Thursday, May 27, 2010

Gentrification and Resistance in New York City

Last spring, USA Today ran a story with the headline “Gentrification: A Boost for Everyone.” A little more than a week after the story appeared, it showed up on the web sites of a variety of organizations and media, including Smart Growth America, the Urban Land Institute, Nation’s Building News and The Real Deal (a web site about New York real estate). Here at last, the headline suggested, was evidence that gentrification could be the rising tide that lifts all boats.

The widespread press coverage of the new wave of displacement studies is part of a broader effort to rescue the word “gentrification.” In the 1970s and 1980s, “gentrification” became familiar because it seemed to summarize all of the market failures, polarization and injustice that shaped life in America’s inner-city communities.
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East Village, New York, photo by jglsongs/Flickr

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