Damian Iseminger 
Member since Oct 21, 2013


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Re: “The Art of Gentrification

My general feeling is that those areas which are ripe for revitialization/gentrification are those where the underlying urban infrastructure is to some degree already in place or the potential for it is present. When whites emptied urban cores in the postwar period they didn't take the infrastructure with them; it was left behind. In many cases the infrastructure was left to decay (whether through passive or active neglect), but the bare-bones of it were still present. It took cities a while to shift their focus from figuring out ways to get suburbanities into downtowns with often horrible results (I'm thinking of Madison Avenue between Manual High School and Downtown or any city with interstates rammed through them) to using zoning and economic incentives to get suburban dwellers back to living in the city. Those areas which are given priority are those where it is relatively easy to upgrade/enhance the already existing infrastructure. I'm rambling a bit here, but basically I would argue that its not artists that drive gentrification; its sound urban policy, driven by or coupled with community activism, that sets the table for inner neighborhoods to become more attractive places to live. Creatives living in the neighborhood are a sign of neighborhood health.

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Posted by Damian Iseminger on 10/21/2013 at 11:59 AM

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