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Old 03-26-2014, 09:34 AM
Location: back in Philadelphia!
3,260 posts, read 4,877,400 times
Reputation: 2051


Originally Posted by pman View Post
keep in mind the relativity of displacement. over fifty years north central philadelphia population dropped from 270k to less than 100k people. adding a few thousand people isn't going to magically displace a large number of people. for all the people who say philly was known as a blue collar city that ignores the fact that the blue collar view if a 70's view, people have largely viewed philly as a dangerous ghetto since at least the 80's. anyway, it's not really about displacement since there is A LOT of room. I think the bigger issue is people are uncomfortable with change
I'm definitely keeping it in mind - hence the very first sentence in my previous post.

Right now my viewpoint on gentrification has been affected by living in NYC for the past 9 years, and seeing a lot of the negative sides of gentrification.
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Old 03-26-2014, 03:05 PM
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I think gentrification is without a doubt a good thing, for the many reasons people here have pointed out. It is in essence the revitalization of an area that has been largely neglected or abandoned. If poor people leave to other areas because they can no longer afford to live in their current area, that sucks for them, but on the flip side the neighborhood improves. Areas that were dangerous become welcoming. We reverse this terrible "urban flight" phenomenon that was caused by the invention of the automobile. If crime rates go up in the less desirable areas that remain as a result, that does not speak to the ills of gentrification as much as it speaks to the ills of the people who are moving to those areas.

Is there too much of a good thing? Probably. NYC is getting to the point where no one but the uber wealthy can afford to live there. Does that negatively impact the city? Probably. But in general, gentrification is awesome. I live in St. Louis and I can tell you it is awesome. We have a great downtown that was all but abandoned in the 40s-60s. It was a ghost town. It is now vibrant once again, although it still needs some work, because of gentrification.
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Old 03-26-2014, 04:27 PM
Location: Philadelphia
1,041 posts, read 1,281,018 times
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Originally Posted by rotodome View Post
When it means displacing the middle class, and/or local interesting communities that give a place its character, then it's another story.
Is that what happened to San Francisco?
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Old 03-26-2014, 05:02 PM
Location: Philadelphia
221 posts, read 320,472 times
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Originally Posted by Larry Bowa View Post
Is that what happened to San Francisco?
That's definitely what's happening in Washington DC.
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Old 03-26-2014, 05:14 PM
Location: Vineland, NJ
8,520 posts, read 10,848,867 times
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Originally Posted by Larry Bowa View Post
Is that what happened to San Francisco?
You have to factor in that San Francisco's demographics are a lot different than Philadelphia.
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Old 03-26-2014, 05:17 PM
Location: Fox Chase, Philadelphia
40 posts, read 65,543 times
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I think an underlying problem is a cycle of poverty and that some neighborhoods do change from desirable to ghetto and vice versa and Gentrification doesn't cure poverty. But in reality there is always a poorer class throughout every society and if everyone makes more money then prices will go up and your money will be worth less. What would be nice is if Philadelphia gentrified some neighborhoods and geared them to different groups of people like singles or families etc but at the same time retained many middle/working class neighborhoods instead of created a divided city of the haves and have not's
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Old 03-27-2014, 06:45 AM
Location: Plymouth Meeting, PA.
4,528 posts, read 2,250,673 times
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My thoughts,

1. It's good because it revitalizes the old beat up neighborhoods and makes them livable again.
2. As for poor minorities living in them, remember that these neighborhoods were not poor run down at one time.
3.The downside is yes, it displaces poor people and most of the time the "undesirables" out to the other neighborhoods in turn ruining them. I have no sympathy because I lived in Frankford and watch the dirt balls move in and ruin it. Hopefully, they will mostly be transient and move along so Frankford can once again be a great neighborhood.
Also, the new revitalized neighborhoods, northern liberties for example, are so expensive, that only doctors and lawyers can afford the houses.

Originally Posted by 123noname321 View Post
This topic really has me split . Yes gentrification brings money and investment into poorer neighborhoods that need that. Property values rise and people want to live in that neighborhood like NoLibs or Graduate Hospital. However gentrification usually forces the longtime, usually minority, residents out of their neighborhoods and seems to only relocate the poverty and the crime that follows. For example Northeast Philly where I live has been said to be on the decline escpecially Holmesburg where a few days a few teens were stabbed which got me thinking about this. Also one thing I love about Philly is that we are a grittier blue collar city than other Northeast Cities like Boston after reading another thread so is the gentrification taking away from what makes Philly, Philly and is it worth it if we are just relocating the poor?
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Old 03-27-2014, 04:08 PM
Location: Philadelphia, PA
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Gentrification has its upsides and downsides overall. However, in the specific case of Philadelphia at this point in time it is ALL GOOD!!!!
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Old 04-28-2014, 09:26 PM
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Gentrification is not an easy subject. Yes, it does bring new construction to neighborhoods that were in decline and high-wage earners it the city. Property owners have the opportunity to take advantage of a 10 year tax abatement, where they pay almost no property tax on a newly constructed home. This burden is put on the resident who has made the neighborhood their home for decades and whose newly assessed taxes are based on the market value of the newer homes.
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Old 04-29-2014, 07:59 PM
Location: NW Philly Burbs
2,431 posts, read 4,778,173 times
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I saw an eye-opening documentary on PBS recently regarding gentrification: My Brooklyn/Fate of a Salesman as part of the America Reframed series.

What stood out in my mind was how the once thriving Fulton St. Mall is now desolate. Promised office buildings (which would have provided local jobs of differing incomes) turned into luxury condos. Low-income housing was an afterthought. It promised a lot and missed the mark. (The second story about a Salesman is similar, but only follows the tale of one long-established shop in DC).

I recently drove up 5th street through Olney and was amazed at how bustling it all was -- crowded with shoppers and most of the businesses looked open. I hope that area (and others like it) never get "improved".
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