U.S. CitiesCity-Data Forum Index
Go Back   City-Data Forum > General Forums > Urban Planning
 [Register]
Please register to participate in our discussions with 2 million other members - it's free and quick! Some forums can only be seen by registered members. After you create your account, you'll be able to customize options and access all our 15,000 new posts/day with fewer ads.
View detailed profile (Advanced) or search
site with Google Custom Search

Search Forums  (Advanced)
Reply Start New Thread
 
Old 07-01-2014, 07:58 AM
 
Location: Pittsburgh, PA (Morningside)
12,439 posts, read 11,941,006 times
Reputation: 10542

Advertisements

Based upon the other thread, I want ask people if they've generally noticed there are two different types of gentrification, which start from very different neighborhoods, attract different gentrifiers, and ultimately have slightly different results. I'd label them as follows.

House-driven gentrification:

In many cities, there are a large number of neighborhoods with housing stock which was initially built for the upper and upper-middle class, but went through a period of disinvestment and unfashionably. The neighborhood thus deteriorated structurally, with many grand houses either split into apartments or simply left to rot. These neighborhoods usually have a modicum of mixed-income development, with at least a small business district, but are often not fully urban, having more of a "streetcar suburb" typology in many cases. There is usually some transit, but it's often not the best transit in the city.

The initial gentrifiers in these neighborhoods are driven by being able to purchase a semi-intact historic gem of a house which needs work. People with kids don't usually have the time for these sorts of fixer-uppers, so instead single people or couples (quite often gay male couples) are initially attracted. As homes become improved, real estate prices begin to climb. The business district gets a bit more lively. Eventually professional house flippers begin getting in on the scene, along with limited new construction which infills in places where "gap teeth" developed in the existing built fabric.

These types of neighborhoods are highly likely to become captured by NIMBY politics. The initial gentrifiers often feel very attached to the built structure of the neighborhood, and often aren't gentrified out given they don't have an issue staying put for decades. They generally block developments they see as alternately "too modern," "too dense," or "too suburban" depending upon their particular whims. As a result, while the neighborhood ultimately ends up unaffordable, it doesn't change much structurally. Indeed, as it gentrifies, the population tends to drop, as childless homeowners displace low-income families, and grand houses split into apartments are turned back into single-family residences.

Convenience-driven gentrification:

The other type of neighborhood which gentrifies is highly different. These neighborhoods are often older, more mixed-use, and have a built structure decidedly more modest/working class (and often ugly). The big plus of these neighborhoods, besides their initial affordability, is convenience. They tend to be on mass transit lines which allow quick commutes into the central business district, or the main university center of the city.

The initial gentrifiers here are the stereotypical artists, who are often quickly followed by the numerous urban young people which have been saddled with the unfortunate name "hipster" (a term which has lost all meaning). The generally larger business district begins having more interesting things to do, which then attracts more and more people to live there. Once again, eventually more flippers get involved, and eventually new construction as well, and the neighborhood loses its "hip" edge and becomes decidedly yuppie in orientation.

There are differences between the "final" stage however. These sort of neighborhoods tend to attract a younger gentry, who are often interested in renting rather than owning a home. As a result community engagement is generally much lower, and developers have a much easier time building the infill they desire, including apartment buildings even if the original built environment of the neighborhood was predominantly single-family (attached or detached). So these sort of neighborhoods don't tend to be stuck in place as historic districts, but continue to increase in terms of population and density.




Anyway, obviously these are two different points on a spectrum. That said, in almost every city I am knowledgeable about I can clearly pick out examples which fall into one of these two extremes. How about you guys?
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message

 
Old 07-01-2014, 09:35 AM
 
8,328 posts, read 14,570,857 times
Reputation: 4048
I think you're talking about the same type of neighborhoods, but two different stages. The young artist/musician/student population moves into an old neighborhood that is generally on good transit routes (old neighborhoods in cities were established on transit routes) because rent is cheap, and they have higher tolerance for risk. The middle-class family moves in during a later phase--they're risk-aware but not as willing to tolerate things like drug dealers and prostitution, and often take proactive steps to remove those risks. The lowest risk tolerance comes from real estate developers and suburban folks drawn to the neighborhood once it is more fully gentrified--often not the same people as those early adopters and house-fixers. You haven't identified two different types, but two points on a timeline.

"Hipster" is a term that still has meaning, but its meaning changes over time, as many words do. They were "hippies" 50 years ago, "punks" 30 years ago--but 80-90 years ago, they were also hipsters. They listened to music that annoyed their parents, dressed funny, and liked cities. Often they grew up into the sort of adult that also liked cities and wanted to stay there. Like the urban dweller categorized as a "nimby" by Eschaton, they don't all hold the same opinion because they aren't a hive-mind, so in both cases they get unfairly stereotyped.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 07-01-2014, 10:06 AM
 
Location: Pittsburgh, PA (Morningside)
12,439 posts, read 11,941,006 times
Reputation: 10542
Quote:
Originally Posted by wburg View Post
I think you're talking about the same type of neighborhoods, but two different stages. The young artist/musician/student population moves into an old neighborhood that is generally on good transit routes (old neighborhoods in cities were established on transit routes) because rent is cheap, and they have higher tolerance for risk. The middle-class family moves in during a later phase--they're risk-aware but not as willing to tolerate things like drug dealers and prostitution, and often take proactive steps to remove those risks. The lowest risk tolerance comes from real estate developers and suburban folks drawn to the neighborhood once it is more fully gentrified--often not the same people as those early adopters and house-fixers. You haven't identified two different types, but two points on a timeline.
No, I am not talking about different stages. I went through the stages for each neighborhood, I'm talking about different neighborhoods. I don't know about West Coast analogues, but in NYC the first would be Park Slope (or anywhere in the "Brooklyn brownstone belt,") and the second would be Williamsburg. The difference is the former are appealing, potentially beautiful residential neighborhoods, while the latter are unattractive messes which transit (and later their business district) make appealing.

To show you examples of what I mean from Pittsburgh, compare the Mexican War Streets to South Side Flats. Both are roughly the same in terms of cost now, but in the former case you're buying a great historic house which isn't really close to a good business district, and in the latter case you're buying (or, in over half of cases, renting) a remuddled working-class rowhouse a few blocks from an awesome business district.

Quote:
Originally Posted by wburg View Post
"Hipster" is a term that still has meaning, but its meaning changes over time, as many words do. They were "hippies" 50 years ago, "punks" 30 years ago--but 80-90 years ago, they were also hipsters. They listened to music that annoyed their parents, dressed funny, and liked cities. Often they grew up into the sort of adult that also liked cities and wanted to stay there. Like the urban dweller categorized as a "nimby" by Eschaton, they don't all hold the same opinion because they aren't a hive-mind, so in both cases they get unfairly stereotyped.
Hipster had particular meanings around 2000 in NYC, but the term today is basically used to mean "anyone I don't know I think is weird." No one self-identifies as it - indeed most "hipsters" call other people hipsters.

Last edited by eschaton; 07-01-2014 at 11:34 AM..
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 07-01-2014, 10:26 AM
 
Location: Crooklyn, New York
28,266 posts, read 26,263,727 times
Reputation: 11726
Quote:
Originally Posted by eschaton View Post
No, I am not talking about different stages. I went through the stages for each neighborhood, I'm talking about different neighborhoods. I don't know about West Coast analogues, but in NYC the first would be Park Slope (or anywhere in the "Brooklyn brownstone belt," and the second would be Williamsburg. The difference is the former are appealing, potentially beautiful residential neighborhoods, while the latter are unattractive messes which transit (and later their business district) make appealing.
I would say Park Slope fits both criteria; it's not an either/or in that particular case. Older, historic housing stock will be almost always be located closer to the city center since cities are usually built from city hall outwards. The architecture in Park Slope is certainly a big part of the appeal, but it would have gentrified in any event because it's a short subway ride away from Wall Street.

Sometimes you can have a neighborhood with nice housing stock--like Germantown in Philly--that lags behind other parts of the city because it's farther from the core. It won't gentrify nearly as fast as less aesthetically appealing areas closer to downtown.

The worst, of course, is to have a neighborhood that is both far from the city center and contains visually unappealing housing stock. There's a ton of that all over New York, Chicago, Philadelphia and DC.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 07-01-2014, 10:31 AM
 
Location: Crooklyn, New York
28,266 posts, read 26,263,727 times
Reputation: 11726
I was reading an article once about gentrification in Los Angeles and the authors were making the point that DTLA and surrounding areas did not face the same gentrification pressures as the cores in East Coast cities because there weren't as many jobs concentrated in its CBD. That kinda makes some sense, but then you look at cities like Baltimore and see a lot of gentrification even though there aren't many white collar jobs in the CBD.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 07-01-2014, 11:52 AM
 
Location: Oakland, CA
27,171 posts, read 29,692,971 times
Reputation: 26671
Oakland has your "type 1" mostly. With a type 3, industrial re-use. The areas around downtown are popular, but although they are denser, they are more like type 1, because many parts have great buildings from about 1900-1940. With the 50-80s stuff mixed in, and of course have convenience.

What is happening in our case, the type 1 area, West Oakland, has great victorian homes, and has a really really easy commute to SF. There are other areas like Piedmont Ave, Adams Point and Grand Lake that have a mix of great and boring housing, but are uber convenient and have nice commercial areas or bones for commercial areas, in the case of Adams Point, which isn't quite as thriving as the other 2, with proximity and transit. And there are other areas that meet this pattern, but there is a big mix of housing types in most areas.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 07-01-2014, 11:56 AM
 
Location: Pittsburgh, PA (Morningside)
12,439 posts, read 11,941,006 times
Reputation: 10542
Quote:
Originally Posted by BajanYankee View Post
I would say Park Slope fits both criteria; it's not an either/or in that particular case. Older, historic housing stock will be almost always be located closer to the city center since cities are usually built from city hall outwards. The architecture in Park Slope is certainly a big part of the appeal, but it would have gentrified in any event because it's a short subway ride away from Wall Street.
Yeah, I wasn't saying it was either or. Obviously everyone likes transit, but the sort of people looking for a (semi) leafy residential area with nice architecture are a little different from those just looking for cheap rents near a subway stop.

As I said though, generally the former "gentried" areas don't start out with a commercial infrastructure which is as large or nice. I mean, there's certainly enough for coffeeshops and nice restaurants, but generally not enough for full "entertainment districts," let alone "nightscapes." So gentrification here doesn't tend to bring along the bros just looking for tons of bars to hit on chicks.

Quote:
Originally Posted by BajanYankee View Post
Sometimes you can have a neighborhood with nice housing stock--like Germantown in Philly--that lags behind other parts of the city because it's farther from the core. It won't gentrify nearly as fast as less aesthetically appealing areas closer to downtown.
Yeah, Pittsburgh has plenty of these areas. The neighborhoods of Observatory Hill and Brighton Heights are actually quite streetcar suburb areas, but they're in the outer portions of the North Side, which is a less gentrified part of the city overall. So you can get giant houses from 1910 with all intact woodwork for well under $200,000. No business district + far from the East End = cheap.

Quote:
Originally Posted by BajanYankee View Post
The worst, of course, is to have a neighborhood that is both far from the city center and contains visually unappealing housing stock. There's a ton of that all over New York, Chicago, Philadelphia and DC.
Yeah. I think the worst positioned city neighborhoods overall in the modern era are going to be those which are functionally identical to nearby suburbs (e.g., autocentric, far from the core, and bad mid-century architecture). After all, they contain everything which is not desirable for modern urbanists, but you still have to pay city taxes.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 07-01-2014, 12:00 PM
 
Location: Pittsburgh, PA (Morningside)
12,439 posts, read 11,941,006 times
Reputation: 10542
Quote:
Originally Posted by jade408 View Post
Oakland has your "type 1" mostly. With a type 3, industrial re-use. The areas around downtown are popular, but although they are denser, they are more like type 1, because many parts have great buildings from about 1900-1940. With the 50-80s stuff mixed in, and of course have convenience.
As I said in the other thread, I don't consider industrial reuse to be gentrification, but "revitalization." The Pittsburgh example, the Strip District, had only 200 inhabitants back in 2000, and the population today is clearly well over 1,000 with hundreds of additional units in the works yet. If a "neighborhood" has essentially lost all residents already, there's virtually no one to be gentrified, hence it's not gentrification.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 07-01-2014, 12:40 PM
 
3,431 posts, read 3,052,906 times
Reputation: 4133
I've seen clear examples of both those types of neighbourhoods in Ottawa. The first is purely residential, with older, architecturally interesting detached houses. The second has at least some commercial space, and perhaps a lot of it.

The "convenience-driven gentrification" that I've seen recently seems to have been taken over by big developers, who spot a neighbourhood with potential, and they take the initiative to redevelop big swaths of real estate without even waiting for a more organic process to take place. At the first sign of students, artists and boho renters moving in and starting up small cafes, before you know it, a major developer has bought up a major chunk of the neighbourhood and they announce high rise condos and mixed-use business space. It makes sense as a real estate developer... the hood is close to major traffic arteries, so it's a logical place for yuppie offices, restaurants and condos. The rental houses and small stores that might have developed slowly, over a few years, into an eclectic walkable neighbourhood are razed for the new mega-development.

Ottawa has a few pockets of these condo developments either built or in progress. I think they stand out a lot more in mid-size cities, because the larger cities all seem to have put their condo developments on former industrial wastelands. In Ottawa, they tend to be at major traffic junctures.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 07-01-2014, 02:01 PM
 
8,328 posts, read 14,570,857 times
Reputation: 4048
Most West Coast cities except the Bay Area didn't really have a transit system (unless you count buses) from the 1950s-1980s, except San Francisco and the bits of the Bay Area where BART went, so transit is probably a lot less of an issue for western cities. The semi-gentrified area where I live has attributes of both--the neighborhood attracted artists/hipsters starting in the late 1960s/early 1970s (and still does) and historic home fans/fixer-upper families (and still does.)
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Please register to post and access all features of our very popular forum. It is free and quick. Over $68,000 in prizes has already been given out to active posters on our forum. Additional giveaways are planned.

Detailed information about all U.S. cities, counties, and zip codes on our site: City-data.com.


Reply
Please update this thread with any new information or opinions. This open thread is still read by thousands of people, so we encourage all additional points of view.

Quick Reply
Message:

Over $104,000 in prizes was already given out to active posters on our forum and additional giveaways are planned!

Go Back   City-Data Forum > General Forums > Urban Planning
Follow City-Data.com founder on our Forum or

All times are GMT -6.

2005-2019, Advameg, Inc. · Please obey Forum Rules · Terms of Use and Privacy Policy · Bug Bounty

City-Data.com - Archive 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24, 25, 26, 27, 28, 29, 30, 31, 32, 33, 34, 35 - Top