"A government-initiated redevelopment plan will transform one of the oldest neighborhoods in Beijing into a polished tourist attraction."
Seth Dixon's insight:
This 2010 video (and related article) showcases one of China's urban transformation projects. Urban revitalization plans are not without critics, especially those who see the cultural transformation of a neighborhood they deem worthy of historical preservation. This process is occurring all over the world (we've recently seen this in Brazil as they were preparing for the World Cup). This is one of the videos that I've put into my interactive map with over 65 geography videos to share in the classroom.
Neighborhoods that are perceived by outsiders as economically successful have created a cultural niche that draws in visitors with a mixture of shops and amenities that appeal to a particular demog...
A vibrant cultural ambiance is not just a backdrop for selling commodities in shopping districts. The feel of a neighborhood and a sense of place can be the commodity as Air BnB is artfully demonstrating.
The High Line has become a tourist-clogged catwalk and a catalyst for some of the most rapid gentrification in the city’s history.
Earlier I have posted about the High Line, a project in NYC to transform an old elevated train line into a public green space. This project has fallen under criticism as the property values of homes below the High Line have risen and the neighborhood is undergoing gentrification. Linked is the NYTimes opinion article that critiques the High Line as a “Disneyfied tourist-clogged catwalk.” This project has change the economic profile of the neighborhood and its sense of place and communal identity. The critic’s blog is (self-described) “a bitterly nostalgic look at a city in the process of going extinct,” so he is naturally going to be against anything that at changes the historic character of the city. As geographer Matthew Hartzell has said, “to say that nothing should change is an awfully conservative view of urbanity. Cities evolve—neighborhoods evolve.” This is a good article to share with students to get them to think about the economic and cultural issues associated with urban revitalization projects and the impacts they have on the city.
"Residential segregation by income has increased during the past three decades across the United States and in 27 of the nation’s 30 largest major metropolitan area, according to a new analysis of census tract and household income data by the Pew Research Center. The analysis finds that 28% of lower-income households in 2010 were located in a majority lower-income census tract, up from 23% in 1980, and that 18% of upper- income households were located in a majority upper-income census tract, up from 9% in 1980." This interactive map allows the user to explore the 10 largest metropolitan areas in the U.S. Read the article associated with this map.
KV: Development of a high end apartment complex in a low income area would force pre-gentrification people out of the neighborhood. The taxes would get raised to amounts that make it difficult for these people to afford. However, the people in charge of this project are ignoring the consequences and focusing on the 5 million dollars tax break.
SD: This sign went up in to 2006 protest the mills-to-condo developments in Providence, Rhode Island. Click here to see the photographer's work.
If done right, cities can preserve their character while bringing in new business...
RT: This article and it's sub-articles are very interesting, the main point of it however is the fact that gentrification can be done in a manner as such that it will not just demolish the old city but rather build upon it. Involving the residents would be a key factor in this process, more often then not it is the new ones moving in who decide the fate of the area. Retaining original buildings and recylcing them into something new helps preserve the original culture of the area. The main issue with gentrification is the loss of the familiarity within the area.
The official Web site of the High Line and Friends of the High Line...
What do you do with an outdated elevated train line running through a crowded neighborhood in New York City? In the 1980s, residents called for the demolition of the eyesore since it was blamed for economic struggles of the community and increased criminal activity. Unfortunately demolition is extremely expensive. However, this one particular abandoned line has recently been converted into an elevated green space that has economically revitalized the local real estate. Find out more about this innovated park and project. To see a similar project in Saint Louis, see: http://grgstl.org/projects/the-trestle.aspx
Ambitious development plans for the 2016 Summer Olympics, as well as the 2014 soccer World Cup, involve large-scale evictions from numerous slums, whose residents are refusing to leave.
The urban revitalization issues in Rio de Janiero are not new, but they will intensify in global importance (or at least coverage) as the time for the World Cup and Olympics approaches. What are the aesthetics and economics behind revitalization? What are the social issues that should be addressed?
I live in the Providence metropolitan area so this particular blog posting about urban planning and economic revitalization hit very close to home.
Rhode Islanders: how accurate do you feel this perspective on Providence and it's economic assets (and deficiencies) is? What other aspects would you discuss in trying to understand the economic geography of the area? What are the biggest obstacles for improving the city?
Walkable streets are not only fun and exciting places to be, they are also profitable. Research has found that by prioritising pedestrians through making streets more walkable, both property values and shop footfall increase.
This article is a nice primer for a discussion on the importance of urban planning for local politics and economics.
Residents and planners around the country are dreaming up innovative ways to create eco-friendly, self-reliant communities. But turning ideas into reality is a tall order.
Urban revitalization projects gentrification have been an important part of the American scene since the 1990s. As we reconsider the city, and some of the associated issues with dense living, many are also thinking about the environmental impact of urban life and rethinking how to make neighborhoods more sustainable. This article uses the Denver Lower Downtown (LoDo) neighborhood as its case study for analyzing sustainability with the city.
Business correspondent Paul Solman reports from Cleveland on the economically troubled Ohio city's efforts to tear down thousands of empty foreclosed homes in hopes of putting eyesore and dangerous properties back to productive use -- perhaps as...
Urban decay and the economic downturn has made demolition and destruction a more fiscally sound plan than revitalizing and refurbishing. Why? What economic advantage is to tearing down homes? In what region(s) do you think this type of strategy makes the most sense?
"Portland is a city that some residents praise as a kind of eden: full of bike paths, independently-owned small businesses, great public transportation and abundant microbreweries and coffeeshops. And then there’s a whole other city. It’s the city where whole stretches of busy road are missing sidewalks, and you can see folks in wheelchairs rolling themselves down the street right next to traffic. It’s the city where some longtime African-American residents feel as if decades of institutional racism still have not been fully addressed."
Seth Dixon's insight:
Portland, Oregon is often discussed as a magnet for a young demographic that wants to be part of a sustainable city that supports local businesses and agriculture. This podcast looks behind that image (which has a measure of truth to it) to see another story. Relining, gentrification, poverty, governance and urban planning are all prominent topics in this 50 minute podcast that provides as fascinating glimpse into the poorer neighborhoods of this intriguing West Coast city. When in cities, we often use the term sustainability to refer to the urban ecology, but here we see a strong concern for the social sustainability of their historic neighborhoods as well.
Oakland, Calif., was a hub of African-American life on the West Coast. Today, it's one of the most diverse cities in the country. How has that shift affected its culture?
Seth Dixon's insight:
The NPR blog Code Switch focuses on issues of race, culture and ethnicity. In this podcast they explore the changing demographics of Oakland due to gentrification and the cultural impact that it has had. In the 80s, African-Americans represented nearly half of Oakland's population, but today is now 34 percent white, 28 percent black, 25 percent Latino and 17 percent Asian. The music scene, night life and sense of communal identity has consequently shifted, and that causes some to yearn for what once was.
As upscale, high-rise condos and hipster bars opened nearby, longtime customers joked: Is this really still “the ’hood”? Not anymore.
In a gentrifying neighborhood in Washington D.C. that was historically African-American, Fish in the ’Hood was an iconic restaurant that captured the feel of the area. Just this May, the storefront restaurant was renamed Fish in the Neighborhood.
Questions to Ponder: Why? Does it matter? What does it mean?
A look back on the 27th Anniversary of the the NFL Colts dark flight from Baltimore in the middle of the night.
BM: When the Colts left they took the heart of Balitmore and left the fans in utter disbelief. Robert Irsay had no intention of staying whether he got his new staidum for the Colts or not, he wanted out and had been looking since 1976. The city of Baltimore was not going to budge on the construction of a new pubically funded stadium simply because it was too expensive and the citry didn't have the money. All that remained in Baltimore was an empty Memorial Stadium, which wasn't perfect but was in really decent shape and the Orioles.
SD: Why are sports teams treated so differently from other businesses? How are teams linked to place in such intimate ways? What is the economic impact of a sports team on the city and how could relocation damage that city? See this scoop.it topic for more on the cultural and economic impacts of sports teams on cities.
"A new report by the Pew Research Center shows that rising income inequality has led to an increasing number of Americans clustering in neighborhoods in which most residents are like them, either similarly affluent or similarly low income."
DB: Economic deprivation both within and between nations are increasing as the world becomes further globalized. American is no exception to this as the current recession continues to impact not just how people live their lives but where as well. As the middle class continues to shrink, the location of you residence is becoming a stronger indicator of your socioeconomic standing in society. The issue is not only that both opposite ends of the nation’s wealth spectrum are expanding but also that they our clustering together creating entire communities segregated by income. What role does gentrification play in this? How does income affect who is moving in and who is being displaced? What effects will this have for American society concerning which communities voice is heard?
Despite the fact that Detroiters will get the benefits of newfound energy, enthusiasm, and even money, it's unrealistic to expect a group who is scared of the unknown and having power stripped away to welcome outsiders with open arms.
BM: Detroit has been down in a slump for a while and with gentrification(adding people of wealthier income) into the the Midtown neighborhood of Detroit. Despite the wealth of income in Midtown the rest of the City still has an average income of around $28,000 which is pretty weak compared to Midtown's average income of $111,000. One could argue that this gentrification project is not going at the pace desired. Slow and steady...
In a borough that has become a globally recognized icon of cool, residents are watching the renaissance with resentment and indifference.
Gentrification is inherently selective and consequently the impact is highly variable even among close neighborhoods. What makes one nieghborhood a candidate for gentrification? What qualities do neighborhoods of disinvestment share? Who are the 'winners and losers' in this process?
It is only right to start this site off with photos of the Holsteiner Stairs by artist Horst Glaesker. In 2008, I saw photos of this installation in Wuppertal, Germany and I knew I had to create a colour blog.
How can public art help create a sense of place? How does this transform the neighborhood and community? What are the cultural and econommic impacts of public art?
This msnbc video clip (from the UP w/Chris Hayes) looks at the struggles and challenges for the city of Detroit. Specifically, they address job creation and economic investment in the area as key ways to revitalize the economy in a deindustrializing context, as well as critique the governance situation that has lead to many of the problems that we currently see in Detroit.
WASHINGTON — America’s historic Chinatowns, home for a century to immigrants seeking social support and refuge from racism, are fading as rising living costs, jobs elsewhere and a desire for wider spaces lure Asian-Americans more than ever to the...
The geography of ethnic neighborhoods has changed as urbanization has changed within the United States. This article, posted by the AAG, shows that most middle-class, second generation that are accultured into American society, gravitate towards the suburbs. The 'older generation' with littled English skills coupled with the newly arrived to the country become those that remain behind in the urban centers. How does this culturally impact Chinatown and Chinese-Americans? Will Chinatowns become gentrified? Are they already? Where?
A government-initiated redevelopment plan will transform one of the oldest neighborhoods in Beijing into a polished tourist attraction.
This 2010 video showcases one of China's urban transformation projects. Urban revitalization plans are not without critics, especially those who see the cultural transformation of a neighborhood they deem worthy of historical preservation.