Welcome to European Tribune. It's gone a bit quiet around here these days, but it's still going.
Display:
This is undoubedtly true in areas like New York, but in most of the United States, the trend hasn't be to build up, but build out. Spurred on by the belief that cheap gas will always be there.

And as for the necessity of the suburbs.  Americans have this inane plantation ideal that makes them believe that they need a patch of grass larger than an old peasant's farm plot in order to survive.

What's wrong with public greens and parks?  What's wrong with having a small back garden with just enough space instead of a small field that required constant maintenance even though its a monoculture?

I think that simple zoning laws, like relaxing setbacks, and mandating a 1-1 match for new commercial space with residential space (matching the neighborhood income spread) above the store.  Would do a lot to change things quickly.

I don't think that urban living has to involve gentrification.  What's needed is concerted government involvement to ensure that the demands of the community, not the market alone are met.

And I'll give my consent to any government that does not deny a man a living wage-Billy Bragg

by ManfromMiddletown (manfrommiddletown at lycos dot com) on Mon Jul 7th, 2008 at 02:36:12 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I don't think that urban living has to involve gentrification.  What's needed is concerted government involvement to ensure that the demands of the community, not the market alone are met.

As long as there is less housing being built in existing upper income urban areas or new higher end housing in nearby ones than there is demand for such housing, gentrification is inevitable. The upper income people displace the upper middle class, the upper middle class create new upper middle class housing by displacing the middle class, the middle income folks displace the poor who are screwed. Nimbyism and knee-jerk anti-development feelings among upper middle class liberals help speed up the process. Go to San Francisco - the whole damn city is turning into one big gentrified area. New York is far bigger relative to its metro area so there are limits on how far this can go, but Manhattan - same thing.

Brownstones in my Brooklyn neighborhood went for $100K fifteen years ago, now it's $1.5M and that's not just the housing bubble but a fundamental shift in the economic class of those who live here. The new residents oppose building more housing, piously saying that it will gentrify the area even more. Somehow they don't see the irony. Not to mention the fact that the bad side of gentrification is not the fact that a neighbourhood gets upper middle class residents but that the poor are forced out. Not building new housing decreases the influx of better off people to a given neigbourhood while accelerating the displacement of the poor in both that area and in other ones (some of the would be residents of new housing go to other areas). Yeah, I'm ranting, but it pisses me off.

by MarekNYC on Mon Jul 7th, 2008 at 02:58:56 PM EST
[ Parent ]

Display:

Top Diaries

Occasional Series