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TheAnk

Gentrification

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The word conjures up different images for different people.. The term definately has both a negative and positive connotation to it... On one extreme is dilapitaded housing and blight are replaced and renewed through an influx of capital, creating a more vibrant neighborhood... On the other, a culture, neighborhood and sense of community is lost, and residents displaced as a result/to make way for new, and most of the time, more affluent resident...

How do you feel about this? Is gentrification a good thing, or bad??

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Why not move this discussion to another thread as the issues of gentrification affect almost every developing community with a history.

Gentrification in my opinion is something that cannot be avoided. It can be a good thing in that it spurs economic development, brings jobs to the community. This of course will increase property taxes which will bring more money to schools, thus increasing, one would think, educational levels and test scores of neighborhood children.

The bad ... is that it displaces low-income people and people that have lived in communities for generations. In addition, with property taxes rising so high, there will be people that lived there for so long being forced to move to a poorer community.

I believe in planned development and not to advocate for complete market forces to determine the outcome of a community. THere needs to be clear goals of what a community wants to look like, if they value diversity, culture, and history.

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I think there are ways we can mitigate some of the negatives of gentrifiation. However, if we want our cities to return in prominence most of them will have to be gentrified.

Here's my list.

1. Preservation of historical and cultural institutions. Things like theaters, churches, buildings and parks that have some meaning to the group being replaced.

2. Mixed income housing. Not neccassarily, low cost housing, but intersperse smaller units and apartments with other housing.

3. Improvement of services and education across the board. We've neglected our ghettos for far too long.

4. Increased homestead exemptions for certain districts. It would encourage home ownership among the people that live there and protect them from increased taxes.

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