“Cue The Rant!”:: Gentrification, A Delicate Game of Balance

finalig2

While the video above is pretty funny, a lot of people don’t find any form of gentrification funny. Gentrification is the shift in an urban community lifestyle and an increasing share of wealthier residents and/or businesses and increasing property values. Basically, it’s when people outside of the community are attracted to a certain area of a city that lacks resources and attempts to revitalize it. The result of it usually is that the poorer pre-gentrification residents are unable to pay increased rents or property taxes and are subsequently forced out.

And that is the argument that opponents point to when discussing gentrification. They feel like it is morally wrong to come into a neighborhood and price the long term residents out of their community. Well I think it’s more to it than that.

“Cue The Rant!”

genkev

I think when it comes to gentrification, you have to find a very delicate balance. You can’t have a one size fits all approach to it as it wouldn’t be in your best interest to have that mindset to any problem. Anyone who approaches many situations with a staunch and unwavering view to one side without giving consideration and credence to the other side isn’t doing the problem justice. An open mind is recommended to adequately combat any situation and in the complicated event of gentrification, it is required.

Nothing makes me more upset than someone who’s mind is so made up about something that it blinds them to the facts and even the advantages of what’s going on. For the most part and history will indicate that gentrification hasn’t been good or was done right by many different people or corporations. They were simply taking advantage of an area or resources for their ultimate financial gain and cared nothing about the previous residents. This definitely still exists and has a big impact on the mindsets of people today. And on the flip side, gentrification has also helped communities grow and thrive with new resources, stores and infrastructure. It is also usually accompanied by less crime.

The fact is that gentrification will impact a community both positively and negatively. You just have to hope that the organizations or people that are in charge are aware and actually care about how they will effect the community negatively and what they can do to combat that.

gentrification-flickr

There’s no way to please everyone or get things to work out perfectly. With improvements, property values will go up in the neighborhood usually more than the current residents can afford. But if an organization is tied into the community and is actively educating and connecting the residents to better opportunities while they help change the community then that’s the best way to do it. You can either change it or leave it the same. And all change isn’t bad. But that doesn’t necessarily mean all change is good too.

I’m not saying don’t question, investigate or hold people accountable. I’m saying approach the situation with an open mind and do all those things I previously stated. You might find that you can be the tipping point on the delicate scales of balance within the community.

That’s it for this week. It feels good to be back. And don’t forget to cue the Sir Charles.

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