ooh, it's artsy and bohemian!"). Artists often are too poor to do the major rehabs that a neighborhood like Garfield needs (I hope I don't get trampled for that comment!).
Artists are often the advance scouts of a gentrification wave precisely because they're so poor. So they move to a neighborhood where the rents are cheap, help to stabilize it if it's a little rough, open or attract businesses that bring other artists and hipsters in, and the next thing you know, it's Starbucks and gastropubs on every other corner.
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Old 01-01-2011, 07:58 PM
 
457 posts, read 859,290 times
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The artist's bandwagon is a fluke. You see this failure throughout PA and the rest of the country. Bring in the artists and it will solve the economic problems of a community. Wrong. "Creative types" and "artists" are a dime a dozen. They don't have money to spend and they don't hire employees. Every artist I know works another job.

Why not think of a way to bring in small businesses that will hire people?
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Old 01-01-2011, 08:19 PM
 
Location: City of McKeesport
3,933 posts, read 4,011,727 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Drover View Post
Artists are often the advance scouts of a gentrification wave precisely because they're so poor. So they move to a neighborhood where the rents are cheap, help to stabilize it if it's a little rough, open or attract businesses that bring other artists and hipsters in, and the next thing you know, it's Starbucks and gastropubs on every other corner.
That's like the myth that once gays start moving to a neighborhood, it takes off. There is a lot more to it than that.
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Old 01-01-2011, 08:21 PM
 
Location: Chicago
36,415 posts, read 57,359,773 times
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Well I didn't think I would need to disclaim what was obviously a simplified explanation of a complex demographic phenomenon, but I guess you can't take anything for granted around here.
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Old 01-02-2011, 02:22 AM
 
Location: City of McKeesport
3,933 posts, read 4,011,727 times
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I didn't mean for my post to be so abrasive, it just came out that way!
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Old 01-02-2011, 01:11 PM
 
20,274 posts, read 18,712,700 times
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I think it is plausible in certain circumstances. Vanguard creative types can't make up for a fundamentally bad location, poor housing stock, poor zoning, poor infrastructure, or so on.

However, there are certain neighborhoods which have fallen on hard times, but many of the fundamentals are decent. In such a situation, I think it is plausible that bringing in a core of new residents can help rebrand the neighborhood and set it on a new trajectory.

In any event, as I noted above, this is intended as an experiment, so let's see!
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