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Old 02-25-2015, 05:32 PM
 
28 posts, read 30,125 times
Reputation: 28

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This is a great article making the case that there is nothing natural about gentrification. As the author says, cities are not natural organisms but arenas of political struggle.

New Left Project | There is Nothing Natural about Gentrification

"A growing body of critical scholarship on gentrification teaches us about the vested interests behind the production of urban space for the affluent, and paves the way for possible courses of action to stop people from losing their homes under vested interest urbanism. A set of lenses trained on ‘urban form’ via complexity theory, concluding that gentrification is a natural evolution, steers us away from these questions of social justice and trivialises the concerns and messages of social movements.

The implications are disturbing – it is only a short leap from saying that gentrification is a natural evolution to saying that austerity is a natural evolution, tax evasion is a natural evolution, rentier capitalism is a natural evolution. A powerful rearguard action would be to engage with people fighting for their homes and for their places in the city, listen to their stories, their hopes and their demands, and then agitate for political change.

Cities are not natural organisms but expressions and arenas of political struggles, and the distortions of science writers and urban design scholars must not shield us from the disturbing transformations roiling stigmatised districts of unequal cities, which are always connected to strategies and skirmishes traversing circles of power."
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Old 02-25-2015, 06:24 PM
 
48,516 posts, read 84,145,138 times
Reputation: 18056
Nothing unnatural either about it. No matter what city or rural if the infrastructure isn't keep up then it decays. That takes a tax base and once it gone so far people sell and others that can rebuild. who provide the needed tax base. Its as natural as winter death of flowers and spring rebirth.
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Old 02-25-2015, 06:25 PM
 
2,388 posts, read 2,964,834 times
Reputation: 1954
This article is great as an exercise in class theory but shows a deep lack of understanding of urban history.

Changes in urbanism have come about as a result of advances in technology. In the last ~170 years most of those technological advances have revolved around transportation so they radically altered how and where people could live.

The internet, automation, and energy costs are also changing the way people live today.

Cities do change. They may be changing faster these days but then, what isn't. That's the price we pay for living in a globally wired economy. If we didn't you wouldn't be linking to a British article on gentrification on the internet. Capitalism is a messed up system. I'm with that. But there's also no such thing as neutral technology.
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Old 02-25-2015, 06:36 PM
 
1,024 posts, read 1,202,846 times
Reputation: 436
I think gentrification is a very natural thing. All animals have migration patterns & for thousands of years wealthier people have gone in & out of cities. The wealthy flocking to cities is a migration pattern, it is very natural
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Old 02-25-2015, 06:42 PM
 
Location: Pittsburgh
7,542 posts, read 8,446,536 times
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There is scarcely a community which hasn't changed over time from rich to poor, from poor to rich or from one ethnic group to another over the decades.

Change is part of life, the idea that things should never change is a reactionary one.
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Old 02-25-2015, 07:09 PM
 
Location: Pittsburgh, PA (Morningside)
12,491 posts, read 11,998,900 times
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While very well written, the bottom line of the article could be make much easier...

Gentrification is not a natural outcome. It is, however, the logical outcome of 21st century capitalism, as applied to the urban environment. If we lived under a different socio-economic system (for example, one in which all neighborhoods were run as self-governing housing cooperatives, and there was no private ownership of land at all) we wouldn't see massive changes to neighborhoods in only a decade or two. To actually address gentrification, we must address global capitalism itself.
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Old 02-25-2015, 08:07 PM
 
678 posts, read 714,401 times
Reputation: 428
Marxist rhetoric. Incite class struggle. Feed the envy. Find the scapegoat. Nothing new.
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Old 02-25-2015, 11:17 PM
 
Location: Seattle, WA
2,959 posts, read 3,836,274 times
Reputation: 3285
Housing is all about supply and demand, and currently, inner-city living is high in demand.

It's pretty silly to constantly complain about landlords charging rental prices that match demand as if they're society's boogeyman. Blame capitalism and move to a socialist country if it's so upsetting... or just move to a city that's dirt cheap. Problem solved. Just because everyone and their grandma wants to own a giant condo with a view in San Francisco or in Manhattan doesn't mean that everyone is entitled to such.
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Old 02-26-2015, 08:08 AM
 
Location: On the Great South Bay
7,159 posts, read 9,947,671 times
Reputation: 6452
Quote:
Originally Posted by GatsbyGatz View Post
Housing is all about supply and demand, and currently, inner-city living is high in demand.

It's pretty silly to constantly complain about landlords charging rental prices that match demand as if they're society's boogeyman. Blame capitalism and move to a socialist country if it's so upsetting... or just move to a city that's dirt cheap. Problem solved. Just because everyone and their grandma wants to own a giant condo with a view in San Francisco or in Manhattan doesn't mean that everyone is entitled to such.
Hit the nail right on the head.

The only way to stop people from moving into a poorer area is to decrease population growth or to make an so unattractive that no one would want to live there. Then of course the author of the article would complain that the area was being neglected!

Instead of the all PC stuff, perhaps the author should be concerned what the effect of the President's plan to legalize 5 million+ illegal aliens might do to the low income housing market.
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Old 02-26-2015, 08:38 AM
 
6,379 posts, read 3,619,021 times
Reputation: 22323
Can't disagree with anything that's been said here. It's all a matter of how an author frames his subject. Frame it one way and you've got a positive; frame it the other and you've got a negative. Just depends on which worldview you prefer.
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