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Old 07-16-2014, 06:27 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nybbler View Post
Won't work, though; your "hip" gentrifiers tend to be politically liberal and would find an ethnically diverse neighborhood appealing. So if you REALLY want to keep them out, you should fly the Confederate battle flag.


That doesn't work either. It might keep the hipsters out but it doesn't keep the yuppies out. People in places like Pennsport and Fishtown probably would fly that flag if it was culturally relevant. They use an Irish flag instead. But they're still some of the most rapidly changing neighborhoods in Philly.
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Old 07-16-2014, 10:15 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by darkeconomist View Post
We're using different metrics for describing uniformity. I'm not using demographics.

I'm only wondering where the people that made urban neighborhoods "hip" and "quirky" and "cool" by way of their style and their businesses have gone when those neighborhoods have gentrified. The physical appearance of suburban neighborhoods have not, in my view, changed to be more like the urban environment, speaking broadly, even as former urbanites have moved to those neighborhoods as a function of gentrification.
Who says they have to go anywhere? A lot of the people in the "hip, quirky and cool" urban neighborhood where I live moved here in their twenties, and over time moved into professional career paths but decided against moving to the suburbs. A friend who rented a dirt-cheap apartment in a rough part of downtown where he could record music and do silkscreen art founded an advertising agency, his "street cred" is as important as his artistic skill and his company office is still in the same building, but now there's a high-end coffee shop downstairs and the old office building next door is a boutique hotel. Another friend who went to punk shows while working her way through law school hung up her Doc Martens after passing the bar, and her salary let her buy in the same neighborhood in a house where she raises her kids. A lot of those hip, quirky folks become the next generation of upwardly-mobile professionals, especially as the work environment around them has adapted to the 21st century's market.

The nature of business has changed--cutting-edge businesses don't feature a lot of those 1950s style "gray flannel suit" employees, any new business worth its salt has an aesthetic and an appearance closer to a bohemian coffee shop than a button-down corporate environment--especially in the tech and design world. Even relatively large corporate environments now make an effort to appear hip, quirky and cool to attract skilled and talented people who want to work for a cool employer more than a powerful one. Professional businesspeople are no longer required to have a home in the suburbs for their wife and kids; a loft in the city with their domestic partner/same-sex spouse and kids is just as laudable.
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Old 07-17-2014, 08:11 AM
 
Location: Pittsburgh, PA (Morningside)
12,416 posts, read 11,917,166 times
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It should be noted that some of the things which have made cities "funky" and "cool" have been moving to suburbs. In The Great Inversion Alan Ehrenhalt spends an entire chapter discussing Gwinnett County, Georgia as one result of gentrifying cities - that immigrants are going straight to the suburbs, and the sort of "diversity" that people look for in cities historically (ethnic groceries, independently-owned businesses, etc) are now locating there instead.

I honestly don't think that structurally suburban neighborhoods will ever be really hip though in places where there is substantial pre-existing urban architecture. Even if a city totally gentrified (something which has yet to happen anywhere in the U.S.) there will still be a lot of older satellite cities within 60-90 minutes, many of which are connected by transit to the core cities. You can already see some aspects of this in the movement of "hipness" from San Francisco to Oakland. Maybe in 20-30 years Newark and the smaller Northern Jersey cities will likewise become popular places for the young to live.
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Old 07-17-2014, 03:36 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wburg View Post
Who says they have to go anywhere? A lot of the people in the "hip, quirky and cool" urban neighborhood where I live moved here in their twenties, and over time moved into professional career paths but decided against moving to the suburbs. A friend who rented a dirt-cheap apartment in a rough part of downtown where he could record music and do silkscreen art founded an advertising agency, his "street cred" is as important as his artistic skill and his company office is still in the same building, but now there's a high-end coffee shop downstairs and the old office building next door is a boutique hotel. Another friend who went to punk shows while working her way through law school hung up her Doc Martens after passing the bar, and her salary let her buy in the same neighborhood in a house where she raises her kids. A lot of those hip, quirky folks become the next generation of upwardly-mobile professionals, especially as the work environment around them has adapted to the 21st century's market.

The nature of business has changed--cutting-edge businesses don't feature a lot of those 1950s style "gray flannel suit" employees, any new business worth its salt has an aesthetic and an appearance closer to a bohemian coffee shop than a button-down corporate environment--especially in the tech and design world. Even relatively large corporate environments now make an effort to appear hip, quirky and cool to attract skilled and talented people who want to work for a cool employer more than a powerful one. Professional businesspeople are no longer required to have a home in the suburbs for their wife and kids; a loft in the city with their domestic partner/same-sex spouse and kids is just as laudable.
Basically, what you are questioning is if gentrification really exists. But, it clearly does; we see one group, with more financial resources, replace an existing group, and we see land values increase faster than other measures of economic growth as a result of that replacement. We're witnessing replacement, not adaptation.

Perhaps your local perspective is different, but that perspective is not representative of what is actually happening in general.
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Old 07-17-2014, 11:24 PM
 
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I'm not questioning whether gentrification exists, it certainly does--the question is, what is its extent, and how many of those who are part of the early waves of gentrification can benefit from the neighborhood's transition rather than being displaced by it? In my case, my friend and I started out fairly dirt poor, but our earning power went up as we grew up in the neighborhood, so rather than being displaced, we joined the category that was buying and fixing up old houses. Those whose earning power didn't change eventually had to relocate, but others didn't--or they moved for reasons other than displacement due to high rent.

I think my situation may be unusual--for various reasons, gentrification was a slow process where I live. But it's worth exploring--what are the factors that allow a greater transition of neighborhood residents into the class that benefits from gentrification, instead of simply being displaced by it? And does modern gentrification follow the same patterns as earlier modes? Gentrification in the 1960s-70s took place during an era when industrial facilities were closing down and the former workers were in a state of reduced economic power, thus less able to resist displacement if rents went up. But the places where industrial facilities went under have been closed for decades or generations. Does repopulation of a long-vacated Rust Belt industrial district count as gentrification if nobody was living in that industrial zone?
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Old 07-18-2014, 12:22 AM
 
2,388 posts, read 2,953,913 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by darkeconomist View Post
Basically, what you are questioning is if gentrification really exists. But, it clearly does; we see one group, with more financial resources, replace an existing group, and we see land values increase faster than other measures of economic growth as a result of that replacement. We're witnessing replacement, not adaptation.
I've made this point quite a bit here over the last few years but here it is again, framed by someone else this time -


Whenever we talk about gentrification it really is a good idea not simply to understand who's coming and who's going, but precisely when the coming and going happened. In reference to our conversations around Washington, D.C., it's really important to understand that the black population was falling in the city long before the arrival of hipsters, interlopers, and white people in general.

Washington's black population peaked in 1970 at just over half a million (537,712 to be precise.) It's declined steadily ever since, with the biggest decline occurring between 1970 and 1980 when almost 100,000 black people left the city. Whites were also leaving the city by then, but at a much slower rate--the major white out-migration happened in the 50s and the 60s.

By 1990 whites had started coming back. But black people--mirroring a national trend--continued to leave. At present there are around 343,000 African-Americans in the District, a smaller number, but still the largest ethnic group in the city. I say this to point out that the idea that incoming whites are "forcing out" large number of blacks has yet to be demonstrated.

A slew of newspaper articles assume the truth of gentrification. But any proponent of the gentrification thesis (explicit or implicit) needs to fully explore and answer the following question: Is white migration into the city forcing black migration back out?

Speaking as though this is the case because it "feels true" isn't evidence. Indeed it's the flip side of blaming white migration to the suburbs on riotous, criminally inclined blacks. - TA-NEHISI COATES


A Hard Look at Gentrification - Ta-Nehisi Coates - The Atlantic

Quote:
we see land values increase faster than other measures of economic growth as a result of that replacement.
That's a pretty fantastic leap from correlation to causality. Land values have increased in all of the Bay Area and NYC and Boston, etc. The 60s-90s is not the total sum of american urban history. The depressed land values of that era was a hiccup, not the norm.
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Old 07-18-2014, 12:15 PM
 
Location: Oakland, CA
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I find it pretty hilarious that people say my own neighborhood is "gentrifying."

When I moved in it was middle class with a mix of ages, though not particularly hip. We would visit occasionally when I was in college and it was much the same. It has one of the longstanding "upscale" and "renowned" restaurants in Oakland. If I recall it opened in the 80s.

Now that I have lived here for 10 years a few things have changed. The neighborhood boundaries have extended a bit. My place was near the line of two neighborhoods, but has been renamed its own little corner, and the prices have gone up a little. The neighborhood next door to mine (also middle class, but skewed younger) was a little cheaper than mine. The delta in rents was about 10%-15%. Now the rents on my street are the same as the ones on the "main street" and the delta between it and the area next door are a little higher.

The biggest changes on my nearby commercial strip is the old school fancy restaurant is joined by a Michelin starred one. And there are a few more new school nice restaurants, but many of the stores are the same. The crowd is still mixed, but the neighborhood on the west end has gentrified appreciably, and is attracting a younger crowd. The neighborhood to the east has gentrified some, but the big difference is in its commercial district, which is more trendy and upscale. It used to be nail shops, ethnic restaurants, brunch places and dive bars. Now some of those places have been replaced with hip bars and hip restaurants.

My neighborhood is much the same, but more popular now that people want walkable spaces. The prices have increased a ton in my part of town with the trend, but the people mix hasn't changed much.
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Old 07-21-2014, 03:27 PM
 
2,553 posts, read 2,004,178 times
Reputation: 1348
Quote:
Originally Posted by drive carephilly View Post
I've made this point quite a bit here over the last few years but here it is again, framed by someone else this time -


Whenever we talk about gentrification it really is a good idea not simply to understand who's coming and who's going, but precisely when the coming and going happened. In reference to our conversations around Washington, D.C., it's really important to understand that the black population was falling in the city long before the arrival of hipsters, interlopers, and white people in general.

Washington's black population peaked in 1970 at just over half a million (537,712 to be precise.) It's declined steadily ever since, with the biggest decline occurring between 1970 and 1980 when almost 100,000 black people left the city. Whites were also leaving the city by then, but at a much slower rate--the major white out-migration happened in the 50s and the 60s.

By 1990 whites had started coming back. But black people--mirroring a national trend--continued to leave. At present there are around 343,000 African-Americans in the District, a smaller number, but still the largest ethnic group in the city. I say this to point out that the idea that incoming whites are "forcing out" large number of blacks has yet to be demonstrated.

A slew of newspaper articles assume the truth of gentrification. But any proponent of the gentrification thesis (explicit or implicit) needs to fully explore and answer the following question: Is white migration into the city forcing black migration back out?

Speaking as though this is the case because it "feels true" isn't evidence. Indeed it's the flip side of blaming white migration to the suburbs on riotous, criminally inclined blacks. - TA-NEHISI COATES


A Hard Look at Gentrification - Ta-Nehisi Coates - The Atlantic



That's a pretty fantastic leap from correlation to causality. Land values have increased in all of the Bay Area and NYC and Boston, etc. The 60s-90s is not the total sum of american urban history. The depressed land values of that era was a hiccup, not the norm.
From my perspective, gentrification is a descriptor of a wealthier group buying homes and pushing up land values in a neighborhood faster than the local "natural" rate of increase. It can result in, but is not itself, the pushing out of poorer residents because the CoL goes up faster than their wages and their may be considerable financial incentive for homeowners to ride the gentrification wave and cash out, while at the same time the things that connected those residents to that neighborhood change or disappear.
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Old 07-21-2014, 03:44 PM
 
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Here's a case of gentrification literally taking the fun out of cities - a high end hotelier is threatening to evict many of the businesses that give Printer's Alley in Nashville its character:

Preserving Printers Alley | Pith in the Wind | Nashville Scene
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Old 07-21-2014, 05:04 PM
 
2,388 posts, read 2,953,913 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by darkeconomist View Post
From my perspective, gentrification is a descriptor of a wealthier group buying homes and pushing up land values in a neighborhood faster than the local "natural" rate of increase. It can result in, but is not itself, the pushing out of poorer residents because the CoL goes up faster than their wages and their may be considerable financial incentive for homeowners to ride the gentrification wave and cash out, while at the same time the things that connected those residents to that neighborhood change or disappear.
I think the point is that saying that it happens and repeating that it happens isn't proof that it's happening.

Land values aren't merely a function of who lives there. There are a lot of other factors that have a lot more bearing and the value of inner city land especially is influenced a lot more by things like infrastructure (especially transportation) and new private investment (even if it's gov't subsidized) and those types of investments go back to the 1980s in most cities but didn't really start in earnest until the 90s.

Likewise the CoL is a generally a regional issue - not a municipal one. The only thing that varies much by neighborhood is rent and even that doesn't operate in a vacuum. Rents in submarkets are dependent on a lot of factors but the biggest one is regional income (not neighborhood). Rents in the Lower East Side didn't start going up because rich people started moving there. They started going up because rents all over Manhattan were going up.
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