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TheGerbil

Gentrification

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This is a topic we discuss here a lot. The rebirth of run-down neighborhoods through new development. But there is something about it that always bugs me. I don't believe that every neighborhood in the city can be nice. Each individual neighborhood has the potential, of course, but the truth is they can't all be nice at once. And that is true of any city.

For example: East Liberty is experiencing a turn-around right now. New development, old run-down apartments being replaced by new mixed-use housing. It's great. But the poverty and crime don't disappear. Instead parts of Highland Park, which is adjacent to East Liberty, have been getting slowly worse. Absentee landlords and criminals don't vanish, they just relocate.

So the question is: How can we improve one neighborhood while also protecting its neighbors from decay? Thoughts?

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woah woah woah, Gentrification is not simply the redevelopment of a neighborhood. It is the replacement of the existing lower classes with an upper class population....eventually driving up property values, and therefore property taxes and forcing the remaining existing population out.

Its not always a bad thing (an example of good gentrification would be Soho/the bluff as discussed in other posts). But often it is very controversial (such as on the south side) because it often benefits the city and region as a whole (better tax base) but at the expense of the traditions and population of that neighborhood.

Sorry to sound professor-ish, but this was a big part of what we talked about in school :sick:

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What you said is basically what I was trying to get at. Lower class population is driven out of a neighborhood, and they have to go somewhere. Unfortunately with lower class population you get more crime and more absentee landlords etc. So those things move into adjacent neighborhoods.

Living in a generally nice neighborhood, I have mixed feelings about the gentrification of nearby areas. Because I see more poverty coming into my area. Just wondering what others think about this.

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I think the difference of right versus wrong here is due to the fact that gentrification is not a natural process but a planned government supported action. One group is implored to relocate to a place that's the same or worse than their current homes while an outside group exclusively receives the benefits of that action. It largely goes against democracy as far as the government is concerned and it goes against what an efficient market economy is supposed to do.

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The trend is there. It has always been a trend. I really believe it is a much gentler system right now than it was. It was, massive public housing projects that destroyed urban neighborhoods. It was not the poor that killed urban neighborhoods it was "mis-guided' ideas. I believe we have learned from them (I hope) but we live in supply and demand.

Many classic urban residents are now finding themselves in larger homes in the older suburbs from the 50's and 60's.

It is supply and demand.

The transformation of East Liberty is virtually like a cork busting across the bridge on Highland Avenue. It has been buiding for some time and simply was just a matter of time. Whole Foods uncorked it.

The "neighborhood" of the Hill was destroyed some time ago. The people that are there now have to be as attached to that neighborhood as the speculators that are eyeing it now. and they are. Watch the transactions that take place after the arena decision. I believe many are waiting to see.

I think I can honestly say what is happening here is unprecedented. Perhaps it is Pittsburgh's inexpensive housing that is allowing for comfortable living for many incomes. but it will be an open market and there is a postive, particulrly for Pittsburgh. There is no shortage of affordable housing here.

The small townhouses of the city are being traded for larger houses with yards. The small townhouses are perfect for young singles, whatever. It is supply and demand.

I simply dont see that absolute negatives that had existed. They are much more diverse than before.

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I was under the impression the Highland / Liberty border was improving... as 5 houses on Mellon have been rehabbed

http://www.post-gazette.com/pg/06125/687667-53.stm

That area's been in slow decline for years. Things are being done to counteract the decline, such as the renovation of those houses. But a lot still needs to be done. There's been quite the burst of crime there recently, which hasn't been in the news. It's small crimes, but I and my neighbors are noticing. My landlord thinks it's because poorer people are moving there from East Liberty as gentrification pushes them out. (Not to say that all poor people are criminals, of course, but poverty does seem to bring crime with it).

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That area's been in slow decline for years. Things are being done to counteract the decline, such as the renovation of those houses. But a lot still needs to be done. There's been quite the burst of crime there recently, which hasn't been in the news. It's small crimes, but I and my neighbors are noticing. My landlord thinks it's because poorer people are moving there from East Liberty as gentrification pushes them out. (Not to say that all poor people are criminals, of course, but poverty does seem to bring crime with it).

You could go as far as to say that gentrification itself, by displacing the poor, creates an environment for crime. It's been argued that Pittsburgh's low crime rates are due to well established neighborhoods. Now we're seeing those neighborhoods mix into others, which could potentially cause new crime rather than just move existing crime.

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Interesting thought. So you are saying that because people are moving into new neighborhoods, some of them might be more likely to commit crime just because they don't know the people around them anymore? I never thought of it like that but it seems plausible.

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Interesting thought. So you are saying that because people are moving into new neighborhoods, some of them might be more likely to commit crime just because they don't know the people around them anymore? I never thought of it like that but it seems plausible.

It's not only because their would-be victims are strangers and they're removed from their social circle that would condemn the crime, but because the existing people no longer know who their neighbors are and can't really look out after their neighbors' properties anymore.

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