Come help us define for ourselves before it gets defined for us!
"One by one, many of the working class quarters of London have been invaded by the middle-classes—upper and lower. Shabby, modest mews and cottages—two rooms up and two down—have been taken over, when their leases have expired, and have become elegant, expensive residences .... Once this process of 'gentrification' starts in a district it goes on rapidly until all or most of the original working-class occupiers are displaced and the whole social character of the district is changed."
-Ruth Glass (1964)
The process of repairing and rebuilding homes and businesses in a deteriorating area (such as an urban neighborhood) accompanied by an influx of middle-class or affluent people and that often results in the displacement of earlier, usually poorer residents.
is a general term for the arrival of wealthier people in an existing urban district, a related increase in rents and property values, and changes in the district's character and culture. The term is often used negatively, suggesting the displacement of poor communities by rich outsiders. But the effects of gentrification are complex and contradictory, and its real impact varies.
Many aspects of the gentrification process are desirable. Who wouldn't want to see reduced crime, new investment in buildings and infrastructure, and increased economic activity in their neighborhoods? Unfortunately, the benefits of these changes are often enjoyed disproportionately by the new arrivals, while the established residents find themselves economically and socially marginalized.
painful conflict in many American cities, often along racial and economic fault lines. Neighborhood change is often viewed as a miscarriage of social justice, in which wealthy, usually white, newcomers are congratulated for "improving" a neighborhood whose poor, minority residents are displaced by skyrocketing rents and economic change.
Although there is not a clear-cut technical definition of gentrification, it is characterized by several changes.
Demographics: An increase in median income, a decline in the proportion of racial minorities, and a reduction in household size, as low-income families are replaced by young singles and couples.
Real Estate Markets: Large increases in rents and home prices, increases in the number of evictions, conversion of rental units to ownership (condos) and new development of luxury housing.
Land Use: A decline in industrial uses, an increase in office or multimedia uses, the development of live-work "lofts" and high-end housing, retail, and restaurants.
Culture and Character: New ideas about what is desirable and attractive, including standards (either informal or legal) for architecture, landscaping, public behavior, noise, and nuisance.
Is this what you want?
When "urban renewal" of lower class neighbourhoods with condos attracts yuppie tenants, driving up rents and driving out long time, lower income residents. It often begins with influxes of local artists looking for a cheap place to live, giving the neighbourhood a bohemian flair. This hip reputation attracts yuppies who want to live in such an atmosphere, driving out the lower income artists and lower income residents, often ethnic/racial minorities, changing the social character of the neighbourhood.
It also involves the "yuppification" of local businesses; shops catering to yuppie tastes like sushi resaturants, Starbucks, etc... come to replace local businesses displaced by higher rents.
We can repair and rebuild our homes and businesses and welcome more middle class and affluent neighbors without displacing any of our residents regardless of social or economic perceptions if we work together to redefine gentrification for ourselves and reap the benefits.